fashion | origins

The textile whisperer

November 15, 2017

Have you ever wonder where the fabrics come from or who designs the patterns for the textiles or who decides the colour combinations of the fabrics? Well, today I want to show you the talents of a textile designer.

Let me introduce you to Cooper Gage, a home textile designer that opened the door of her studio to me. Cooper is a young and friendly professional with quiet and cheerful personality. Her creative process is inspired in many different ways, from an image, a trip, flowers and sometimes her own sketches. Once she finds an inspiring idea, she starts using her beautiful brushes and 100’s of bottles of acrylic and watercolour paint that represents all colours of the spectrum, she hand draws the design while talking to me about her career and her future plans. Seeing her working is peaceful and inspiring, she makes it look so easy as she gracefully glides across the canvas. Her designs are as adaptable as the textile industry itself, passing from natural motifs to collages and regular patterns, these last ones are the ones in which she feels more comfortable working. Her workspace is full of inspirational books that transport me to different and exotic places around the world, from the batiks of Ghana to block prints of Rajasthan and haute couture of Paris. Being around her, time get distorts and a full afternoon together feels like a 10 minutes chat. Once her magic is done, the pattern gets digitalised and a repetition is created, in order to industrialise the print. There are many way and techniques in which the print can be transferred to the fabric. Once the fabric is ready, it is transformed into clothes or upholstery.

Learning about the process and the people behind the products we buy help us to appreciate them more and have a connection with the person that has made them with love and effort for us to enjoy. The disconnection with the history of our clothes often means we are more likely to discard our clothes as we underestimate the craftsmanship that went into the production. Think of a time when you once purchased an item directly from the artisan, doesn’t it hold a higher reverence than something you bought from a department store? Buying wisely and taking care of our clothes is a way of honouring those who designed and made our clothes. Lets chose to remember where our stuff comes from!