As you may have noticed that we are obsessed with rare traditional fabrics. If you wonder why is that, here are some of the main reasons:
- Such fabrics used to be the most precios treasure of the family, passed down from generations to generations.
- Countless hours of skilled labor are needed to produce these gems, almost literally weaving love and passion into the textile.
- Also, such traditional fabrics usually have special cultural meaning - something that today no clothing item has any more.
- Such fabrics are simply beautiful exactly because of all the hard work that was put into them, because of special meaning and because they are unique in every way.
Here are some examples of the fabrics that we used in our collections:
PORTUGUESE CHITAS DE ALCOBAÇA
The ALCOBAÇA collection features authentic traditional printed cotton fabrics from Portugal called "Chitas de Alcobaça" or Chintz of Alcobaça.
The origin of these beautiful and unique fabrics dates back to XV century, when the first examples of such woodblock printing techniques on cotton were first brought from India to the sea ports of Portugal. Such fabrics became very popular throughout Europe and were widely used for noble decorations and clothing up to the end of XVIII century.
UZBEKISTAN SILK IKAT
These gorgeously colorful silk ikat fabrics used in our MARGILAN collection we have found in rural Uzbekistan, the amazing country that is somewhat close to me since I grew up party in Soviet Union.
This beautiful fabric has been named "khan-atlas" (royal-silk) and the technique for creating those mesmerizing rippling colors is called "abrband" (or "ikat" in other countries), which literally means "tying a cloud". The uniqueness and extreme difficulty of this method is in tying and dyeing separate bands of silk threads before stretching them on the loom, so that a specific pattern is formed when the fabric is woven. Although in the legend the weaver supposedly made the fabric overnight, it usually takes hundreds of hours of work, from extracting silk threads to carefully tying them, then dyeing in steps and finally weaving, in order to create such elaborate patterns on the beautiful extremely light silk fabrics.
Khan-atlas was considered to be equal to gold, used in transactions, traded and passed through generations as one of the most valuable family possessions.
JAPANESE KIMONO SILK
Silk fabrics for traditional kimonos, that we used in one of our very first collections - KYOTO collection, are usually hand woven and hand painted, even nowadays.
Kimonos are made of a single bolt of fabric, called tan, which is only about 12 m long and 35 cm wide, and it is used entirely to make one garment with almost no waste left. The fabric is cut into four main parts, two panels for the body and two for the sleeves, the width and length of which are defined then by the fabric itself. Therefore, the design of a kimono begins long before the actual garment is sewn together, as fabric patterns have to be meticulously planned and executed with incredible precision in order to result in the flawless elaborate motifs on exquisite kimonos.
Fabric for a kimono is rarely produced more than once, what makes kimonos be so unique and expensive.