One of the greatest challenges in designing commercial textiles has been creating durable, cleanable, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing fabrics for highly trafficked and 24/7 environments like healthcare facilities, theaters and airports. In addition, there is more demand for textiles with sustainable manufacturing practices, and companies like Designtex are taking on this responsibility and producing some very innovative fabrics.
Shibori Stripe takes its inspiration from original artwork using nui shibori, a stitch-resist form of the ancient Japanese shibori tie-dying technique. In this case sections of cloth are gathered together with a running stitch before being dyed, which protects them from the pigment. The effect is recreated with lines of tiny dots running along the center of the paler stretches of color where the faint bleeding of the pigments contrasts with the intensity of color elsewhere. The artwork is then captured digitally and the pattern is printed on a polyester suede surface and still retains color intensity. The addition of Crypton enhances the performance of this upholstery fabric as a fluid barrier without diminishing the supple hand.
Matilda McQuaid is Acting Curatorial Director at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.