Interior Designer fabrics is our blog to share our experiences on Fabrics with the Interior Design and Architecture communities. It is not intended as a Bible, nor a Club, it is like most of our Blogs, to share and to help in anyway we can for a better world.
Our passion is for Beauty, however we are so happy that the Luxury Fabrics World is becoming more sustainable or that there are intensions for a Circular focus. Finally we sincerely hope to help in that direction as well.
Why do we call them Interior Designer Fabrics. Mainly for two reasons. One, they are World Class and the best of the best and two, they are only available to the Interior Designer Trade.
First of all it took me a while to appreciate Fabrics for Architecture and Interior Design.
My mother used to go shopping for fabrics and occasionally brig me along. She would select fabrics for the Interior Design of the Hotel Polanco in Mexico City our family business at the time and also to update our home Interiors from time to time. I didn’t care much about it. As a kid too, I once insisted they buy me a White sweater, from the high-end Italian vendors that would visit our home. Furthermore I was told it made no sense as I was a kid, but obliged me and ended getting me the sweater. As a result I ruined it the first day by climbing a tree wearing it.
I also remember some of my favorite shirts, a cowboy style one in red pattern with snap on buttons, and a black polo one with contrasting white pipping or welt. I loved them.
At one point I had the home seamstress doing some fabric bags I had designed to sell, maybe one or two which I showed to stores for orders with no idea of costs. While walking I would stare at window displays at fashionable stores and dream of clothes.
I went on to study Architecture, and when I did my first Grand European Tour maybe when I was 20-21, toured buying 42 shirts. I loved to show the fabrics and liked by wearing them. From YSL, Pierre Cardin, Cerruti, Guy Laroche, Givenchy and so on.
Later on in 1979 I rediscovered Tartans, while traveling in London with my English wife, across Harrods where the Flagship of Scotch Wool House used to be I picked the Book “Scottish Clans & Tartans” by Ian Grimble. It reminded me of some very elegant Interiors I had visited as a kid. Both residential and Golf Club Houses. Architecturally acceptable as a display of a set of colors on a weave. Somewhat minimalist patterns.
One of my first clients as an Architect was a retail store called Aca Joe. They were Iconic and famous in the 80’s for a casual look, cotton and so on. I did serve the account as Chief Architect worldwide for 15 years. It wasn’t until after that when I started doing High-end Residential Interior Design, that I started enjoying fabrics more for Architecture and Interior Design projects.
Interior Designer Fabrics, for Interiors and Architecture. This Blog’s purpose is to facilitate just a little the selection and use of High-end or luxury Fabrics in Architecture and Interior Design, and we do not wish to include some fascinating issues like the History of Fabrics, nor Production Process and Materials and yarns. There has been a lot written about these subjects and a good read always helps. People, humans or almost humans, always wore something mainly for waether protection or to cover up while resting. In Architecture, and Interior Design, Castles with no window glass sometimes had fabrics over the window openings just to reduce the draft and keep the temperature. We list a couple of reading references below as well.
While other decorative elements are related and important we will not describe them in depth as we have other Blogs for them. Such is the case for Tapestries, Window Treatments, and Wallpapers. Our Blog links.
Fabrics for Architecture and Interior Design are usually divided in fabrics for Upholstery and Fabrics for Window Coverings. Others include Bed linens. The difference between them is the density of the weave and weight, making the Upholstery Fabrics stronger (Wyzenbeek or Martin-dale rubbings), and in the Window treatment ones they divide usually into shades and sheers, The sheers being somewhat translucent. Some light weight fabrics designed for shades and somewhat thin can also be used in Residential Upholstery with the right backing (Extra fabric or material made integral to the fabric).
The most important point I want to make about Fabrics is beauty. There are some many beautiful fabrics, colors, patterns, textures, applications, that it is a fascinating trade. You could easily devote yourself to Fabrics in one of the specialties mentioned. You will never get bored. They keep developing and it is truly a nice industry.
In recognition to the Fabric Brands we have used on our projects we list them all alphabetically, and provide links to them. All of the fabrics we have used have been very well supported by the fabricators and it has been a pleasure to work with them. We have used some of them repeatedly and others only one or two times. So it is not how often we use them or how seldom or whether it was in one application or another. We are happy to list them as a token of our appreciation.
Then we select some to display here and sometimes tell a story of something that might be relevant or useful from the project where we used them.
Above. Two Fabrics, by Jane Churchill. Same pattern in two tones worked very well together in a recent project in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area.
This list will update from time to time. Most of the companies above are ongoing and some established over 100 years ago, however on the other hand a very few have folded or might trade under another name.
From Top: Nobilis, Lelievre Stark, Stroheim, Pindler. The client wanted a striped, textured fabric in Blue.
The process we use is:
First of all “Thank you” to all Showrooms, assistants and Reps. for their support. Each one of you and your staff has been great. It would have been much more difficult without you. I have worked with some of you over 25 years of good times only.
Please note we don’t credit or list Showroom or Representatives, only Brands. Showrooms are great and we have a lot to thank them for. For displaying, providing memos and facilitating a purchase. The staff that has helped us over the years has always been extremely Professional and Kind, and it has been a pleasure to work with each one and all of them. However fabrics sometimes move from one showroom to another or are represented by a different showroom in different locations.
If you are a member of a Brand or a rep. and know we have used your fabrics and neglected to list it, our apologies. Please let us know if you are missing from the list above, so we can include you on our next update. Fabrics that you know Jerry Jacobs Design, Inc. has used only, we know there are many more lines, we even mention some we haven’t had the opportunity to use or specify yet.
Showrooms and Reps. Represent and display many Brands, and some of these Brands remain with the same showroom for years, other change most often for display space reasons.
We hope this list helps those who are beginning to look, find something beautiful and save some time and enjoy the process.
The Brands or Fabric Houses, might own a loom. However they design and specify and usually work with the best loom for a particular project of line or production. We sometimes order full yardage and they help crate for us usually 100 + yards. We recently order 12 yards cutom at a good price and great quality too.
Kravet has a gadget to scan the bands on the fabric, and order your memos from. This should be implemented as a standard you can have a phone application on.
Leather works as a fabric for Upholstery. Then there are some synthetics, such as Leather look alike but not natural.
Sustainable fabrics. To me this are the most interesting though not necesarilly the nicest or most attractive. Yes the most important too, as they develop will may both quality in include Beauty too.
Trimmings. Please check on our other blogs on Window Treatments, not included here though.
I first used “Is it leather” in the 90’s. Really looked and felt like leather and was perfect for some uses like an ottoman in a bathroom. Then I used a similar product for a booth bench so the kids spaghetti would be easy to clean.
Principles are important, among the wide selection so choose what you like but what you believ in too. Naturals Cotton, wool and so on are usually more compfortable to the touch and harvested most of the time in proper ecological and labor conditions (we hope). Synthetic fabrics, can be hybrid, or recycled so can also have great environmental issues. Prince Charles is a big promoter of wool as it is sustainable or circular too.
100% Solution Dyed Polyolefin, or SD Acrylic, make it a good outdoor product. Impermeable, and color resistance to degrading too. Many Brands or lines carry them. Sunbrella was a leader and certainly a good brand.
As Residential architects and Interior Designer, we have specified fabrics for our projects in a number of ways. For each project a fabric selection is done is subject to client, budget, performance, design and so many other considerations we’ll describe.
Some projects work well with a few fabrics other with a lot of them.
In this project we called Paris in San Francisco, my clients liked “Yellow”. We used 2 fabrics on the Bergere (Chair) and one of them again in the drape table. Both by Colefax and Fowler. Because both are by the same Brand and in this case the same color the combination is perfect, we think so. Later on when my clients moved and invited us to design the second penthouse for them we called “Buena Vista Deco” we repurposed the Draped table fabric, using it on our Orangerie Hallway, both as a drape and attached to wall in the remaining space around the salvaged doors.
Alamo, California, Incline Village, Lake Tahoe. Villa 1 and Villa 2. Procedure and Fabrics. Three projects for the same client and family. A home in California and one in Nevada, and a replacement home in Nevada as well.
We did these 3 projects from 2010 to 2020. A ten year period. However the process was always the same.
Example the 100 window Lodge project, Incline Village Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Here we used 25 Fabrics, trimmings in 12,000 s.f. About 100 windows, about 1,000 yds, 54″ wide.
Incline Village home. Dining room window.
While first of all this might seem like too many fabrics, in context on site or in reality, scale and consistency are important. The dining room shade above is the smaller of 2, the living room is twice the height. The consistency reduces the amount of many fabric effect. Perhaps to 50% with the additional consistent room, and as much because of scale. Distance allows for shading and other texture effects to work better.
We realize many Interior Designers and end users don’t have accounts with all the lines as we do and which are also required to purchase. Also that Showrooms might not be in a city near you or accesible, so we are ready to order for those who need us.
Facilitate. Help designers without access to Showrooms, in their Cities or nearby. Or without the right registration, or account. Help the Planet work better. Less millage more communication.
It is important to notice the contents of the fabric, for wear and other issue. The application, the way you want it to look and so on.
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