From fringing the Buckingham Palace balcony to macramé belts and bracelets for Vivienne Westwood, Jessica Light’s trims and tassels have adorned the worlds of interiors and fashion. London’s last passementerie weaver, Jessica has become known for bold, contemporary, design-led passementerie, with highly considered colour palates that utilise unusual materials like horsehair and play with scale and form, bringing an 'anarchic sensibility' to this endangered heritage craft. She is also known for ombre and dip-bleached tassels and tiebacks and all Jessica’s products are hand-woven and hand-made to order in her East London workshop using techniques dating back to the 15th century. She also incorporates traditional knotting, braiding and macramé skills into her work.
Jessica offers a bespoke design and colour-matching service, and her extensive client list includes Firmdale Hotels, Burberry, David Collins, Liberty, Barlow and Barlow, Waldo Works, Giles Deacon, and the Queen. In 2012 Jessica launched her first diffusion range selling from her online shop and retail outlets such as John Lewis and has collaborated with Curiosa on fringed and beaded lights and Bluebellgrey on tassels and tiebacks. Her passementerie can also be seen in the recent film ‘Death On The Nile, on tablecloths, in Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh and on the curtain at the Aldwych Theatre.
Jessica learnt the art of passementerie whilst working for Wendy Cushing over twenty-five years ago. Here she wove 'the specials', one off orders for interior designers including John Stefanidis, Kelly Hoppen and Designer's Guild. She also worked on restoration projects such as Frogmore House, Hampton Court, and the Sultan of Brunei’s throne room, weaving historical trims. After leaving Wendy Cushing in 01, Jessica freelanced for Turners, and played a part in weaving trims for the restoration of Ham House, London.
In conjunction with her work in interiors Jessica Light became an expert beader, and jewellery designer and maker. She worked for Erickson Beamon designing the in-house jewellery collections and catwalk pieces for Rifat Ozbek. Jessica honed her skills with Mr Pearl, the corsetier, on haute couture gowns for Christian Lacroix, Thierry Mugler, and John Galliano, and made the crystal stars on Kylie Minogue's corset for her 'Showgirl' tour. It was during this period that Jessica developed a high level of beaded construction methods to produce complex three- dimensional garments and objects. Jessica Light's collaboration with Mr Pearl continued to 08; the last piece being a Jewell encrusted corset for Swarovski Runway Rocks shown in Mumbai in April 08 and then in London May 08. She has also freelanced for jewellery designer Scott Wilson on catwalk pieces for Julian McDonald and Antonio Berardi.
In 2008 Jessica launched Jessica Light Trims and Tassels with a view to bringing a new contemporary aesthetic to the trimmings market pushing the concept of ‘passementerie as features not afterthoughts”.
Jessica has exhibited regularly at major design shows such as Tent London 2009,2010, 2011 and 2012, Decorex 2015, London Design Fair 2016 and BDNY, New York , 2019, as well as participating in Burberry’s Maker’s House Sept 2016 and doing tassel making and weaving demonstrations at the brand’s Regent Street store and for New Balance’s Excellent Maker campaign during the London 2012 Olympics . She has also exhibited independently at London Design Festival in 2012’s Gone To Earth with Precious McBane and a solo show, All Change, at Old Street underground station in 2014. Her weaving has recently been featured in the first Artist Support Pledge exhibition, ‘A Generous Space’, at the Hastings Contemporary.
Jessica teaches workshops and lectures at institutions such as The British Museum and Winchester Art School. and has been one of the writers of the new T-Level Craft and Design content which will be rolled out through the national curriculum over the next couple of years. Jessica also works as a trend forecasting consultant for Mix/Colourhive, Dulux Colour Futures, and Campaign for Wool. She has an extensive press portfolio and has been featured in World Of Interiors, House and Garden, Elle Decoration, Homes And Gardens, Living ETC, Ft How To Spend It, The Saturday Telegraph, The Evening Standard, The Wall Street Journal, House Beautiful, Mollie Makes and Homes And Antiques. Jessica has been interviewed on The Robert Elms Show on Radio London and about her response to Brexit on Channel Four News. She judges the textile art category for the Koestler Trust art prize and the weave section for Texprint in 2017, as well as metoring for The Crafts Council's Hothouse scheme.