Arraiolos Carpets –

Dec 20, 2007 | Leave a Comment


I had the opportunity to meet Peter Pap (of Peter Pap Oriental Rugs) this week and checked out his website this evening. One of his featured carpets is the one shown above, an “Arrayollos Carpet” (more commonly spelled – at least on internet searches – “Arrailos”). The name was unfamiliar to me but it refers to an area of Portugal known historically for its textile and embroidery traditions. This particular needlepoint carpet is dated to the 17th century. The bold pattern and strong blue and yellow palette is very appealing, I think!

Parna –

Dec 18, 2007 | Leave a Comment


Parna is a great online shop filled with vintage English table and kitchen linens, pillow covers, embroidery, and cut yardage. While all pretty humble, the authenticity of the items is really refreshing — just good old fashioned design. Like homemade bread.

Flocked Flannel –

Dec 13, 2007 | Leave a Comment


We’re not having ice storms, snow, or even rain, but by San Francisco standards it’s cold! A nippy 47 degrees. The chill has led me back to a fabric I ooh’d and ahh’d over earlier this year: Nobilis’ “Atout Flanelle”. It’s a super soft wool flannel with a very delicate flocked pattern. It would be beautiful on a headboard or chairs or even as drapery. Very sophisticated-lodge/cabin in feel. And while I’m unsure about flocking in general (and there seems to be a lot of it these days) it’s very subtle here.

Textiles in Painting –

Dec 11, 2007 | Leave a Comment


I’m always drawn to representations of fabric in paintings and especially so in traditional Indian miniatures. I found this image after doing a few searches on the Rubin Art Museum — a fairly new museum in NYC which I haven’t had a chance to go yet. While their stated focus is on the art of the Himalayas it looks like they cast a wider net in their temporary exhibitions and publishing. In any case, I love the way both the men’s clothing and the carpet they stand on is shown here. It may be simplistic / naive by some Western art history standards but it’s completely expressive in my book. And speaking of books, I’m adding this one to my wish list! Here’s a link to a review the New York Times did about the exhibition at the time; it provides a good primer to the Sikh religion.

Laura Foster Nicholson –

Dec 6, 2007 | 2 Comments


With Christmas three weeks away I’ve been looking around for gift ideas on-line and visiting museum gift shops, etc. The Cooper-Hewitt Museum store is selling these ribbons by Laura Foster Nicholson — a name that quickly led me to a whole trove of wonderful ribbons and some great ribbon-related gift ideas (although, for me at least, too late to incorporate into any gifting plans for this year). In any case, Laura’s website and blog is great and has given me a renewed itch for beautiful ribbons, a sewing machine and some free time! Her suzani-inspired ribbons are especially drool-inducing. In San Francisco we’re lucky to have The Ribbonerie — a great ribbon store, although I don’t know if they sell Laura’s designs.

Update, 1/03/09: check out these additional links to Nicholson:

Vanderhurd Studio –

Dec 4, 2007 | 4 Comments


I’ve been poking around the web looking at dhurrie carpets this evening — more about that in my next post probably. But for now, this chevron stripe one by Vandehurd Studio is my favorite. The fresh sherbet colors just beg for bare feet and summer.

Elisa Markes-Young

Nov 30, 2007 | Leave a Comment


Above is a detail image of a piece by Elisa Markes-Young titled “The Strange Quiet of Things Misplaced”. In its entirety the work definitely does evoke the sense that memory is part of a mental landscape not entirely inhabited — or inhabitable. Click here for Young’s own description and to see the overall shot. It’s made of silk, wool, cotton and linen thread on Belgian linen and is approximately 43″ square.

Kim Parker –

Nov 29, 2007 | Leave a Comment

I’ve been feasting on the “pattern love” section of the Dear Ada blog this evening and am really happy to be introduced to so many new (to me at least -) textile designers and companies. One I especially love: Kim Parker textiles. Here are two pillows from her line. Top is “Frida’s Garden” and below that is “Irving Place”. The designs are hand embroidered and 100% wool.

Cintamani –

Nov 28, 2007 | 1 Comment

Cintamani is an ancient – yet modern-looking – pattern that you still see popping up in contemporary fabrics and carpets. As described on the Met Museum website it’s of Buddhist origin and is composed of three balls (pearls) and wavy lines (waves or tiger stripes) and has become a symbol of good fortune. The entry for cintamani (also spelled chintamani) in Wikipedia attributes the symbol to Buddhist and Hindu origins, and relays more of the legend behind the design. Above, a contemporary carpet made by CB Parsua and a fragment of velvet dating to the 16th century held by the Met Museum.

Jack Lenor Larsen –

Nov 27, 2007 | 1 Comment

I came upon a good (if short) article about Jack Lenor Larsen (of Larsen Fabrics) today on the New York Magazine website. I’m familiar with the Larsen brand but fabrics are always more meaningful when there’s a personal story behind them — and his is quite epic! I also really like the images (above) that are included with the article: the textile hanging behind Mr. Larsen is beautiful, but not described (is it some kind of bark cloth?). And his apartment looks like an oasis of calm. Below is one of his batiks, “Water Lilies” from 1964.