Thursday, September 30, 2010

And Now From Abroad...

One of our new and one of the loveliest F.Schumacher carpets. A washed ikat perfect for today's quieter lifestyles.
The American carpet company, Langhorne, introduces this vibrant Flame Stitch pattern, Scott Chevron in collaboration with Alex Papachristidis.
Here, we have the real deal. An ancient ikat. I love the vibrant hues!

Unless one lives under Rock City (the Southern phenom- the 1950's destination extraordinaire),  it's impossible not to notice the recent influence on design here in the West from Central Asia, the Middle East, China and India. From out of these culturally rich countries we've received the deep soulful color of Indigo, the all over Flame Stitch pattern of ikat, and I love the history of traders traveling The Silk Road swapping rugs and other textiles at the end of their journeys.

The bold patterns and colors from the Italian design house, Missoni, have always reminded me of the intense hues achieved from the natural dyes that saturate this 19th century ikat (pictured above) preserved in the Smithsonian.We love our Missoni Carpets like this cool stripe a mix of wide and narrow.

We have received beautiful Schumacher samples recently that definitely take a suggestion from these iconic pattern styles and softened with colors created for our market.

John Robshaw has a lovely description of indigo and the technique of block printing on his web site:
"It's so simple and natural. You touch a woodblock to wet clay and then to the fabric. After the clay dries, you dip the cloth into the indigo vat and the clay stays on. One dip gives the fabric a sky-blue color, two dips and it deepens to cobalt, three dips and its a saturated midnight blue. Then the fabric is laid out to dry in the sun and later the clay is washed off. The dyer says the indigo vats are like a mistress because they need constant attention. I was completely fascinated by the dyeing and printing processes, as well as how the finished product is used. Textiles become intimate companions in daily life, whether as a pillow, bedcover or sarong."
I love to fill my work and living environments with color and pattern. It's a mental adventure to far away lands exotic and foreign... a tribute to those who have traveled the road of life before myself and were inspired to create from the natural world around them. Bon voyage!