Browsing articles in "Small Industry"

Otomi Color –

Jun 11, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Jacaranda sells a wonderfully graphic and colorful assortment of fabric created by Otomi Indians in Mexico. Matisse must have been channeling a bit of this when he began his paper cut-outs.

Via Katy Elliott.

Sally Campbell –

Jun 4, 2009 | 1 Comment

Designer Sally Campbell has produced her own line of “village made” textiles from India. Lots of colorful items¬†and even a few neutrals. She also has a section of vintage pieces.

Anokhi –

May 19, 2009 | 3 Comments

In the world of design-related blogging there are few things more tantalizing than finding a print article that’s dedicated to an area of interest, richly photographed and capped off with a pertinent website. So when I saw this article in The New York Time’s Summer 2009 travel magazine this weekend about the Jaipur-based company Anokhi I wasted no time in tearing it out. But alas, Anokhi’s website doesn’t give you much to look at — just a long list of shops and stockists. The US supplier does have a site that gets you closer to the product, but no fabric by the yard. Though I shouldn’t complain: they do sell scarves and at such generous sizes and prices one could really do a lot with them.

Rajboori –

May 13, 2009 | Leave a Comment

From Time magazine’s April 2009 review of noteworthy green design: “Richly colored bedding from Rajboori combines jacquard weaves with geometric patterns and uses an exclusively developed silk, derived via a sustainable process that leaves silkworms unharmed.”

Anupama –

May 5, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Anupama works with Indian artisans and craftsman to create a beautiful – and eclectic – line of hand-printed and hand-painted fabrics, table cloths and pillows, including some replete with meditating Buddhas.

Original Good –

Jan 4, 2009 | Leave a Comment

After a month-long pause I’m returning to normal routines, and to fibercopia. There’s always something awkward about the very beginning of a year — in the continuum of time nothing has really changed, and yet there’s the expectation of something new, a hopeful look forward at what is still the blank screen of the 12 months ahead. So rather than just say “Happy New Year”, I’ll make a longer wish instead: may the New Year – from start to finish – be one of individual and collective prosperity, not only financially, but also socially, spiritually, and emotionally.

Above, Original Good’s fair-trade “Pout Free Coin Purse”, made in Vietnam.

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!

Grain Sack Chic –

Sep 16, 2008 | 2 Comments

The 9/7/08 issue of The New York Times (“Sunday Styles” section) had a brief feature on eco-friendly gifting and included pillow covers made from used grain sacks, sold at the Melange Collection. I can’t get too excited about snuggling up to a grain sack pillow, but I enthusiastically endorse the grain sack grocery bags filtering into the marketplace, both at Melange Collection and through Reusable Bags. Since the beginning of the year I’ve steadily weaned myself from “paper or plastic?” at the grocery store and my eco-frendly conscience always feels good when I offer my own bag. Above and to the left is the tote-sized one I purchased in quadruplicate at Reusable Bags (a bit pricey but worth it, and the size almost perfectly duplicates the capacity of a normal paper grocery bag). To the right is one from Melange Collection.

Mekong Blue –

Sep 4, 2008 | Leave a Comment

I’ve been so consumed by the highs and lows of presidential politics recently that the wonderful world of textiles has fallen by the wayside. But now I’m craving some relief!

The NPR show Marketplace aired a story about a silk production company in Cambodia – Mekong Blue – earlier this week. I can’t say I’m in love with the products shown on their website but they look like a great source for custom production and they’re certainly a good addition to any list of textile companies focusing on fair trade, positive rural development, etc.

Twill –

Jul 31, 2008 | 1 Comment

I’ve just learned about Sam Kasten and his new fabric line, Twill. Because the collection is full of a lot of muted color, subtle pattern and texture you really have to get up close to the fabrics to appreciate how sophisticated they are. Also worth noting: Kasten and company use traditional weaving techniques, making all products by hand in Massachusetts.