At Dwell, we love a good yarn about textile design and the creative individuals who express themselves through sewing, darning, and spinning fibers. Here we present five of our favorite stories about fabric aficionados and the works they weave.
We kick things off with a designer from our latest issue, Orla Kiely. The London-based designer honed her eye studying textile design at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and knitwear design at the Royal College of Art in London. In 1997, she established her eponymous company. Now her pieces are available at retailers like HD Buttercup, Target, Nordstrom, and Anthropologie.
For anyone looking to get their feet wet in the realm of weaving, there's no better place to start than our 101 introduction to Modern Textiles. In this roundup from 2010 we investigated everything from embossed wall coverings to "smart" textiles —or, fabrics that serve as interactive surfaces.
One of our favorite fibers is good old felt—the way it looks, the way it feels, and the myriad ways felt can be used to create modern accessories and furnishings. From the creations of Los Angeles-based designer Tanya Aguiñiga to the good folks at Peace Industry, our coverage of the material goes way beyond a passing interest.
Though her proximity to her work may be a little too close for some, Dutch artisan Paula Leen has created a home that beautifully encapsulates her private and professional life in one modern home. Her living space is peppered with an assortment of objects and textures, including sheep’s wool, an antique French farmhouse table, salvaged chairs, a Glo-Ball light by Jasper Morrison for Flos, and an Axel leather sofa by Gijs Papavoine for Montis.
In the small village of Spannum, in the Dutch province of Friesland, Claudy Jongstra heads a felt-design studio whose modesty in process and material belie its overwhelming commercial appeal and architectural scale. Jongstra keeps a flock of 200 sheep, 150 of which are indigenous Drenthe Heath sheep, a long-haired breed employed mainly for vegetation management.