If you know how to code, you know how to embroider

Andrea Mayr-Stalder’s TurtleStitch project literally takes lines of code and transforms them into art you can wear. The innovative machine allows you to programme its path (much like a 3D printer, but on a 2D scale), as the machine then runs a spool of thread through an embroiderer, navigating it across cloth to create beautiful, intricate shapes through the medium of digital embroidery.

The programme developed by Andrea is a wonderful tool for experimenting and creating tesselations and fractals, as the code itself is simple. Arrange blocks of commands together to tell the turtle where to navigate through, and the embroidery machine follows the path. You give basic commands to the turtle, such as move “10 steps forward”, “turn 90 degrees right”, etc and it leaves a trail on the “canvas” to draw a picture. By building up more complex command sets with the blocks, you can achieve some pretty cool generative art. The tools not only result in wonderful textile creations, they also push your abilities and engage you in a way that makes you want to explore the program to see what more you can create.

Andrea’s hopes are to turn the program into a community of sorts, as people collaborate and contribute their creations to an open forum… much like a Github for embroidery!

Designer: Andrea Mayr-Stalder