Textiles

Inspired by Block Print

Monday, April 21st, 2014

I’ve been crushing on the look of block print textiles in the home for awhile, I love the repetition found in these global patterns, and as summertime approaches breezy colorful cotton fabrics are welcome! I tried my own block print inspired stamped tea towels two years ago and it continues to be one this blog’s most popular DIYs to date (I used large rubber stamps instead of blocks but the method was similar.)

Block printing dates back thousands of years to China, India, and Japan. Patterns can be simple or ornate, the technique involves the application of ink to paper or fabric via hand carved block print stamps made of wood, rubber, or linoleum. This article shares the detailed process of creating authentic block print fabric.

indian wood block prints

block printing process

india pied-a-terre / oh so beautiful paper

Browsing through catalogs, you’ll find several major brands that are offering their versions of the look too, from bedding to table linens. 

indigo block print viva terra

block print runner

blockprint tablecloth wisteria

viva terra indigo bedding / pottery barn runner / wisteria tablecloth

John Robshaw’s brand of textiles feature predominantly block printed fabrics inspired from his travels through India but these beautiful prints are sold at a higher price point.

john robshaw duvet

john robshaw bedding

 

Saffron Marigold offers authentic block print textiles that are beautiful and affordable.

saffron marigold block print

 

If you want to try your hand at DIY block printing, you can invest in a block print carving kit, or search around online for many of the premade block print stamps from Etsy vendors. Grab an inexpensive cotton window panel, some fabric medium, and craft paint to create a fabric version, or apply stamps with craft paint to cardstock for unique stationery.

indian block print stamps

 tree / circle medallion / branch / paisley / pie floral / flower

 

I’ve been so smitten with the repetition in these motifs I came up with a block print inspired pattern of my own for the summer collection, it will be available soon in my Spoonflower shop in the three softer colorways and the seven brighter versions below.

kate riley designs summer print

This print is really lovely as a tablecloth, napkins, or window treatment, I can’t wait to share the other patterns with you next month – I’m working hard to finish them all before May!  

Are you a fan of textiles with block print motifs?

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Textile Spotlight: Kilim

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Today I’m continuing the Textile Series, and this month the spotlight is on one that dates back many centuries: the kilim patterns found in floor coverings and home accessories. Kilims differ from pile rugs because they are produced through a flatweaving technique that combines various colored wefts and warp wool threads and leaves no pile.

Kilim has a fascinating history, its origins dating back to 3000 BC, many scholars believe even earlier; like tapestries, woven kilims are one of the oldest textiles in history. Kilims are referred to as “slit woven” textiles, a technique of weaving that produces sharp geometric designs and symbols. They are produced by interweaving visible weft with invisible warp strands and are most often made of wool, though cotton and hemp threads are sometimes used.

Different kilims possess cultural meanings that change by region, and the colors and designs also change depending on where they originate. Some kilims are used as prayer rugs, others for decorative purposes. The popularity of kilim is growing in the West as we look to more exotic ways to decorate our homes with textiles from across the globe.

layered kilim glitter guide

amber lewis – the glitter guide

Kilims are most often used as rugs, but also like a fabric to upholster ottomans or benches, or as a decorative pillow cover. While you can still find many suppliers of vintage rugs and pillow covers, retailers are also producing their own versions as the appeal of kilim grows.   

vintage kilim rugs at pottery barn

 

SONY DSC

 kilim rug ottoman

pottery barn / the brick house / rikki snyder via houzz

       

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Textile Spotlight: Paisley

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

I spent yesterday working on a paisley inspired fabric pattern which got me thinking it’s time to put another textile in the spotlight, so this month’s pattern is Paisley. Recognized for its teardrop or tadpole shape, the paisley shape originated from a stylized plant formation of a drooping flower that was woven into expensive jewel tone shawls in 17th and 18th centuries, known as ‘paisley shawls’.

The motif originated in India but the pattern was given its English name from the town of Paisley in Scotland where it was produced in large quantities in the late 18th century. To this day major brands like Liberty of London continue to carry versions of paisley prints for fashion and home goods.

paisley wallpaper

the mint list

In traditional motifs, you’ll find elaborate paisley prints in woven textiles for home and silks for fashion in earthier colors from deep brown and blues to reds and oranges.

miles redd library paisley fabrics

paisley curtains martin lawrence bullard

miles redd / martyn lawrence bullard

Surface and textile designers are changing the look of paisley with modern interpretations, many of them combining large scale prints with bold palettes.

House Beautiful

bright colored paisley wallpaper

mona ross berman / jac interiors

 

Enlarging the white space between the droplet pattern and styling it in a half brick repeat is yet another way textile designers are keeping the pattern fresh in this century.

hosue and home paisley duvet

paisley lamps amber interiors

house and home / amber interiors

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