Whether it's just one, or a whole pile of them, we can't get enough of these handmade pillows and textiles. Other than being visually stunning, they are each special and unique in that they are crafted, using various dye techniques, by artisans all around the world. We've done some research and broken down our favorites to show you how they're made and just how beautiful they can look in your space!
It's everywhere, and it's easy to see why; these fabrics are insanely gorgeous. "Shibori" refers to a Japanese technique in which textiles are embellished in a variety of ways such as folding, crumpling, plucking and twisting. They are then secured (whether by knotting or binding) to resist the dye before being submerged into the indigo dye bath. Because of this method, no two designs are exactly alike, which makes them beautiful and uniquely their own. Add this pattern in your living room with a throw or a pillow, or try a tea towel in your kitchen for a sophisticated burst of blue.
This tradition of dyeing is best-known in Indonesia, but is also found in Malaysia, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and the Philippines. In this technique, dots and lines are made with a tool called a "canting" which applies hot wax to the fabric. This wax resists the dye, thus creating the intricate designs and the wax is then removed with boiling water. The same process can be repeated if you want layers of multiple colored dyes. How perfect does it look on this couch? Love it!
Also referred to as "blue calico" and hailing from Shanghai, China, nankeen was the main component of peasant clothing in China for centuries. Over time, the term has come to be used interchangeably with the technique and patterns associated with the Chinese textile. Using hand-carved stencils, a mixture of soya bean flour and slaked lime is applied onto the cotton fabric. Once the paste is dry, the fabric is dipped into the indigo dye bath multiple times until the desired color is achieved. After the fabric has dried, the paste is scraped off to reveal the intricate white patterns - finally it is washed, dried and ironed.
This type of textile refers to arts practiced by the Hmong people, who reside primarily in Asia. Passed down through generations of the Hmong people, these techniques of embroidery (using reverse appliqué quilting method) or Batik (using indigo dye) continue to tell stories from Hmong history and folklore. Also known as Paj Ntau or "flower cloth", these fabrics were traditionally used for festivals, baby carriers and men's collars. Different patterns and techniques are associated with specific regions within the global Hmong community, giving an array of brightly colored textiles that can't be characterized by just one specific style.
This process of dyeing Malian cotton fabric dates back to 12th Century Africa. Before the dyeing process begins, the cloth is soaked in a bath made from mashed and boiled (or soaked) leaves of the "n'gallama" tree. Once the fabric has turned yellow and has dried, a mud made from riverbeds and fermented for up to a year in a jar is applied using metal or wood tools to create intricate patterns and motifs. A chemical reaction between the mud and the dyed cloth creates the authentic brown color that is left once the mud has been washed off. The last step of this process is to apply soap or bleach to the yellow "n'gallama" dye to make it white, which creates the bold contrast it's known for. Mud Cloths can either be mostly dark or mostly white depending on the design - and again, no two of these are alike!