From “Dirge Without Music” –

Nov 30, 2008 | Leave a Comment

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,

They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled

Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.

More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

This blog is closed until the New Year.

Anthropologie –

Nov 19, 2008 | Leave a Comment

A little bit of textile-related enticement from the November 2008 Anthropologie catalog. (I always fall for the spare interiors / exuberantly patterned fabric combo.) Click here to for a link to the bedding.

Banners of Persuasion –

Nov 16, 2008 | Leave a Comment

The New York Times’ Style magazine for Design & Living, Winter 2008 came out last Sunday and they have a little blurb on a new exhibition called “Demons, Yarns and Tales” showing in London from November 10th – 22nd. It’s been organized by a group called Banners of Persuasion (created by founders of The Rug Company). Read their about us page for a full description of the exhibition’s aims — and explore the rest of the site to see the other textiles created for the show. The work above was created by Peter Blake.

Maija Louekari –

Nov 11, 2008 | 3 Comments


Between all the election excitement and a four day trip to Seattle I’ve gone longer than I’d like between posts — but now I’m back home and hopefully getting back in the fibercopia groove too. A school friend just alerted me to new Marimekko designs for this year and this one – called Pakkanen and designed by Maija Louekari – caught my eye immediately. It comes in two scales but it’s the larger one that seems most interesting. It has a huge repeat – 175 cms – the full width of the fabric. (This is according to the Marimekko website, though at the NYC Marimekko concept store website where it’s sold it says the repeat is bigger than the width of the fabric, which doesn’t make sense. Must be a typo.) I’ve been looking out for some cool fabric for a table cloth for awhile now and I think this is it.

Christopher Robin Andrews –

Oct 28, 2008 | 1 Comment

Christopher Robin Andrews is an architect who has taken on a monumental, non-architectural task: the revival of high quality, true to the original, classical carpets (“classical” in the 15th – 17th century sense), those that were among the earliest imported into Europe and immortalized in paintings like Hans Holbein’s painting “The Ambassadors” (1533, detail above). I know just enough about carpet history to know very few of these originals – or even fragments of them – have survived. Andrew’s company Classical Carpets is dedicated to reviving these designs with new carpets produced on village looms.

A few questions:

Can the reintroduction of these carpets to the small villages that are producing them take hold in a culturally significant way? Assuming much of the meaning behind these motifs died when they stopped being handed down from one generation of weavers to the next, can new meaning be created today? Or does their reproduction just become a rarefied form of paint-by-number?

And, will there be a big enough market for them? I know there can be a bias against “reproduction” carpets in the design industry — antiques are okay, and contemporary carpets are okay, but new carpets that mimic old designs can have a harder time.

Regardless, it’s all very fascinating to think about. I don’t know of any other company doing this so if it does take hold (in any of a number of ways) Andrews will be singular in his success. In the meantime, the art historical, anthropological and economic angles are plenty.

11/3/08 ADDENDUM: For more on this topic please check out Christopher Andrew’s extensive reply to this post, found in the comment section!

Picard Ledoux –

Oct 23, 2008 | 1 Comment

One of the fantastical spreads in the latest issue of The World of Interiors magazine includes a snippet of a Picard Ledoux textile. Ledoux is a new discovery for me and a new name for my growing list of textile designers. There’s not a lot about him online — actually all I have is that he was a French artist working in the 1940’s and 1950’s (at least) and also did some interior design work. And clearly he was a textile designer too. What I’ve seen of his work this evening is a trippy amalgamation of Art Deco and some strand of surrealism (?). The tapestry above is for sale from French antique dealer Thomas Brillet.

Jennifer Marsh –

Oct 21, 2008 | 1 Comment

Artist Jennifer Marsh founded the International Fiber Collaborative in 2007 with the hope of bringing more attention to our collective dependence on oil. With the submission of hundreds of individual panels from around the world she was able to cover this entire gas station (located in central New York) with fabric squares expressing a visual/written statement about oil. The installation was completed earlier this year, though I can only imagine its long since been taken down.

Just the image of it is fantastic, but also the symbolism — the abandoned gas station becomes the frame upon which our collective desire to abandon gas is hung. Rather than being a dreary or self righteous statement, however, the installation’s color and humor gives the station new purpose as a place for the community to come together – rather than just passing through.

Romo Fabrics –

Oct 16, 2008 | 2 Comments

The British fabric company Romo has some great fabrics – easy to use and quite affordable (for upholstery weight). They have great solids as well as some lovely prints.

Marla Mallett –

Oct 9, 2008 | 1 Comment

I mentioned the website Marla Mallett back in March but it’s a site worth revisiting – so many beautiful textiles! The one above is a baby blanket from Guangxi China, 25″ x 26″. If I had an extra $385 to spend I’d frame it as a piece of art. Ah, a wall full of textiles, large and small — that’s the kind of art collection I’d love to develop some day (not that a few paintings mixed in would hurt).

French Garden House –

Oct 7, 2008 | Leave a Comment

French Garden House is a great source for French linens, including heavy grain sacks. I’ll try to scan the magazine photo that inspired my evening’s search for this type of thing soon — it should be around here somewhere. An old posting on the British website Parna also relates.