Mexican hand embroidered Otomi textiles are a colorful way to add charm to a space. My clients have used Otomi place mats as wall art and pillow cover fabric. Otomi pieces like that seen above are often embroidered with mythical animals possessing meanings rooted in the Mexican culture. Otomi embroidery is also known as Tenango.
Mexican Otomi patterns embroidered with floral motifs are the most popular in my shop. I believe this is because floral patterns are easily understandable and fit within many different decorative styles. The two otomi floral patterns seen above are just a sampling of the floral designs available.
Otomi fabrics are most commonly seen in multi-color embroidery designs. But single-color, or monochromatic embroidery is also quite popular. When limiting the hand embroidery to a single color, the animal or floral motifs tend to be more clearly visible. The two Otomi textiles in blue seen here will work in just about any blue and white color story.
Otomi textiles often have bird designs. Usually the birds found in Otomi embroidery patterns are mythical, but every now and then you may recognize a dove or a rooster.
Where there are birds, there are flowers too. I select bird patterns that have a certain charm about them. The multi-color embroidery gives the birds a festive appearance that is exactly what Otomi embroideries are known for.
The Otomi fabrics carried in my shop are all hand-embroidered by artisans in the Hidalgo region of Mexico. The unique, one-of-a-kind nature of these Tenango textiles will add a warm and welcoming appeal to your home.
Black and white color stories have been going strong for quite some time. But sticking to purely black and white can be difficult to do if you happen to love color. Try adding an accessory in a hue that you love to give your space a different feel. In the bedroom above the design is black, white, and blush pink. The black and white African mud cloth pillow combined with a simple pink bolster gives the space an extra punch of style. The delicately framed art balances the room nicely.
I often use the Beach Lodge for examples of interior style because their team has a talent for mixing vintage and new global textiles with ease. Above, the white shiplap room gets a global-style update with simple black and white African fabrics. The pop of red in the African Aso-Oke pillow creates extra visual interest to the bedroom as does the natural green plant. The inviting bedroom would not have the same personality without the addition of the red color to the black and white palette.
Black and white fabric can work on it's own, but adding a touch of color to the space will make a world of difference. Above, Caitley Symons photographed her hand-printed black and white fabric with natural elements to warm the composition. Note how the bright pink water lilies and warm wood bowl enhance the clarity of her beautiful black and white print.
Some may not consider this a black and white color story. But I'm using this bedroom as an example of how black and white work quite well when combined with a third color. The soft sea-glass green is enhanced by the crisp black and white bed linens and the boldly printed pillows anchor the room.
I have added more than one hue to the black and white color story in the bedroom above because it's difficult for me to limit my color palette to only three colors. But that's just me. Consider the space as black, white, and blue. The denim blue in the vintage African indigo pillows and throw add history and warmth to the bedroom. The black and white African Hausa bed cover can stand on it's own, but the denim blue and red-hued wood give the space an extra punch of style.
I'm not one to underestimate the power of a room decorated in black and white. Rustic farmhouse style and vintage industrial style are certainly decor themes well suited to black and white textiles and furnishings. But you don't have to use pure optic white to have the look. You can use unbleached cotton textiles or unbleached wool fabrics which have a warmer ivory shade compared to cool optic whites. The textiles in the photo above are all from Africa where bleaching natural cotton fabrics is not common due to water scarcity. Instead, the African cloth is left in a natural state with cotton seeds and slubs adding to their hand crafted beauty.
The large strip cloth seen above is called an African cotton Hausa. The strips of cloth are wider than a standard mud cloth textile. This one has seven-inch-wide pieces hand-stitched together with waxed thread of pure natural linen. By joining the strips together the cloth can be made into a king-size bed cover if desired. The African Hausa above has classic black stripes combined with a simple geometric "o" pattern. This textile could be used at the foot of a bed, draped over a sofa back, or made into multiple pillows.
A simple black and natural color stripe blanket is a dramatic addition to the bohemian bedroom designed by Carlay Page. The iron bed frame mimics the black stripes and the painted side tables add to the simple yet sophisticated color story.
The all-wool textile seen above is from Peru. The wool is all natural. little to no dyes are needed for the black or the soft ivory color since that is the hue of the fiber when shirred from the animal. The decorative wool piece is intended to hang on a wall so the artisan incorporated a tunnel at the top and the bottom of the Peruvian textile so it could be easily hung on a rod if desired. A graphic wool textile such as this works well as a table runner, wall art, or could be made into purses or pillows.
The globally-sourced artisanal textiles in the photo above originate from several different countries. The common link to all of them is the natural color fiber that is used instead of bleached white yarns. The African mud cloth pillow is made from African mud cloth that is not truly white. The center of the pillow is from a Hausa textile that was also woven from unbleached cotton. The Mexican Otomi has black embroidery stitched on top of natural muslin fabric, and the wool textile from Peru has the same warm ivory shade. All these unique textiles have a beauty that comes with the natural state of the unbleached cotton or wool.
I have many artisanal textiles such as these listed in my on line store and in my Etsy shop. Please visit Morrissey Fabric on line when you are ready to purchase a hand-crafted global textile as a gift or for your own home.
Velvet is making a strong showing in home decor. The luxurious fabric comes in many variations of content and textures. You can find velvet for upholstery woven from silk, rayon, cotton, and/or polyester. While I love the drape of silk and rayon velvets, my personal favorite is 100% cotton velvet, also called velveteen. Cotton velveteen is washable and durable and a bit more casual than the luxury fiber versions.
Mexican Otomi embroidery paired back to cotton velvet is a playful and unique combination. Chair Whimsy used a deep fuchsia velvet for the seating on the vintage chairs with a multi color Mexican Otomi textile for the chair backs. Now that's what I call a perfect match.
Velvet fabric is not just for Victorian tufted couches. A simple vintage Danish sofa reupholstered in gray velvet makes for a very nice update. The velvet upholstery allows the clean lines of the sofa design to shine through.
Velvet can be woven with elaborate patterns and Scalamandre is world-renownd for just such textiles. The pair of Scalamandre velvet pillows above would sit pretty in a Jungalow-style interior. I'm a big fan of Scalamandre but their textiles can get very pricey. The pair of pillows seen above are listed on Chairish.com for $899. USD.
Velvet upholstery fabric comes in solid colors, woven textures and patterns, and in a form called crushed velvet. Durning the mid 1980s one of my favorite garments to wear to my fashion design job in NYC was a royal blue crushed velvet boyfriend jacket. I usually wore it with a pair of black velvet stretch leggings! I thought I was the cat's meow. Crushed velvet has a distinctive "crushed" look about it giving it a vintage appearance. The chair above is upholstered in a crushed velvet that also has a high/low stripe woven into the pattern.
Velvet can be used as part of an upholster piece, but it also works great as a pillow back. Instead of using linen for the back of the Guatemalan corte cloth pillow above, I opted to use navy blue velvet for a more dramatic look. The cotton velveteen added a soft and luxurious look to the pillow cover. I prefer to use cotton velveteen because it has a less formal appearance than a silk or rayon velvet. Plus, it has the added benefit of being machine washable.
For cotton velvet by the yard in a variety of colors, please visit my on line store or my Etsy shop.