Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Recycling Textiles

Matisse was a passionate textile collector and Windsor Smith seems to nab interesting pieces when she can, too. I don't want to spoil the fun for all the House Beautiful subscribers who haven't yet received the September issue, so I won't post any more pictures from the story on Windsor's house, but one thing to look out for is her use of amazing vintage Indian and Moroccan fabrics as upholstery (specifically she used a bedspread to cover a classic Chippendale-style sofa). Presumably, no one else has a sofa that looks just like hers.

Whether online or at brick-and-mortar antique shops, it's always a challenge to hunt for older textiles that are still in good enough condition to be used as upholstery. Although they are located across the ocean in England, I enjoy browsing Anglo-Oriental Antiques and Joss Graham, just to get ideas. Marla Mallett is a local source. (A word of caution: many collectors would consider the rarest antique offerings to be too precious for upholstery.) Below, one of dealer Mallett's Swat Valley cushion covers from Pakistan, done with silk embroidery on cotton.

Shown at the top of this post, more early-20th-century tribal textiles from Pakistan used as pillows at Anglo-Oriental Antiques.

I found this tie-dyed fabric, described as vintage Japanese, on Etsy.

Schuyler Samperton used sari panels as curtains. Photo by Paul Costello, domino, April 2007.

Anthropologie's Marrakech curtain is similar to the bedspread Windsor used to cover her sofa.

Related reading: Matisse, His Art and His Textiles. See also the Met's exhibition page.

Click here for past Marrakech-related posts. (Keep scrolling down for Windsor's earlier living room.) Shown above is a still from the Andy Spade and Anthony Sperduti short film for J Crew, The Exchange.


Mrs. Blandings said...

Sounds like great vacation reading.

Tracy Watier said...

I don't think I knew that Matisse designed textiles! Thanks! I'll add that to my reading list... close to the top!

Style Court said...

Hi Tracy and Mrs. B,

It is an interesting book. Actually he collected textiles, so the book shows the influence of his collection in his art.

Karena said...

I love the idea of repurposing textiles on pillows. Another wonderful book to read!

pve design said...

I adore the Matisse Museum in Nice. His love for textiles as well as chairs inspired me so much.
If you have the opportunity to go, please do!

Unknown said...

What's old is new again through fresh eyes especially with textiles! Great post!


Janet said...

The Matisse and textiles exhibition was stunning ~ the Met had some extraordinary loans.

Brillante Interiors said...

The title appealed to me, I am very much in re-using, re-discovering. Loving Matisse so much I will certainly read the book. Unfortunately the Met is not on my plans.

Karen and Sara Brown said...

love your blog (huge fan) and this post! the basket-weave looking "japanese" textile is great! please check out our blog and let us know what you think!

Traveling Mama said...

I just came across your blog and was excited to see this post in particular since I live in Morocco! I was just shopping in the medina a couple weeks ago and asked to see some of the vintage embroidery. I don't know where the store owner ran off to, but eventually he came back with several beautiful pieces. My favorite was the deep eggplant embroidery on crisp white. He warned me that they were much more expensive than the new tablecloths (which are usually about $40) and he was right. Of course I like the most expensive at $250. It was a long tablecloth and I couldn't think of how I would use it, but what a perfect idea to use it as pillows! I have to admit, though, that I would have a very hard time cutting into it! They had others that were quite stained and I think turning those into pillows would be pure genius!
Well, anyways! Thanks for sharing your discovery and best wishes from Morocco!

Style Court said...

Hi Traveling Mama,

Sounds like you found something great. I really like how Windsor used her bedspread on a sofa (as upholstery). Most all of the design still really shows. Thanks for sharing!