[Above, detail view, and below, full view: Skirt (lipa songke jok), cotton, indigo (natural dye) base with small multi-colored geometric forms in field and headpanel, mid 20th century, Indonesia. National Gallery of Australia collection.]
I was flipping through Sara Bliss' book, Exotic Style, when I paused to read tips from John Robshaw listed alongside a photo of textile-strewn green park benches partnered with a big rustic table set up for a meal inside a weathered blue-gray East Coast American barn.
Some of the fabrics shown here are Robshaw's designs and others are from his antique textile collection.
Although there's no tablecloth in this vignette, Robshaw tells Bliss that the washable cotton sarongs worn by locals in Indonesia are the perfect size for a smaller, classically-scaled table. That got me thinking (again!) about the large Indonesian textile collection owned by the National Gallery of Australia, and the deep-blue island floral Kelly Robson chose for her wedding reception. I started envisioning reproductions of the old indigo cloth shown at top used on tables for an end-of-summer party.
From far away, it reads as navy and off-white but a closer view shows intricate detail and little hits of pinkish-purple. If I did own a similar cloth, I'd photocopy it to make my own decorative paper for random projects and, on a dining table, pair it with bowls of green hydrangeas tinged with lavender. So today, instead of a plain 'textile of the day,' I'm doing a fabric-flower combo. Hope you find the dark blue-green mix rich yet refreshingly cool.
Related : Sarongs, Batiks, and More Summer Reading