For the love of fabric! Zac + Fox (featured above) has officially been added to our list of new favorite fabric houses. The very presentation of their fabrics demonstrates a simple sophistication, full of great design and a very clear inspiration from the natural world. The prints, textures and colors of this collection have us swooning. Yet, this is just one of hundreds of fabric houses on our list of vendors. At one given time we have over 100,000 fabric samples in our resource room. But the world of textiles is so vast that the final design of a fabric is only one of many steps required for a small square of fabric to make it into the hands of our designers.
Continuing the “for the love of fabric” theme, comes the creation; which is an art in and of itself! To greater enhance appreciation of beautiful fabric it may help to first understand the overall production. The fibers of eventual fabric are born from a raw producer; synthetics are petroleum based while natural fibers originate from plant and animal products. These raw products are then shipped to what is referred to in the industry as a spinner. After spinning the fibers, they are then sent to the weavers. Textile designers decide the texture and style of the fabric while textile engineers figure out how to make the design. Libeco, a Belgian linen weaver, is another favorite in our resource room, used most recently as drapery in the Harker Design Showroom in Jackson, WY.
The weaving process is followed by the wholesale of fabrics to manufacturers and eventually these products are sold to fabric houses. Fabric houses are the medium between manufactures and designers, upholsterers and drapery work rooms. As fabrics move through the fashion cycle often fabric houses will sell mis-weaves and defective good to different box store retailers. There are also companies referred to as ‘jobbers,’ who buy plain goods to print patterns on. Fabric houses, like Kravet and Duralee have corporate showrooms and representatives. Independent showrooms will also stock samples, as we do at Harker Design. Fabric houses may not own a certain designer but they may own distribution rights and controlling stock. Since the advent of the first fabric houses, following World War II, hundreds of houses, and thousands of fabric design companies have been created. Multiply that 10 fold for the inclusion of different collections with multiple color ways and you are left with a sample room busting at the seams with possibilities. A full fabric library means that we are able to find the ideal fabric for draperies, upholstery and bedding for all of our clients. The task of staying current on the fabric world requires multiple meetings with fabric house representatives to choose samples, as well as taking inventory and removing expired fabric styles from the library often.
From the byproduct of a natural element such as wool or cotton to furniture, the journey of textiles is one that is complicated intricate and beautiful! Understanding a glimpse of the amount of time and dedication it takes from multiple sources to create this textured medium is truly incredible. Without fabric and the understanding of how and where to use it, the art of Interior Design is rendered meaningless. Our design team takes pride in understanding the industry, the products and nuances of fabric. For the love of fabric, indeed!