Inspired by, Journal

Inspired by Nani Iro


Nani IRO is the brand name of the renowned Japanese artist Naomi Ito. I was introduced to the collection and designer through the fabric shop Guthrie and Ghani. The collection really made my head turn as the collection can only be described as art on fabric.



There is a strong, abstract, painterly, minimalist aesthetic, that savours every line and brush stroke. There is a clear connection to the natural world and influence of place in which the work is produced.  In 2011, she moved to Iga, Mie, Japan, which is surrounded  in beautiful forests, which made her relationship with nature deepen. Her art is born by living together with “natural antiques” such as rotting leaves and berries, branches or seeds.



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Nani means beautiful in the Hawaiian language. Iro is the Japanese word for color, and from its kanji character, harmony, balance, and a meeting of light and dark. All of these meanings can be felt across the collections.





Her work is printed on cotton, linen and double gauze and the unique quality of these fabrics adds depth to the designs.  By making textiles from the art, Naomi Ito describes ‘the possibilities of new stories with those who receive them as limitless –such as items that give an impressive color to the interior space, or that add an accent to your accessories’.



What I most like about the fabric designs is the painterly quality and the intent to celebrate fabric design, not only as materials but as pieces of art to be treasured by the wearer.  The fabrics are not only loved in Japan, but wholesaled across 30 countries around the globe.



In 2012 the shop “ATELIER to nani IRO” was opened in Osaka. I haven’t got any plans for a trip to Japan, anytime soon but if I ever found myself there I would most definitely make a pilgrimage to the store. In the meantime, I do have a trip lined up on the 5th October to go to Guthrie and Ghani for the Sew Brum Meet Up, so I look forward to seeing the fabrics in real life then. For now I can appreciate the painterly, minimal quality of the work that is as soft as the fabrics it is printed on.

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Until next time.

Claire & co.





Inspired by, Journal, Uncategorized

Inspired by Cotton and Flax

Alongisde my #100daysofpatterns project, I’m looking at pattern and textile designers that I admire to try and get a better understanding of how and why it works. So today I’m looking at Cotton and Flax, handmade textile home goods from US based designer Erin Dollar. Every piece in the collection is cut, printed and sewn in California.

About Cotton & Flax - How it's made

The striking patterns featured on each Cotton and Flax piece begin as ink drawings — Erin creates each pattern by hand, using a brush and sumi ink. Then she transfers these patterns to a silkscreen to print multiples on fabric. Cotton and Flax textiles are made using natural materials, including linen fabrics and eco-friendly water-based inks. Erin chooses linen-blend fabrics for their unique qualities: high absorbency, durability and increased softness with time.

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Production for Cotton and Flax is done in small batches, and many items are available in a limited quantity as Erin refreshes her palette seasonally.

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With Cotton and Flax, Erin approaches textile design as a blend of fine art and fine craft. By using traditional methods to print each textile piece, Erin hopes to share her love of printmaking and to promote greater public interest in owning unique, handmade home goods.

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What strikes me most about Cotton and Flax is the commitment to craftsmanship and promoting the value of this within the home. All principles that can be applied to my own work and values that align with my own.


I’m looking forward to putting my hand at silk screen printing on to some fabric and lino cutting onto some linen, so keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks. Prints made by hand create a quality that just can’t be replicated on digital print, so I look forward to returning to ink and cloth to make some patterns.


All for now,

Claire and Co


Inspired by, Journal

Inspired by Laura Slater

I’m in the midst of my #100daysofpatterns project and in addition to creating my own work, I’ve been taking inspiration from print designers around me. Last week, I found myself at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, definitely a day out I’d recommend if you’re in the area, and I came across the work of Laura Slater.

The studio describes itself as ‘Informed by the interaction of colour and shape, the design focuses on the translation of drawing and surface through hand printed processes. The specific interests lie in engagement with pattern and it’s ability to connect us to the environments and objects we surround ourselves with. This is explored through approaches to drawing, process, materials and product.’

What I love about the work is how you can see the process used to produce each piece, from what I can tell the work has been screen printed and printed with monographs. I’m drawn to the brave colours and bold shapes. There is a clear influence from the natural world and bringing the outside in, and this creates a sense of calm to the shapes, and in turn to the interiors. The work is produced on natural materials and how these fabrics take on the ink adds to the individuality of each piece.

John Lewis


A collaboration with John Lewis sees the prints on their womanswear collection, called Kin creating bright abstract striking womanswear with simple silhouettes. The main take away for me from looking at this work is seeing how integral the process is in the aesthetic and how important that is to continually stay true to the materials and processes used. Laura teaches workshops in her studio in Leeds, so with any luck, I’ll find myself at one of her textiles screen printing workshops to get started on screen printing onto textiles.

Claire & Co.




Inspired by, Journal

Inspired by Rifle Paper Co.

At the moment I am obsessed with patterns, everywhere I go I’m seeing prints, tearing off corners of wrappers, newspapers and cutting out magazines collecting inspirations for my #100daysofpattern project where I make a repeat pattern everyday. What’s great about the 100 day project is that it forces quantity, when at the start of the design process quality is missing. It’s quite frustrating when you first start creating, there’s a gap between what you’re making and what you want to be making. Your work is falling short and — worse — you know it. This short film sums it up brilliantly.

This is especially true for me designing repeat patterns, (probably what caused some serious procraftination to get started) is that as someone who sews I’m exposed to so many great fabric designs, nearly everday. Instead of getting paralysed in fear of how many great designs are out there, I wanted to look, I mean really look at great print design companies, understand what I like about their work and how I can translate these elements into my own work. So here it goes and first up, is Rifle Paper Co.

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Rifle Paper Co. is a stationery and lifestyle brand based in Winter Park, Florida founded and owned by husband and wife team, Anna and Nathan Bond. It was built on the principle that life’s personal stories and moments are best told through the gift of a handwritten card or note to share these moments with others. I have been on the receiving end of one of these notes and too beautiful to discard, I’m treasuing this card as a bookmark.

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In the past I might have been sceptical about a stationary brand, firstly, because it seems like such a saturated market, secondly, because it seems simple, trivial even, but perhaps in my old age I’m becoming increasingly more sentimental and now see the value of a handwritten note. The strength of the brand comes from the strong signature style, florals. The repeats are densely packed and overlapping, you can’t see the background, it’s this busy print that really makes them stand out. Standalone, the motifs are beautiful and are sold as individual prints.



I love the bright florals on the dark backgrounds, it reminds me of canal boat folk art. I think it’s easy to think of florals are exclusive to softer, dare i even say pastel colours, but the use of the strong dark colour really makes the details stand out and is a confident choice.


The floral repeat patterns on dark backgrounds translate really well from stationary to fabric. As a sewer I’d spotted these Rifle Paper Co. prints crop up with a collaboration with Cotton and Steel made beautifully here by Kate Eva Designs. Although such densely packed florals are not something I wear at the moment, I think they make beautiful garments to be worn all year round. You can buy the fabric on Minerva Crafts here & here.

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Aside from florals, the collection has a strong focus on craftsmanship, you can see brush strokes, pencil marks, etchings and where the repeats have been screen printed. For me, there is a lot of charm in showing the process to the print production, rather than seamless and at times souless digitial repeat designs.

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Last but not least, there is a sense of fun, without being too much like crafty quilting cotton, which just isn’t my bag. I love the dogs wearing sunglasses and the vespa prints give an insight into personality without being too cutesy, quirky or defining the brand.


I really enjoyed looking through the Rifle Paper Co. collection, it was interesting to see how prints translated from fabric, to stationary to wall art and what I found appealed to me.  I found the whole exercise inspiring and it reiterates that although the stationary market seems over-saturated, there is no one doing your own unique style and it is a reminder of how important a strong signature style is.

We’re working on it.

All for now.

Claire & Co.