Fabric Resources {not trade only}

June 5, 2008

I pulled together a little something for fabric lovers over at Real Simple yesterday that I forgot to mention. It’s not an article as much as a total link fest connecting you to some of the fabric stores that I’ve talked about in the past on decor8. You can look at Fabric Resources {not trade only} to view all of the links, it’s a mini catalog just for you!

Fabric Resources {not trade only}
I am so excited to see all of the handmade fabrics that are now available through small design studios, it’s something I had hoped to see for many years now. As more studios pop up to create fresh, new designs I can’t help but feel excited about what’s next. I know I talked about this over a year ago, but I’m dying for someone to launch a fabric line that blends traditional West African inspired patterns with bright, modern hues or soft sorbets combined with lots of crisp white. I really love West African wax print fabrics, but find that most of the colors are fairly deep or a bit bright and do not always work in my home. Maybe I’m just not that bold. I hope it’s okay to say this, I don’t want to sound like the traditional colorways aren’t good enough or whatever because they are. I’m just not someone who uses a lot of emerald green, navy, purple, and red. I was in this African shop last year in Hannover and found so many amazing patterns for under $20 per yard but the colors would not work in my apartment, lots of brown combined with bright yellow and purple. But I loved the patterns (view tons of West African prints here over on Flickr)!

Fabric Resources {not trade only}
I know the above photo is a Shabby Chic room and that you most likely have that “huh?” look on your face right about now. Like, how in the world can Holly tie in Shabby Chic into this conversation? Watch me guys. So when I thought of a room I’d love to see these prints in, I remembered this SC photo. I imagine those wax prints only in softer shades of blue, green, pink, and yellow. I then picture them used sparingly in a living room like the one above as pillows, a throw, or a giant patchwork pouf on the floor. Only my pouf would be round and I’d hand stitch a few tiny beads throughout but not that many. And don’t worry, I won’t pull out my bedazzler on you (please click here and watch Tana in case you have no clue what a bedazzler is). So there you have it. Shabby Chic meets West Africa and has a baby, resulting in my wacky vision.

Does anyone know of such lines already out there that I’ve somehow missed? West African patterns in softer hues?

(image from african fabric linked above and shabby chic.)


  • Reply Brandie June 5, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks so much for mentioning the West African prints! As a reader here in Africa, it’s so rare to read anything in design magazines/blogs that go beyond South Africa or the Maghreb!

    For those of you interested in West African prints, VLISCO has been in the business for a while now and has BEAUTIFUL fabrics and just came out with a new line.


  • Reply ericka June 5, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    I love this post Holly! Another favorite Textile Designer of mine is Malene B. She too fuses African design with modern design and colors as well. Her website is: http://www.maleneb.com. You can also catch a glimpse of her colorful home and textiles on JuBella under interviews.

  • Reply Anonymous June 6, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you Holly for pulling all these together and sharing with us!

  • Reply Jocelyn June 12, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    thanks for the info on the beautiful fabrics. and, would you happen to know where that sofa/chaise combo is from?

  • Reply Anonymous July 11, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Take a look at these textiles as well…


    The batiks and tye dyes are done in very small quantities in small backyard studios. The wax prints are ALL MADE IN GHANA. This is important because there are so many prints being done on inferior grade fabric in China and then smuggled into West Africa. These fabrics not only are poor quality but rob the local textile industry of much need jobs and revenues.
    I really hope that everyone takes the time to look into where their materials are being produced and the ultimate effect that they may have on the global economy.

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