Is it climate change, consumer fatigue or have retailers finally gone mad because of the quick pace in which collections need to be renewed? Whatever the reason, people do not really buy their winter clothes in August or September anymore. Lidewij Edelkoort therefore predicts a more gradual transition from summer to winter, and called her autumn/ winter 19/20 fashion presentation ‘Indian Summer’, with a matching very light and summery colour card. Craftscurator hand-picked the most relevant highlights for home and interior.
For the home textiles industry, autumn/winter is the season to go all out - especially now that blankets, rugs and other home textiles play such an important role in the interior. We will literally be all wrapped up in textiles in the next year. Blankets are the key items - they will not just be used on the sofa or on the bed, we will wear them as shawls too. The rug or throw used as a wall hanging is also making a comeback.
The blankets and textiles come in warm and saturated tones, like camel brown, dusty pink and yellow, rust, mud and a wasabi green. As Edelkoort pointed out, the ‘Indian Summer’ colourcard is remarkably light, and for the interior we often see light colors being combined with dark browns.
The key influences for home textiles are;
Khadi - handwoven cotton fabric made of homespun yarn. When Gandhi was promoting swaraj, or self-rule (independence from the British) in India, he urged Indians to discard their milled cloth from England, learn to spin and weave cotton themselves, and wear only cloth that was produced by hand in India. Khadi is a symbol of resilience and empowerment. For the cloth, cotton is most commonly used, but there is also khadi made of silk or wool. Khadi shops also sell eri silk, produced without killing the worms that nests in the coccoon. In accordance with Ghandi's principle of non-violence.
Kantha - hand-quilting using tiny embroidery stitches. It is often done on a khadi base, either a plain or a patterned one. Women in Bengal typically use old saris and cloth and layer them with kantha stitching to make a light blanket.
Blockprints - bold handmade prints on plain cotton fabric. Basic printing techniques are making a comeback in textile design. The bold and irregular effect of a block print works well on a imperfect handwoven base cloth.
Animal fibers - such as mohair, cashmere, camel and yak khullu are used for blankets. They come from places with extreme weather conditions, like highlands and deserts. The herders and farmers taking care of the animals are dealing with the effects of climate change. The interest in the fibres and products they produce is a positive impulse for the local economy.
Felted textiles and boiled wool continue to play an important role in the interior. Especially when they are handmade - with colors delicately fading, and irregular raw edges.
Basotho tribal blankets come from Southern Africa. In Lesotho, they are widely worn by herders, wrapping themselves in them. What makes Basotho blankets unique is the layout of the design, the various symbols used, the bold colour combinations and the characteristic pin-stripe. This stripe was originally a weaving fault which has become a unique part of the design and dictates how the blanket is worn.
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