When I opened Morrissey Fabric I had no idea that many of my customers would use my vintage globally sourced textiles to make pillows. Eighteen months later I've come to understand that pillow makers are a major part of my customer base. African Indigo, mud cloth, Chinese batik, these are just a few of the vintage textiles made popular as the bohemian style trend in home decor continues. Consumers on the look out to purchase one of a kind pieces made by individuals rather than large corporations have supported these pillow makers and their small business endeavors. In turn, these creative entrepreneurs have turned to Morrissey Fabric as a reliable source for clean and unique vintage global textiles.
photo: Morrissey Fabric
Since many pillow makers tend to sew square pillows there is always demand for lumbar pillows made from vintage global textiles. The jumbo lumbar in the photo above was made from a vintage Hmong batik fabric. I made this pillow cover as a sample to inspire creative repurposing of a vintage indigo. This particular vintage fabric was in tough shape, but the colorful hand stitched embroidery motivated me to save this vintage indigo textile and give it new life as a pillow.
The vintage indigo batik fabric used for the pillow above was originally a pleated skirt. The folds on the batik fabric left some thin areas and some torn spots so patches were in order. Since the vintage batik design disguised the repairs I didn't accent them with contrast stitching.
When vintage African Indigo has unsightly stains that won't come out after 48 hours in a soap and water solution, I like to add a decorative patch. Some light stains aren't a bother, but there are others, like tar, marking pen, or paint, that I prefer to disguise. That was the case with the vintage African indigo I used to make the jumbo lumbar pillow in the photo above. I gave the patch a red cotton hand stitching to highlight the mending. Since I'm making these pillows to enjoy my time sewing, it was nice not to stress about the extra time taken.
Photo: Morrissey Fabric
If you are familiar with my Morrissey Fabric Instagram feed or Facebook page, you know I love color. I recently had a request for a pillow made from a vintage silk Chinese wedding blanket, so more lumbar pillows were up next. The colorful hot pink vintage textile was so vibrant I decided to piece it back to a neutral cotton upholstery fabric. Sometimes this extra step will soften the pop of color so that it can be more easily coordinated back to less saturated colors in an interior space. As soon as these two fabrics were combined it had a tropical island vibe. This gives the pillow cover a more understandable design making it easier to visualize the pillow placed atop summer bedding or a neutral color sofa.
Photo: Morrissey Fabric
The vintage Kuba cloth pillow seen above was custom made for a client in New York City. It was important to the client to maintain the intention of the original cloth rather than cut a decorative front and stitch it to a linen back. I was happy to oblige the client. We agreed that I would use the vintage Kuba cloth textile for the front and back of the pillow cover, and that I would not remove the decorative trim that was hand stitched along each side. The end result had a bit of a ripple along the side seams, but it honored the original artisan's design beautifully and the client was thrilled.
All the pillows I create for Morrissey Fabric are sold on Chairish.com so that I'm not competing with my Esty pillow makers. You can go there for inspiration or to purchase a one-of-a-kind vintage fabric pillow. Of course you are always welcome to visit my Etsy shop to purchase from a large selection of vintage global textiles to create your own designer pillows.