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Magazine    April 2002

The Nature of Fabrics

Jane Churchill's Cressida floral; Stonewash on back cushionScalamandré's Calabassas County children's print

The world's leading luxury fabric purveyors have a bounty of fabrics with flowers, frogs and fruit that will put any consmer in the mood for spring.

At Scalamandré in New York, fabric designers have created a broader palette for the patterns that are being offered. Etrecy (below left) is a cotton damask with a tiny print to coordinate with Tours' squares and Grenoble's stripes. The trio come in muted beiges and naturals as well as reds, greens, blues and peaches. Responding to clients' requests for more children's fabrics, Scalamandré concocted a "frogs-a-leaping" design (above right) named for the Mark Twain story Calabassas County.

The English designer Jane Churchill can always be relied upon for casual, country-style fabrics with an emphasis on checks, stripes and ethnographic weaves inspired by Middle Eastern and Native American patterns. Her dark blue Stonewash and Spinnaker Check (above left) are sure to be popular and complement Cressida's simple floral embroidery. All three are part of her Talpa collection.

Larsen, an American company founded by the famous weaver Jack Lenor Larsen and sold several years ago to the Colefax and Fowler Group in England, produces fabrics that are woven with "ingenious techniques." Pocket weaves, furry fringes, epinglés, shiny and matte textures in one, tightly looped cloths and loose fretwork weaves are among Larsen's innovations. There are sheers, appliques on linen, such as Mythology (bottom), silk-wool combinations, mohairs and all sorts of textures.

Color is synonymous with Manuel Canovas (click here to go to our article on Canovas), and the designers at the company's Paris headquarters have, as usual, outdone themselves. Last year they used beautiful, blown-up irises on a beige ground and this year they did the same, blowing up various pansy heads—sans leaves—to create Flavie. They also designed stylized Ming jars in such bold colors as chartreuse and white (on a lilac background!) and took a familiar theme—decorative birdcages—and entwined them with tulips (Andalouse, below). The effect is surreal and almost three-dimensional.

Scalamandré's Etrecy, Tours and GrenobleAndalouse cotton print from Manuel Canovas

Mythology from Larsen

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Jane Churchill
Based in England; at showrooms worldwide

At showrooms in the U.S. and in London

Based in England; at showrooms worldwide

Manuel Canovas
Based in France; at showrooms in the U.S. and in Europe
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