Talking Textiles in New York

Every person has a unique approach to getting a project done from start to finish. Some would call it  “creative process.” Recognizing what our own personal style is can be useful in getting better results the next time. Like many others, I can be a slow learner applying new info consistently overtime. 

This week, I trained into NYC for the 2019 “Talking Textiles” conference- part of New York Textiles Month. The event was again hosted by Lidewij Edelkoort, a world -renowned trend forecaster, and the Associate Provost and Dean – Parsons School of Design. 

Living in Northwest Connecticut is tremendous in so many ways. Access to New York is not one of them. It’s a fat hour’s drive to the station, followed by 2 hours to your destination. Interestingly, my husband discovered a new train departure location this time- Brewster, NY. It was great and I’ll do it again. What’s never great is hustling out of the drive at 5am. I was grateful that everything went like clockwork and I waltzed into the auditorium for the 9:30 start.

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Early morning train ride into the city. Such pleasure seeing cars piled up on 684 that didn’t include me. I snagged a welcome chocolate croissant at a fave Grand Central stop enroute to Parsons.

Conference speakers presented on all things color, including a fascinating talk called “No Color” by Sara Healy and Jessi Highet. Sara and partner Dan lovingly tend about 200 Cormo sheep and Angora goats on a wind powered solar farm and spinning mill in Elizaville, NY. They’re adorable! Ever wonder if sheep get cold after giving up their warm coats? Not here. They wear special blankets on chilly days once shorn. Sara is a member of a weaving cooperative called Friends of Light which incorporates the wool from the animals.

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The jackets are custom made, using yarn from a single sheep. Each pattern piece is knit as a stand- alone image and then joined to the other pieces. Each piece is created to spec on a board custom designed for the finished shape.
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Colors are provided naturally by the sheep of course, never colored. These are one-of- a-kind bespoke jackets that endure through generations. Fascinating.

Natural Dye Maven

Maria Elena Pombo was a dynamic speaker who shared her passion about naturally sourced dyes, from avocados, onion skins and more. Maria started a beautiful garment line and workshop series called Fragmentario. A native Venezuelan, Maria has taken her workshops to southern Italy several times, engaging natives and immigrants living in the Calabria region. Lovely young woman with her heart in the right place. 

New Paola Prints Infinity Scarf

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Modern Lily, a new Paola Prints scarf. I’m beginning to print my own designs on 100% organic cotton instead of polyester chiffon, which brings into play many issues. It’s hard trying to explain the multitude of issues one has to conquer in making a change like this. Maria spoke about the difference in dyes wrought by a change in water and over generations. Think about that! Natural color dyes change depending on the land where the plants are grown.
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Did you know that Paisley is an ancient Persian design? That design is from nature of course, thanks to the cypress tree. Keith Recker presented material from his new book on the history of color. The founder of Hand/Eye Magazine, he just produced an excellent book that includes much more about the origins of worldwide color origins and their perception. I recommend it for the color lover in your life.
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Although the walk from Greenwich Village to Grand Central was about 2 miles, the early fall day was grand and I took in the sights enroute. What’s not to love about New York?
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Still a blessing to get home to Litchfield.

Looking for WILD colors? You can see here the full range of Paola Prints chiffon scarves in stock and available for order. 

Dancing with Myself. Music from Chloe Feoranzo of Post Modern Jukebox makes you wish you were there, even if dancing alone!

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