Specializing in products for the home, the textile-driven Portland, Oregon, webshop Cloth and Goods puts a spotlight on old-world fabrics and weaving techniques. Founder Melissa Newirth sources vintage and new materials from Japan, Africa, South Korea, and Lithuania, among other countries, and crafts them into soft goods that let the patterns, textures, and weaves of their respective textiles shine through. We sent a few queries to Newirth about her shop, which opened in the spring of 2012.
Where are your products manufactured?Our own products—pillows, dishtowels, place mats, and napkins—are sewn locally here in Portland. We are also passionate about supporting artists, craftsmen, and small businesses. We have wares from local artists from Portland and from all around the U.S. An art teacher who has an indigo farm dyes table runners woven by his wife. We carry woven-linen rugs from New Mexico and small ceramics from a family business in the United Kingdom.
My philosophy is to work with people and companies that still use traditional methods to make goods, and develop them into modern wares for the home. The quality is refined, and they're simple and original.
From where do you source your new and vintage textiles? How did you find them?
I have been a textile collector for quite some time now. I have traveled extensively and finding new fabrics is one thing I love to do in my travels. So I have built up a collection over the years. I am also a researcher and spend a lot of time looking for sources. I have connections in Japan and on the east coast for my textiles. Since starting this business, I have not had much time for travel, but now that the shop is up and running my plan is to travel once or twice year to find the textiles myself.
I have been in the interior design world for many years you can see my work at melissanewirth.com
I wanted to open a store for a long time, but where to open one has aways been the question. I grew up in New York, lived in the Bay area, on Maui, and now in Portland. I found the perfect studio-headquarters for Cloth and Goods in the old Film Exchange building in the northwest part of the city. I also wanted an online store so I could reach my customers world wide.
Textiles inspired me to start the store. Then one thing led to another—meeting artisans and loving their work and wanting to represent them—thus the name Cloth and Goods.