There are those of us in the design world who can't get enough pillows. We are self-proclaimed pillow addicts. With so many choices for pillow cover fabrics, it's no wonder anyone who loves textiles would also enjoy a well made global textile pillow. The purpose of my post today is to give you some inspiration for patching together remnant textiles as well as encourage you to try to make one on your own.
In the photo above, I combined a vintage Guatemalan corte cloth with a vintage African indigo mud cloth. I wanted to make two large 24 inch x 24 inch pillows but I didn't have enough of the Guatemalan corte cloth to cover the front and back sides. The African indigo mud cloth was the perfect shade of blue to match the Guatemalan ikat so a match was made. The result are pillows that can be used on either side.
When cutting fabric for the pink and white mud cloth pillow above, I hadn't noticed there was a discolored area on the white mud cloth. I believe it may have come from the steam in my iron. However it got there, I didn't want to toss a perfectly good pillow aside. I had some extra pink mud cloth scraps, so I created a small patch to cover the spot. Not only did the pink mud cloth print patch solve the problem, I prefer the extra design detail it added to the mud cloth pillow.
The pair of African Baule Cloth pillows seen above were cut from a damaged textile that couldn't be used for much else. There was just enough cloth to get two pillow fronts that have a terrific coastal home vibe. Nautical and mud cloth are not always synonymous, but in this case they certainly are.
African Kuba cloth textiles can be found in many different sizes. Some Kuba cloth comes in very long pieces measuring over fifteen feet or more. The African Kuba cloth pillow above was made form a small piece of Kuba cloth I had in my showroom. Clients weren't wanting to use a 24" square piece of kuba cloth on it's own, but when made into a pillow, it becomes a nice home accessory. Plus, this particular piece of Kuba cloth is very sturdy and will hold up to indoor and outdoor use.
Chinese Hill Tribe wedding quilts have become a popular global textile for home accessories. Chinese minority textiles are often found with fading and damages that you can easily work around. I was able to cut the two 22-inch x 22-inch pillows from a well-worn but beautiful vintage hill tribe wedding blanket. The colors lend themselves to a black and white interior or a taupe and gray space. The cloth was hand made and is a Zhaung hill tribe textile. I have these pillows listed on Chairish because the more rare wedding blanket cloth is a higher-priced item.
Hill tribe fabrics from Asia are often very narrow due to the limited size of the back strap looms the indigenous people use. Above is a pillow I made from a rustic hand crafted Asian hill tribe hemp material. The shibori pattern stripes were made by hand. There are similar patterns, but each is unique due to the hand made nature of the vintage fabric. The width on this particular gray shibori cloth was wider than most measuring 22 inches. This made it easy to create a nice size pillow.
The batik pattern pillow above was made from a very narrow vintage batik fabric from Thailand. I fell in love with the black and turquoise pattern, but the cloth measured a mere 12 inches wide. I didn't want to make a tiny pillow, so instead I combined the vintage batik hill tribe cloth back to a textural cotton upholstery fabric. The two textiles compliment one and other and have a coastal or tropical feel.
I can't say I have a favorite textile for making pillows. However, for the 2017 season, by far the most popular pillows have been those made from vintage African indigo mud cloth fabrics. Each pillow is unique because each textile is hand made and has a different history. The vintage indigo fabrics I use are thoroughly cleaned and mended so the resulting pillows have a certain sparkle about them. I am always pleased to use a piece of African indigo that seemed impossible to save. Small pieces of African indigo mud cloth can be used as patches on damaged indigo, or some may be just large enough to provide a full size pillow front. One thing is for certain, you can make beautiful and unique pillows from small pieces, even scraps, of vintage global textiles.
vintage or new, Latin American textiles are often filled with vibrant color and bold designs. The Otomi embroidered pillow above is from Hidalgo, Mexico, and the bright trim on the black and white African mud cloth pillow is from Guatemala.
Otomi women from Tenango de Noria sew colorful embroidery on cotton or linen cloths. Animals like birds and deer as well as flowers are hand embroidered in multiple or single color patterns. The lively patterns decorate textiles meant for use as table cloths, pillow cases, quilts and clothing. These beautiful Mexican textiles have been reproduced by fine couture companies such as Hermes, and copied as prints by large home decor corporations like Pottery Barn.
So what is henequen? Found in the Yukatan, henequen is a natural thread spun from agave fibers. If you think all Latin American textiles are brightly colored, as you can see, the a neutral palette is attainable as well. Artisan Mily Cauich Canul crafts an original cushion for Taller Maya's "Milagros" collection featuring four decorative buttons carved from bull horn. Canul works on the pedal loom with henequen threads spun from agave fibers. Black diagonal stitches create a harmonious contrast with henequen's natural hue and is on the mark for any interior space with a black, white, or natural color story.
Latin American textiles of the vintage variety are a pleasure to layer within an interior space. I have found there are some style-makers particularly adept at layering their colorful textiles, rugs, and pillows. Bari J. is a blogger who is well known for her vibrant mixes as you can see from the interior space above. Guatemalan huipils (tops) and corte cloth (skirts) were used to make the embroidered pillow and throw selection on the vintage day bed.
The stack of frazada textiles in the photo above are each one of a kind and made from soft cotton or wool yarns. Because they are heavier in weight, they make great blankets and throws. These lofty textiles come from Peru and can be seen made into purses, pillows, or used just as they are. The company, Pink Frazada, based in the UK, specializes in home and wearable accessories made from Peruvian frazadas.
Guatemalan textiles are sturdy and well crafted fabrics. You will find new pieces or vintage Guatemalan textiles will suit just about any diy or designer project. The Global Trunk, based in Los Angeles, uses Guatemalan huipiles and corte cloth to make a nice range of home goods. The dog bed cover above is made by one of their artisan coops in Guatemala. The indigo blue plaid with the rainbow colored ronda detail will keep a pampered pooch sitting pretty.
A wide range of Latin American textiles can be found in my Etsy shop or on this website store. If you don't see what you need, please contact me via my contact page or by email.
I'm relatively new to the beautiful and colorful Guatemalan world of textiles. I've seen Guatemalan ikat fabrics incorporated into purses and shoes, but I never really considered how the textiles looked as a whole. When I first came across large pieces of vintage Guatemalan fabrics, I stopped dead in my tracks to admire their artisanal beauty. Above is a vintage Guatemalan corte cloth woven on a backstrap loom. The deep indigo blue combined with the crisp white yarn-dyed stripes has a more polished look that some of the Guatemalan ikat textiles. The addition of the colorful embroidered ronda detail makes this Guatemalan textile right at home in a bohemian or coastal setting. I've seen these corte cloth fabrics (corte means skirt) used as beach towels and picnic blankets because they are woven from strong cotton fibers and they are easily washed.
While Guatemalan textiles are easy to style on their own, they also make great home accessories. The pair of pillows seen here has a subtle sophistication about them. Even though they are cotton indigo and have colorful embroidery, they maintain an understated casual elegance. Vintage Guatemalan fabrics are a good way to go to achieve this style.
The textile seen here is an artisanal-made cloth intended for use as a table cloth, or perhaps to be made into a jacket or tote bags. The colors are a bit more contemporary than the vintage Guatemalan textiles, but the fabric is still woven with care and artistry. I like to carry these in my shop when I find them because they are durable and distinctive.
The pillow seen here is made from a Guatemalan corte cloth that has a repeating ikat stripe pattern. Corte cloth such as the vintage piece used for the pillow above can be found in my Morrissey Fabric on line shops. Vintage Guatemalan corte fabrics come in a range of colors although often indigo blue is the most common hue. Of course the multicolor ronda detail makes a nice decorative focal point for the center of the pillow.
The stylish cord covers above are crafted in Guatemala by artisans who work with vintage corte cloth and leathers. The skill involved is clearly illustrated by these small accessories. The vintage ikat corte cloth coordinates back to any color leather because indigo blue looks good with just about anything.
Stay tuned for my next post about Guatemalan vintage textiles. I'll be showcasing several limited edition pillows and floor cushions made exclusively for Morrisseyfabric.com
Asian textiles have been trending for several seasons due to the hand crafted artisanal nature of the fabrics. The vintage shibori textiles typically come to the USA as indigo blue and white. But as consumers are searching for gray textiles to coordinate with their interior color schemes, the one-of-a-kind vintage shibori pieces are being specially treated to change the indigo blue to various shades of gray. Above are two such vintage Asian hill tribe textiles.
Chinoiserie batik textiles like that seen here are usually available in indigo blue. This unique version was treated to become a stunning shade of charcoal gray Chinese batik. Because the Chinese batik textile is now gray, it has a completely new look while remaining a classic Chinoiserie pattern.
Vintage Asian textiles have a global appeal because of their unique graphic patterns. These active patterns are appealing in their original indigo blue as well as in gray. The hemp fabric above is also from an Asian hill tribe and was created completely by hand. The uneven patterns give this gray hill tribe textile it's unique character.
The yarn-dyed hemp stripe seen here has been one of my most popular textiles in the Morrissey Fabric shop. The vintage hemp textile comes in narrow twelve-inch widths but can be sewn together to create a wider cloth.
When I treat these textiles to change them from indigo blue to gray, they don't always cooperate. Sometimes the hemp textile turns to a shade of gold or brown so there are no guarantees. But one thing is certain, each vintage hill tribe textile is unique.
So what if you prefer a bit of color with your gray-hued interior? You can find hand made Asian batik textiles with shots of color sewn to the surface. These hill tribe hemp fabrics are originally woven to become skirts for the indigenous people. The hill tribe people tend to like more color in their garments. The piece of batik cloth shown above has white and hot pink cording sewn to the surface for an extra decorative touch.
You will find a selection of vintage and new Asian hill tribe batiks in the MorrisseyFabric.com shop as well as in my Etsy shop.
African mud cloth now comes in an assortment of colors not previously available. For example the pink mud cloth above is a new rendition for mud cloth. There is only one African source for this particular color of pink. I am fortunate enough to know the owners of this wonderful small business in Mali, Africa so I had early access to their fun assortment of prints for these pink mud cloth textiles.
Black and white mud cloth along with shades of soft black to gray work beautifully back to all of the farmhouse-style home trends with a black and white interior color pallet. These dark color mud cloth fabrics also suit a contemporary environment and can be seen in coffee shops and restaurants as well. Some of the hand printed mud cloth comes with basic geometric patterns such as triangles and lines. If you prefer to keep the design motif from looking too ethnic, this is a good way to go.
Black and white mud cloth prints are classic as-is. However, you can add a nice twist by combining a traditional hand printed African mud cloth with a colorful accent trim. Above, I used a piece of Guatemalan hand made strapping to add a rainbow pop of color to the mud cloth pillow. The additional color combined with the bold black and white mud cloth print makes for a colorful summertime update.
Is mud cloth for you? If you like texture, one of a kind items, and hand made personality, then absolutely mud cloth is for you. It's 100% cotton too so you can gentle wash the mud cloth or have it dry cleaned if you are concerned about the color lightening a bit in the wash.
If you have any questions about what mud cloth is best for your project, please message me here or email me at email@example.com
Vintage Batik textiles from China are traditionally indigo blue and white. The base cloth is usually woven from hemp and occasionally there is linen in the weave. Natural indigo dyes are applied with a technique also called paste resist. A wax pattern is applied to the white cloth then the wax resists the indigo blue dye when the textile is submerged into the vat. All the areas covered with wax won't absorb the color leaving a beautiful white pattern behind. The large vintage Chinese batik in the photo above has patterns known to be from the Nanjing people.
Vintage fabrics hand crafted of indigo blue and white are always a popular choice for home decor, especially if you are looking for one of a kind items. The two pillows above were made in my studio from vintage Chinese batik and African mud cltoh. I decided to add a bit of hand embroidery to the Chinese batik patch to give it more focus. These one of a kind vintage fabric pillows are available in my Etsy shop or this website store.
Vintage batik and vintage mud cloth were used at the base of the two pillows seen above created by Homegirl Collection. The soft indigo color is a calming compliment to the neutral ivory and white textiles in the room.
The vintage Chinese paste resist textile seen above was one of my favorite textiles in the shop. It recently sold through my Etsy store and I was sad to see it go. But I was pleased that it was moving on to a new home. The design of this particular vintage Chinese batik textile is quite bold. The white pattern really stands out against the deep indigo blue color. The imperfect cloth and the unevenness of the pattern are what make this one of a kind vintage textile charming. It can hang on a wall as art or it would look striking draped over the back of a sofa or foot of a bed.
The pillow pile above is a recent small batch of vintage textile pillows. The pillows on the top are made from vintage Chinese batik that was quite faded but still a beautiful shade of indigo blue. As you can see the indigo of ;the Chinese batik compliments the indigo in the vintage African mud cloth pillows. Mixing and matching these indigo textiles are what will provide your home with character and uniqueness. Of course if you are a DIY person, I offer the vintage indigo textiles in my Etsy shop and here in the Morrisey Fabric on line store.
Don't see exactly what you are looking for? Be sure to email, message, or call me if you would like to hear about more options that may not be listed on the sites.
Vintage African indigo is hand crafted from 100% unbleached cotton and hand dyed with natural indigo dyes. In Asia, the technique of resist dying where thread is used to bunch the cloth to prevent the dye from penetrating the fabric is called shibori, in Africa it's simply called tie dye. Whatever the name, vintage African indigo is available in a full range of blue hues and it's a wonderful cloth to repurpose into clothing, accessories, pillows, and upholstery. The poncho vests seen above are a stylish way to recycle vintage African indigo mud cloth.
Not all African indigo is created equal. As with any hand made textile, the quality and craftsmanship varies widely. Some vintage African indigo has been woven and dyed by expert artisans practicing their craft for decades. Other vintage indigo is not as beautifully woven or lacks a master's touch in regard to the tie dyed pattern on the cloth. This is why I sort through hundreds of pieces of vintage African indigo to find the textiles my discerning customers expect from the Morrissey Fabric shop. Above, the stylish tote crafted by Kin and Kind and is an example of just how on-trend a repurposed African indigo textile can be.
Pillows made from vintage African indigo are extremely popular in casual home decor settings such as coastal/beach cottage, rustic farmhouse, Americana, Boho, and eclectic style. Each pillow is one of a kind because the vintage African indigo mud cloth is unique to begin with. The pillows will vary in quality based on the African indigo used, the type of filler, and the cloth used on the back side of the indigo pillow. For Morrissey Fabric custom pillows I prefer to use 100% linen backs and I also fuse a woven interlining to the vintage African indigo front to prevent fraying or tearing of the vintage textile.
Another way to repurpose vintage African indigo textiles is to style the fabric into a casual tote bag. The casual bag above was crafted by Mira Blackman in Oakland, California. The vintage African indigo combined back to simple leather handles certainly makes a relaxed style statement.
A bed topped with a quality one of a kind vintage African indigo textile is a show-stopper and nobody does it better than the Beach Lodge. I enjoy following them on Instagram because the Beach Lodge folks are expert at casual chic coastal design. Layering vintage African textiles with vintage rugs and pillows from around the globe gives their rooms a character that only comes with the patina of vintage finds.
Vintage African indigo comes in a variety of weights depending on the original cotton yarn selected by the artisan weaver. Selecting the correct African indigo textile weight for a project is key to accomplishing the look you are after. The easy pullover top by Mira Blackman seen above is made from just the right weight of vintage African indigo for this garment. When styled with a black and silver beaded necklace the African indigo top has that gallery-owner, it-girl look.
Excited about vintage African indigo fabrics? When you are ready to work with these one of a kind African indigo textiles be sure to visit the MorrisseyFabric.com on line store or my Esty shop for a quality selection of these one of a kind pieces. You can message me to let me know what your project is and I will gladly recommend which pieces would be best for your project.