For as long as humans have been making textiles (about 36,000 years), they’ve been weaving their personal stories and their culture into them through motif, pattern, material, and colour.
If there’s a tale running through textile trends right now, it’s the embrace of ethically-made rustic fabrics that evoke a feeling of hand-crafting, are rich in texture, and that celebrate global design.
Consumers embrace sustainable, ethically-made textiles
Table runners and pillows from Batiqua tell the design tale of Zimbabwean-born owner Linda Adimora, who is inspired by the contemporary influences of her global travels, and her African heritage. The young, Vancouver-based entrepreneur works with a stable of artisans who create delightful textiles for home décor for the fair-trade, eco-friendly, and ethically-sourced enterprise.
Montreal-based brand combines beauty with sustainability
In 2017, designers and creative directors of the Montreal-based WANT Les Essentiels, Byron and Dexter Peart, launched a new venture to showcase sustainable brands that make a positive social or environmental impact.
Goodee has several fabulous textiles for the home, including lovely wool and wool-silk throws from Spanish brand Teixidors, a non-profit maker that focuses on high-quality materials and manual techniques. Among the line is the Alps throw, made from vegetable-dyed 100 per cent Merino wool, and edged with contrasting stitching.
Bold prints make a big design statement
Architectural Digest called Michelle Nussbaumer “the guru of the grand gesture.” You can see why in the 2020 fabric and trim collection Nussbaumer launched with Clarence House, the trade-only fabric house opened in 1961 by New York interior designer Robin Roberts.
There’s a story behind every piece from Casa Cubista. Reversible, washable, hand-loomed rugs are woven in the North of Portugal in a family-owned mill from thread reclaimed from the fashion industry, while blankets are made of Portuguese wool woven on traditional mechanical looms, and then brushed to make them enticingly soft (available through Saudade).
Look to local artists for unique design
Toronto-based artist Lorraine Tuson has a line of home office and décor accessories fashioned from felt, which is a truly attractive, flexible, and durable material. Tuson is already known for decorative pendants, tableware, and lampshades made from felt. Wool felt fibres, she notes, have a very thin waxy coating that naturally inhibits the growth of mildew, mold, and bacteria, making the fabric as pretty as it is practical.
Textiles are an affordable décor treat
Interesting textiles don’t have to cost a bomb. Ikea is always a good source for inexpensive bedding, tableware, and window treatments. Last year’s October Collection, for example, celebrated seasonal change with sustainable products in a palette of earthy reds and muted greys.
The taste for rustic, textured accessories is reflected in pretty pillows and throws that form part of Indigo’s just-launched Oui home collection. Affordable textiles line will change seasonally; new prints and patterns will arrive in spring 2021.
Feature pic is from Michelle Nussbaumer’s collection.