Category Archives: Textile

Maryam Ashkanian

Iranian fiber artist Maryam Ashkanian is the artist behind Sleep Series, a collection of pillows with portraits of sleeping people stitched onto them using a sewing machine.  Little hints of the sleeper’s personality are presented by the way the pillow is designed—from a flowered watch on one’s wrist, to a ruffle that encircles that pillow’s outer edge. The artist has an academic background in painting and brings that painterly touch to the work.  On Kashya Hildebrand website Ashkanian discusses her history with fabric: 

“My mother’s village is in Gilan (Caspian area), which is one of the main places in Iran for sewing. My childhood was embedded in textiles and sewing. Until I started at the fine arts university, I did not realize it was possible to use textiles as a medium, so I used oil painting at first. Later, I realized that oil paint was not my vision of the world. It took me awhile to understand and realize the numerous possibilities and the flexibility that textiles and sewing could bring to my practice. There were some things I couldn’t achieve in oil painting that I can with textiles.” 

You can follow the artist on her website and on Instagram.

Images:  Courtesy of Maryam Ashkanian.

Nijiyura Tenugui

We like bringing items back from Japan especially tenugui towels.  They are made from thin cotton approximately 14 x 36 inches.  They function as towels but can also be a washcloth, dishcloth, headband, decoration or as a gift wrap. What we love about them are their unique designs.  The items shown above are from the hand towel specialty store, Nijiyura, a brand of Senten Tenugui established to protect craftsmen and traditional culture. 

More of their designs can be viewed on their website, Facebook and Instagram.

Images:  Courtesy of Nijiyura.

Masaru Suzuki

Masaru Suzuki is a respected textile designer who comes from the seaport town of Chiba, Japan. He is best known for his bold, playful compositions inspired by nature, plants and animals.  He graduated from Tama Art University with a BA in Dyeing and Weaving Design.  After working at a few design studios in 1995 he started to expand own business as a textile designer.  In 2005 he started his own fabric line Ottaipnu and in 2010 collaborated with Nordic textile manufacturer, Marimekko.  Currently he has been designing various manufacturers and brands in Japan and overseas.  On design site Kinarino he says this about colors:

“I don’t think “flashy = beautiful color”. There is absolutely no dirty color when viewed by itself, it’s a combination of saving and killing, so I am very conscious of that. Well, personally I like flashy colors, so I’d like to use it if it’s allowed (laughs) Of course I also like black and white beige, and I wear it myself, but I try to use colors that have an impact somewhere. I feel like my thoughts will stop if I use only safe colors.”

The artist can be followed on his website and on his company’s website, Ottaipnu.

Images:  Courtesy of Masaru Suzuki.