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Spoonflower is offering a free 8in x 8in FAUX SUEDE swatch from noon today through noon EST Friday, June 6th 2014!

If you wanted a chance to get a hold of some of my Sailor Moon fabric designs, now’s your chance! I get a little bit of money for every swatch, even though you all would be getting it totally for free (no shipping costs either!), so this is a quick and easy way to help me out without costing you a cent.  :D 

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Boro: The Beauty of Thrift

I’ve become really interested in other forms of textiles lately. Lots of stuff such as Middle Eastern rugs, Navajo weavings, American quilts, and Japanese boro. Boro comes out of Japan’s countrysides, where cloth used to be very precious and valuable. Since disposing things wasn’t an option, the wives of farmers and fishermen would patch and mend bags, blankets, futon covers, clothes, and even diapers. As a result, you get these beautiful objects with hundreds of shades of indigo, often pieced together with a type of rough running stitch known as sashiko

Boro used to be a source of embarrassment for many families, because of its association with poverty, but in more recent times, they’ve become collectors items. If you’re in NYC, you can check some out at Shibui (at least until they move locations in a few weeks) as well as Sri Threads. The second is an appointment-only gallery run by Stephen Szczepanek. You can read an article about him at the New York Times, and check out his wonderful blog, where he posts about the things he’s found in Japan. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite entry, but this one would be a contender. Notice that the stitching forms an interesting geometric pattern across the whole garment. As Stephen writes, those shapes represent masu — a type of wooden box used to measure rice during Japan’s feudal period. 

The price of boro can really range. Sometimes you can find them on eBay for $150-300, but the designs tend to be somewhat simple. Nicer pieces can be found at galleries and speciality auction houses, but in the thousands of dollars. I’m hoping to find a nice, but affordable, piece in the next year, and use it to line the inside of a black leather moto jacket. Fingers crossed. 

(Photos via Sri Threads’ blog)

Meet…Lynne Hiriak of Cardigan

the New York-based designer used her love of cardigans (she has more than 200 of them) as a springboard to launch of her own knitwear-centric clothing line. we popped by the designer’s midtown studio to talk racking up stamps on her passport and the merits of easy dressing.

KNIT WIT
“When I first started my line in 2008, the collection had 30 cardigans and only one top and one dress,” recalls the designer, who got her start in the knitwear departments at Derek Lam and Lela Rose. “Ironically it was the dress and the top that were the best sellers.” For Lynne, it’s the challenge of working with yarns rather than bolts of fabric that is part of the appeal: “Knitwear starts from yarn, and it’s a three-dimensional, creative process. Plus I couldn’t sew a tailored jacket to save my life!”

DREAM WEAVER
She travels regularly to Peru, a country deeply rooted in its textile tradition and handiwork and, for the last two years, has incorporated the work of its artisans into her collections. The Marianela pant and the Gisella top are woven on an industrial scarf loom and cut into garments. “I work really closely with the factory there to create our own patterns,”
she says.

CREATURE COMFORTS
A review of her line—flirty skirts, embroidered blouses, skinny drawstring pants in various patterns—reveals a designer who likes repetition: “In my own life, I’ll often buy things of the same style in two or three colorways. I gravitate towards simplicity and comfort and that’s reflected in the way I approach design.”

Photography by Bryan Derballa. Makeup by Imane Fiocchi and hair by Melisande Page, both for Beauty Exchange NYC.

To shop our entire assortment of Cardigan™, click here.