Stitch by Stitch - Contemporary handmade textiles from India & Nepal

Contemporary handmade textiles from India & Nepal

Decorex International 2016

Stitch by Stitch stand at Decorex 2016

Stitch by Stitch stand at Decorex 2016

What a busy couple of months we've had!  So much so, that I've only just got around to posting a few photos from Decorex International, the interiors trade show which takes place in London every September.  Stitch by Stitch exhibited this September for the first time, and it was a very successful show for us.  We made lots of new contacts in the interior design industry, and are already working on some lovely projects initiated by those first contacts.

The show gave us the opportunity to talk about our bespoke services to interior designers, which include making our standard pieces in special sizes, the opportunity to specify special embroidery colours, and offering our wool fabrics by the metre.

Desi embroidered blankets, hand-stitched Denim Kantha Quilt and Chindi Patchwork Kantha Quilt.  Wall colour is Plimsoll by Paint and Paper Library.

Desi embroidered blankets, hand-stitched Denim Kantha Quilt and Chindi Patchwork Kantha Quilt.  Wall colour is Plimsoll by Paint and Paper Library.

Thank you to the lovely people at Pinch for lending us this beautiful oak Imo bench, to display our Desi Naturals cushions.

Thank you to the lovely people at Pinch for lending us this beautiful oak Imo bench, to display our Desi Naturals cushions.

Our Chindi quilt dressing up the Vispring stand

Our Chindi quilt dressing up the Vispring stand

Makalu felted wool Radhi Rug  #Ihavethisthingwithfloors!

Makalu felted wool Radhi Rug  #Ihavethisthingwithfloors!

New hand woven, over-dyed indigo desi wool - we'll be introducing cushions and throws in this wool in January.  Also available to order by the metre.

New hand woven, over-dyed indigo desi wool - we'll be introducing cushions and throws in this wool in January.  Also available to order by the metre.

If you're an interior designer, and would like to learn more about how Stitch by Stitch can help with your soft furnishing needs, please contact us at info@stitchbystitch.eu, or join our mailing list to be kept up-to-date with our latest projects and product launches.

For more photographs of our products and inspiration, follow us on Instagram !

 

 

New Desi Naturals Hand Woven Wool Cushions

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We are delighted to present our new collection of hand spun, hand woven wool cushions!

These wool cushion covers are hand woven from local "desi" wool on traditional pit looms in Kutch, Gujarat, an area famed for its weaving.  

The weavers who create this wool cloth are part of a group of highly skilled artisans in Kutch, who have been encouraged by a local master weaver to stay in their village and pursue their traditional craft.   By being paid a fair price for their work, many have chosen to stay and weave, rather than leave the area and their families for work in the cities.

Desi wool has a distinctive "dry" texture, a little like linen, typical of wool from this area.  The wool yarn is left in its natural state, un-dyed, and because it is hand spun, the cloth has a wonderfully irregular texture, full of movement.

Available in three sizes: 40 x 40cm, 60 x 40cm and 60 x 60cm.

Complementary bed throws are also available, and we will soon be offering the wool cloth for sale by the metre - please email karen@stitchbystitch.eu for further info.

See the full collection here.

Pop-Up EXHIBITION at One Two Five Gallery, Bath

Radhi Rug with Gary Wood stoneware wall pieces

Radhi Rug with Gary Wood stoneware wall pieces

Last week we installed an exhibition of our textile pieces at our friend Carole Waller's gallery, One Two Five, in the beautiful city of Bath in SW England.

Carole owns the gallery with her potter husband, Gary Wood, and the juxtaposition of our cushions, quilts, blankets and towels with Carole's hand-painted and hand printed clothing, and Gary's beautiful stoneware, was a winning combination.  What is it about textiles and ceramics together?  Just gorgeous! 

We all even seem to share common colour palettes - naturals, blues, reds and monochrome.

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On Sunday 31 July, Stitch by Stitch's Graham Hollick will be giving a talk about his trips to Kutch in the far NW of Gujarat state in India, and Nepal, and his experience of working with our amazing stable of textile artisans there.  He promises to have some wonderful insights to share!

Places for the talk are strictly limited, so if you'd like to come, please RSVP carole@carolewaller.co.uk to reserve your space as soon as possible.

Gary Wood large bowls, Stitch by Stitch Desi wool cushions

Gary Wood large bowls, Stitch by Stitch Desi wool cushions

On Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 July, there will be a sale of work with up to 50% discount on selected pieces.

Please join us - come along to the exhibition if you cannot make it to the talk on 31 July!

Organic kala cotton scarf in a Gary Wood bowl, with Kukuben embroidered cushion and radhi rug.

Organic kala cotton scarf in a Gary Wood bowl, with Kukuben embroidered cushion and radhi rug.

One Two Five gallery is open Weds-Sun, 11-5pm, and by appointment at other times (tel 07803 033629).

One Two Five Gallery schedules special exhibitions throughout the year.  Details can be found on the gallery website.

Stitch by Stitch cushions, towels and scarves with a Carole Waller scarf and shirt - prints inspired by Bath's roman archeology.

Stitch by Stitch cushions, towels and scarves with a Carole Waller scarf and shirt - prints inspired by Bath's roman archeology.

Graham brought these amazing Indian sweets from the East End of London to the private view!

Graham brought these amazing Indian sweets from the East End of London to the private view!

Stitch by Stitch at One Two Five Gallery, Bath

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We are delighted to announce that we will be exhibiting at

One Two Five Gallery

4 Abbey Green, Bath BA1 1NW

7-31 July 2016

And we cordially invite all our blog readers to the Private View on Thursday 7 July, 6 - 8pm

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Please join us for drinks on Thurs 7 July from 6 - 8pm for a special preview of the exhibition and to meet Graham Hollick and Karen Sear Shimali of Stitch by Stitch.  

RSVP to carole@carolewaller.co.uk

Pieces for sale during the exhibition range from £20 for hand embroidered cushion covers at a special exhibition sale price, to £838 for organic kala cotton patchwork quilts.

The exhibition runs from 7-31 July, open Weds-Sun 11-5pm, and by appointment at other times by telephoning 07803 033629.

Please join us - come along to the exhibition if you cannot make it on 7 July!

Glass panels by textile artist Carole Waller

Glass panels by textile artist Carole Waller

One Two Five is the showcase for textiles and ceramics made by Carole Waller and Gary Wood who are hosting the exhibition and also looking forward to meeting you.

Carole makes large scale paintings on fine silk fabrics which are hung un-stretched either against the wall or in space.  She also laminates the cloth between toughened glass to create glass panels which can be simply used freestanding, incorporated into furniture, or any architectural interior or exterior context.

Carole's summer collection of clothes and scarves will be available in the gallery and is online - with a new range of organic cotton T-shirts printed with images from Bath and its stones (I'll be grabbing a couple of those for myself!)

Coloured shots by ceramicist Gary Wood

Coloured shots by ceramicist Gary Wood

Ceramicist Gary Wood makes pots for use - bowls, cups, vases and candleholders - in stoneware and porcelain. These pots have a rich depth of colour and surface texture.

He also makes painted stoneware wall pieces which convey a sense of absolute timelessness.

One Two Five Gallery schedules special exhibitions throughout the year.  Details of exhibitions and opening hours can be found on the gallery website.

 

For all enquiries about Stitch by Stitch, please email Karen.

For all enquiries about One Two Five Gallery, Carole Waller and Gary Wood, please email Carole

 

Special Edition Z1 lamp for Ay Illuminate

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We recently tried out a little idea with our wonderful friends at Ay Illuminate in the Netherlands.

The Z1 pendant lamp, designed by Nelson Sepulveda, has become an iconic product for super-stylish lighting company Ay Illuminate.  I'm sure you will be familiar with it since it is regularly featured in interiors magazines and is stocked by many of the world's most stylish homewares stores (such as Couleur Locale, HomeStories in NY and Kristina Stoeckel).  

"If you ask people to draw a lantern, they draw it like this." describes Nelson.  Based around a simple bamboo frame, the lamp comes in a variety of versions from the classic simple white cotton shade, to a silk cashmere shade which is woven by hand in Afghanistan (providing work for impoverished communities and reviving the art of cashmere and silk weaving which nearly vanished from the country in recent times).

Back in 2015 we had a conversation with Nelson at Maison et Objet in Paris.  He and Ay Lin Heinen, the founder of Ay Illuminate, had the idea to create special editions of the Z1 shade to celebrate 10 years of it's enduring popularity.  We share a common passion with Ay Illuminate and Nelson Sepulveda for local traditions and making objects in natural materials in contemporary designs.  The collaboration seemed like the perfect fit, and our design director Graham suggested we create some embroidered white cotton fabric shades for the Z1.

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Taking our embroidered cushion designs as a starting point, Graham drew out 3 patterns which we then sent to our talented embroiderers in Kutch along with the pre-cut shades from Ay Illuminate.

Here are the results!  We think they look wonderful, and hope you like them.  Ay Illuminate will be showing the designs in their special projects section at Maison et Objet this September.

For all enquiries on these special edition embroidered lamps, in the first instance please contact us.

The design of the Z1 has its roots in a childhood memory of Nelson's: "New Years Eve, I was around 8-9 years old and walked down a dark street.  Someone lit a paper lantern.  A flame sparkled, and up the yellow lantern rose into the black sky.  Pure magic". 

The design of the Z1 has its roots in a childhood memory of Nelson's: "New Years Eve, I was around 8-9 years old and walked down a dark street.  Someone lit a paper lantern.  A flame sparkled, and up the yellow lantern rose into the black sky.  Pure magic". 

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Fresh Spring Blues

We recently introduced this fresh new blue on blue colour way to our embroidered Indigo Kala Cotton Cushion Collection.

Our embroiderers are self-employed and paid a fair wage for their beautiful work.  The organic kala cotton is woven specially for us by a group of farmers and weavers in Kutch, India, and dyed with natural indigo. 

You can read more about the kala cotton initiative here and here.

Continuing the blue and white theme, our Kala Cotton Towels and Scarves, also from our kala cotton weavers, are available in natural indigo too.

If you'd like to keep up to date with new products and other news, join our mailing list here!  We'd love to keep you posted.

The End of February

Akiko Hirai's Moon Jar, with radhi rug at Flow Gallery

Akiko Hirai's Moon Jar, with radhi rug at Flow Gallery

Well, thankfully, it's almost the end of March, but "The End of February" is the title of a new exhibition of Akiko Hirai's ceramics at Flow Gallery in London's Notting Hill.

We absolutely love Hirai's beautiful pieces, particularly the gorgeously textured Moon Jars made using the Kohiki technique.  So we were thrilled to have been asked by the gallery owner to show some of our indigo kala cotton textiles, and a radhi rug alongside these fabulous vessels.

The title of the exhibition is inspired by a chapter in The Pillow Book, a classic of Japanese literature written a thousand years ago, in which the changing of the seasons are observed and expressed through the art of Waka poetry (put very simply: a poem of two halves).  

Hirai believes her ceramics to be only half finished, to be completed by the person who uses them, and in the way in which they are used.

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Thus, she suggests that the completion of her Moon Jars would be the addition of the owner's flowers.  Her cups are not cups until the owner drinks tea from them.  It's a lovely, humble concept.

These bottles are inspired by the still life paintings of Giorgio Morandi.  Hirai again explores the theme of the painter "completing" the objects by their way of seeing the objects.  

Hirai's method for injecting a sense of character into the bottles is to throw them freely, allowing the necks of the bottles to lean asymmetrically which gives them almost a human "posture", reflecting life into lifeless objects.

Stitch By Stitch indigo cotton textiles on display at Flow Gallery

Stitch By Stitch indigo cotton textiles on display at Flow Gallery

"The End of February" is at Flow Gallery, 1-5 Needham Road, London W11 2RP until 20 May 2016.

Social Fabric: African Textiles Today

Nelson Mandela capulana, 2008, copyright: Trustees of the British Museum

Nelson Mandela capulana, 2008, copyright: Trustees of the British Museum

Always on the look out for interesting textile exhibitions, we recently learnt of this new show which just opened at the William Morris Gallery in north London, Social Fabric: African Textiles Today.  

It explores how printed and factory-woven textiles of eastern and southern Africa mirror social change, changing fashion and tastes in the region.  The exhibition brings together kanga from Kenya and Tanzania and schweshwe textiles from southern Africa, and reveals how African tastes have been shaped by global trade.

 

'I did not join the struggle to be poor' by Lawrence Lemaoana, South Africa, 2015.  Copyright: Afronova Johannesburg and Lawrence Lemaoana

'I did not join the struggle to be poor' by Lawrence Lemaoana, South Africa, 2015.  Copyright: Afronova Johannesburg and Lawrence Lemaoana

Also featured are contemporary artworks and fashion inspired by the textiles in the exhibition, such as this artwork above by Lawrence Lemaoana, who uses kanga to express notions of power in post-Apartheid South Africa.  

The varied patterns and inscriptions are thought provoking and often humorous. They often convey thoughts and feelings which can't always be spoken out loud.  The fabrics are worn in both secular and sacred contexts.

London-based fashion label CHiCHia is inspired by proverbs from Tanzanian kanga, like the example shown below.

"I may be quiet, but there's a lot in my heart", Kenya, early 21st century.  Copyright: Trustees of the British Museum.

"I may be quiet, but there's a lot in my heart", Kenya, early 21st century.  Copyright: Trustees of the British Museum.

Social Fabric: African Textiles Today, is at the William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Rd, Walthamstow, London E17 4PP, until 29 May 2016.

It is a British Museum touring exhibition supported by The British Museum and The Dorset Foundation.  Thank you to the William Morris Gallery for the images.

 

REWILD YOURSELF, AT MAISON ET OBJET!

We're off to Paris this week to exhibit at interiors trade fair Maison et Objet.  This will be our fifth time!

If I can get away from the stand I always make a point of visiting the Inspirations section at the show.  This is a regular changing exhibition exploring current interior design trends, brought to you each season by l'Observatoire de Maison et Objet, and it's always worth a look.  

This season, the theme is WILD, with scenography by Elizabeth Leriche and Francois Bernard, and I've shared here a short film which introduces the exhibition.  You can also purchase the book here.

In our increasingly urbanised world, where technology plays a huge part in our everyday lives, the WILD exhibition explores the notion of the basic human desire to reconnect with nature and the natural landscape, and inspires us to re-wild ourselves! 

We hope you enjoy the little film - let me know your thoughts below. 

We hope to see you in Paris!

Maison et Objet, 22-26 January 2016, Paris.

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