Atelier: Festival of Fabrics

Atelier Gift Bag by Jim Thompson in design Leo De Janeiro

In May, Atelier Textiles NZ hosted events across New Zealand to showcase this seasons new fabric ranges from their suppliers. In Christchurch designers gathered at Mainland Design Centre to attend the viewing of the four fabric houses Jim Thompson, Rubelli, Manuel Canovas & Pierre Frey. These European emblems are considered the editors of textile fashion, leading the way for the global industry.

This year’s theme was based around ancient Asian cultured, with an emphasis on honest materials and craftsmanship. The designs were steeped in ancient ethnic cultures, which overall has a rural vibe. Pierre Frey released several textiles within an indigo story, signalling that the Chinese were actually the first to market indigo interiors.

Pierre Frey LAN FISH
Pierre Frey Lan Fish textile design, image credit of Pierre Frey

The craftsmanship included in the collection includes pleating, block-print, folk quilting, velvets & chunky weaves. The design Lan Fish is part of the indigo colour story and uses a traditional embroidery techniques, and gives the feeling of a Chinese Arts & Crafts. The coordinating Lan Fish Wallpaper is woven delicately to show the same motif, depicting Chinese coy and goldfish.

Pierre Frey Maoming Textile design in colour Tutti Frutti, image credit of Pierre Frey

Maoming is an outlandish design, pulling from vibrant modern colours while maintaining an ancient theme, particularly finding inspiration in the vests worn by Miao women. The colour Tutti Frutti is an absolute standout!

Rubelli is a textile manufacturer originating in Venice with almost 200 years in the industry. One of their most successful designs of the season already is the 100% cotton velvet, Cordoba. With a luxurious, ultra-soft, no-tracking pile in incredible hues of jewel tones, it is sure to find its way into some incredible interior projects across the globe.

Rubelli prides itself in using the top raw materials in the global market, which includes New Zealand wool. They realise that the success of materials can vary from year to year, much the same as wineries boast certain bouquets from “good” years for wine. In the search function on their website, there is even a category for year, alongside colour, design and use selections. Another remarkable textile released this year is a double width (300cm) wool-cashmere blend drapery sheer, named Cuddle. The floating air of a woollen sheer is the perfect solution for a modern, yet comfortable home.

Jim Thompson, a textile group originating from the American architect, produced a whimsical design called Menagerie which has a traditional Victorian etoile motif with fantastical creatures to create an updated, fresh look.  The namesake design for the collection, Leo De Janeiro, meaning Lion of January, is a playful take on traditional chinoiserie designs, and includes drawings of golden dragons influenced by the designs of the New Years dragon at Chinese festivals.

Canaria outdoor textile range by Jim Thompson, image credit Jim Thompson

The release of an incredible outdoor range Canaria by Jim Thompson is challenging the meaning of the word “outdoor textiles”. The Chinese influence of an indigo story is also seen here, and the tactile handle of the fabrics is so much like indoor fabric that it is giving homeowners and business owners the option of comfort when it comes to outdoor living spaces.

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