Put An Owl On It

Owls are nocturnal birds that are characterized in most people’s memories as wise creatures, perched up on their branch overlooking the world’s activities; always awake, eyes never closed.  In my memory, owls are the talisman of a childhood favorite lollipop, the tootsie roll pop. The mind burning question of: “How Many Licks Does It Take To Get To The Center Of A Tootsie Pop?” The answer of course being, “The world may never know.”
owl, birds, textiles, 18th century, sewing, Portlandia, Hewitt sisters, Pinterest

Members' Gallery Tour: Hechizoo: Voyages/Explorations

Open to Design Watch Members and above. Join Cristina Grajales for a tour of Voyages/Explorations, a second solo exhibition of work by Hechizoo in the United States. This exhibition transforms the gallery space into the Amazon, bringing its flora and fauna indoors through the use of hand-made textiles. Hechizoo’s work is in Cooper-Hewitt’s permanent collection.
Design Watch, gallery tour, membership event, textiles

Eventbrite - Members' Gallery Tour: Hechizoo: Voyages/Explorations

Designing by Hand with Marimekko

This past week Cooper-Hewitt kicked off Design by Hand, a special program running from fall 2013 through spring 2017, sponsored by Van Cleef & Arpels. This exciting new series focuses on the craftsmanship, innovations, and merits of contemporary global designers. Workshops and talks connect university students, high school students, adults, and families with design.
Marimekko, education, design by hand, textiles, inspiration
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Harlem Focus | Fabric Printing: Creating Fashionable Impressions

Native Ghanaian fabric designer N'Ketiah Brakohiapa will speak about his process and how his move to Harlem has influenced his work. The Harlem Focus series is made possible through the generous support of Target.
textiles, fashion, Harlem Focus

Members' Collection Visit | Cooper-Hewitt’s Textiles Collection

Open to Design Watch Members and above. Join us for a rare glimpse into Cooper-Hewitt’s textiles collection with Matilda McQuaid, Deputy Curatorial Director and Head of Textiles. Get a peek at what the department is planning for the museum’s reopening later this year. Examine these extraordinary works that form the core of the textiles collection and guide our acquisitions efforts today.
textiles, Design Watch, membership, event

Eventbrite - Members' Collection Visit | Cooper-Hewitt’s Textiles Collection

Paper Clothes

Paper dresses of the 1960s are memorable but they are hardly innovative.  Japan has been weaving with paper since at least the sixteenth century when woven paper– called shifu in Japanese – was most likely developed by the impoverished rural population for lack of other materials. With few raw materials available, farmers originally cut the pages of ancient account books in order to turn them into woven paper. The ink writing on the paper also remained visible in the finished fabric leaving an interesting speckled pattern.
paper, Japan, textiles, cloth, clothes, clothing

Industry vs. Craft

Dutch Designer Hella Jongerius has dedicated her career to juxtaposing seemingly contradictory themes in her work: industry and craft, high and low tech, traditional and contemporary influences and modes of creation. She has been featured in exhibitions here at the Cooper-Hewitt, as well as at MoMA and the Design Museum in London, among others.
textiles, Hella Jongerius, mass customization, upholstery

Wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve and jacket front.

A set of eighteen remarkable buttons each feature a small painting of groups of people of mixed races in a British West Indies island, then called Dominica, now Haiti and Santo Domingo. The artist, subjects and traditional history all collide to make the buttons an extraordinary combination of artistic significance, social history, and inventive design use.
buttons, Toussaint L'Ouverture, Haiti, Brunias, West Indies, jacket, scenes, landscapes, costume, textiles, hats


Rhythm (1972) is like a visual representation of the movement of sound—the pulsation of music or a heartbeat on an electrocardiogram. In fact, it is the designers’ graphic interpretation of a meandering stream, inspired by the Indiana woodland. This feeling of movement is a product of the design concept promoted by Elenhank Designers, Inc.
Elenhank, screenprint, curtain, Indiana, textiles

Wrapped up

Pojagi is a Korean ceremonial wrapping cloth used to cover gifts, protect sacred writings, hold food or carry objects in everyday life. The primary purpose of a pojagi is to respect an object and present the recipient with blessing and good will. Pojagi is still used in contemporary Korean society but it became a cultural icon in pre-modern Korea during the Chosŏn dynasty (1392-1910).
Pojagi, textiles, silk, Korea, International Quilt Study Center & Museum