Some current offerings over at The Loaded Trunk call to mind Second Lives: The Age-Old Art of Recycling Textiles, a recently opened Textile Museum exhibition mentioned here last month. For example, there's the pillow, shown above, made from vintage material once worn by Hmong women in Vietnam. And there are gorgeous vintage woven sarong borders from Laos which could be recycled as pillow covers, too.
I'm also loving the woven and embroidered Burmese tribal throws, above, and the collage-like hand-sewn Hmong blankets, below.
If you're interested in Southeast Asian textiles, Weaving Paradise is worth a look along with the title that's still on my wishlist -- Batik: 75 Selected Masterpieces.
[Dar Dallah by Katherine Rally Textiles.]
Speaking of batik -- a resist dye technique traditionally involving the application of wax or mud to create pattern -- Katherine Rally Textiles, based in Bali, offers new table linens, pillows, and fabric-by-the-yard made using the old Indonesian methods.
[Afrique by Katherine Rally Textiles.]
Co-founder of the company, architect Rally Dupps, told me that he and his wife, interior designer Katherine Dupps, commission a Balinese batik stamp master to handcraft copper stamps based on Rally's drawings.
"These metal stamps, works of art by themselves, start off as layered thin strips of copper that are bent and welded to a metal handle. The end result is astonishing. [The craftsman] is so good that he even manages to copy the wonderful irregularities of my own hand drawing. When finished, it's as if I made the stamp myself," he explains.
"The entire process, from dipping the metal stamp into molten wax and stamping it onto raw fabric, to hand-dying, then boiling, washing by hand, and drying the fabric under the equatorial sun, has remained unchanged for generations," adds Rally, noting that the couple's company is all about the artisanal product. "The fact that we are producing batiks using this ancient craft in the 21st century just puts it over the top."
[Field Day by Katherine Rally Textiles.]
Many of Dupps' designs are stylized interpretations of the Indonesian flora and fauna that surrounds him: "I began with nature, drawing floral designs -- Balian, and Les Amis are good examples-- and after some time I wanted movement in my patterns -- see Madagascar and Joie de Vivre -- and finally texture as evidenced by Pondicherry, and Mrs. Jones." He is also inspired by handcrafted Balinese objects, such as the traditional offering baskets. But in the end he relies on wife Katherine's editorial eye.
In addition to the fabrics they create for themselves, the couple picks up textiles on their travels. Rally says, "We always manage to fit textiles into our luggage and the overhead compartment...they are the most travel-friendly, multi-purpose [pieces]." You can find Katherine Rally Textiles at both retail and to-the-trade showrooms across the U.S. Click here for locations.
BTW: Bali: Art, Ritual, Performance continues at San Francisco's Asian Art Museum through September 11, 2011.