I presently am working with a client who has in her possession a vast display of wonderful period furniture. I have exhausted my resources in trying to locate a hand embroidered fabric for a pair of chairs that are rather large in scale. The chairs are rarely used, and have been placed in an area that is surrounded by beautifully textured and solid fabrics. The chairs will be reupholstered to complement the rich jewel tones she has chosen. I am hoping you can recommend a source for my client. Answer:
I recently attended Westweek 96, at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, CA. I was able to view the wonderful new textiles introduced by many textile manufacturers. A particular collection of textiles that caught my attention may be of interest to you and your client.
The three textiles were introduced by Schumacher Furnishings. The first textile, Fern Crewel, is rich and updates the classic hand-embroidered look with a novel botanical design. This crewel pattern of large fern leaves covers less surface than original crewels allowing the lightness of the background to be seen and was woven in India on 60 percent cotton and 40 percent wool. It is available in the green colorway, 47 inches wide and has a repeat of 24 inches.
The second textile in the collection, Pansy Crewel, also is hand loomed of 60 percent cotton and 40 percent wool, available in rose or blue and comes 48 inches wide with a vertical repeat of 16 1/2 inches.
The third textile, Medieval Vine Crewel, is a motif of meandering vines and stylized flowers. This was popular in England during the 17th and 18th centuries. It is designed to create a toile-like effect and is available in either blue or ochre. Woven of 60 percent cotton and 40 percent wool, this material has a vertical repeat of 16 1/2 inches and is 48 inches wide.
Either of these fabrics would work well with the period chairs you have described. Authenticity in the recreation of a period style is important to the success of your room design. Color, style, placement of furnishings and window treatments also should be authentic. Many textile manufacturers such as Brunschwig & Fils or Stroheim and Romann offer textiles that have been recreated from original document fabrics.
I also recommend you research the period of other furnishings in your client's home. The recreation of detail including interior architecture, flooring, wall treatments and accessories will aid in the success of your design presentation.
Editor's Note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson which will answer some of the many questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings, as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business
Sharon L. Anderson, Associate Member, Interior Design Educator's Council (IDEC), has more than 14 years experience as a commercial and residential design professional. She has taught numerous courses at colleges and universities throughout Southern California and is a published author and frequent public speaker.