Monday, 3 October 2011
Marmalade houses and bungalows
Look what dear Julia very sweetly posted to me from her House of Marmalade last week! Some beautiful sari fabric harbouring at least a month's worth of Pukka teabags inside. I knew that she might be sending some tea to me, but the sari fabric was a complete and breath-taking surprise. It's even lovelier in real life and is destined to become a vest or skirt for my daughter to wear next summer.
The sari was Julia's thoughtful response to a conversation we'd been having a few weeks ago about fabric designs. I'd been bemoaning the fact that there aren't more sari-inspired prints. I wasn't suggesting that cultural identities should be commercialised or divorced from their roots, but it seems odd to me that in amongst the many collections launched every season, not one has really seized this as a direct source of inspiration and created a line of fabric around it (at least that I know of....please do let me know if I've missed one). The closest we've got is this print by Amy Butler as part of her Soul Blossoms line...but it's not a print where it feels as though the idea has been embraced as wholeheartedly as I'd like. And, for me, it won't hit the spot unless it has a little gold thrown in there too (or at least, so I thought).
You might think that the cost of printing gold onto quilting weight fabrics could be the stumbling block behind this, and it crossed my mind until I remembered that Robert Kaufman have done it for years as part of their collection of oriental fabrics and these have the same retail price as standard quilting cotton; Chris Chun has certainly designed some gold-edged florals for Clothworks; and I made a dress from just such a fabric three years ago, although the designer or fabric house now elude me.
I'd thought it was all about the gold for me when it came to Indian fabrics....but then I was looking on Nina's lovely blog and saw a link to an intriguing danish company, Bungalow, who commission Indian fabric designs created from hand-carved blocks and then have them made into lovely things. I followed the link in that post and was barely able to breath for all the loveliness. Look at this fan of handkerchiefs....and look at these tea towels. Seeing these made me realise that I will forgo the gold if a fabric designer can come up with something similar. I just want fabrics like this to work with. I want them printed onto voile and silk and other delicious substrates. And then I want to be locked in a room with them for the next twenty years (or until I ask to come out....whichever happens first).
Would you love some prints like this too? Bungalow, would you please add fabric to your range?
Ps. Has anyone seen any Bungalow goodness in England? I'd love to know if there's a stockist. I wrote to ask Bungalow to ask...but they seem to be locked in their bungalow doing things more exciting than answering emails.
Posted by Florence (Flossie Teacakes)