Tag Archives: Natural Palette

Trends In Bloom

Meet the newest social media platform: trendtablet.com. Designed and curated by lidewij edelkoort, this free tool brilliantly illustrates how trends grow, evolve and how they affect our daily lives – drawing connections between edelkoort’s forecasts and a piece of art, a plant, or any number of inspiring objects. Within the this online design universe, viewers have access to recent projects or access details about trend union’s live presentations. In the talent section, glimpse promising future designers as selected by edelkoort. By collaborating with stylists and photographers, these inspirational tools become sophisticated image banks for creatives all around the world.

The SCG team finds these images inspiring, insightful and perhaps a bit reminiscent of our own design processes for the DyeLab and Natural Palette collections. Great minds do think alike…

Here’s a peek at the Bloom Gallery from trendtablet.

A notable mention: edelkoort’s Bloom magazine contributor Shane Powers has published his first book, Bring the Outdoors In ($16.47). Described as a fresh and aesthetic lifestyle book, Powers offers original and creative ways to blur the boundaries between outside and inside. Fascinated by the natural world for as long as he can remember, Powers says “I didn’t start working on botanicals until I got a job as a photo stylist for the groundbreaking publication Bloom. The founder, Lidewij Edelkoort, encouraged me to think beyond traditional uses, and focus on plants and flowers as more dynamic elements. I began to look at their shapes, colors, and textures with a new perspective.”

Images: Trendtablet.com, Amazon.com

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Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn Grows Natural Dye Plants to Inspire Artists

The Textile Arts Center, located in Brooklyn, NY, provides support for fiber professionals as well as a creative meeting place for people of all ages interested in art. The TAC also holds classes in textile related disciplines such as weaving, embroidery, or natural dye processes.

Few people are aware of the many natural sources of beautiful dyes nor the multitude of colors that can be achieved. The TAC’s Sewing Seeds project started in 2010 with the mission of providing accessible, accurate, and inspired information on natural dyes to their community. Sewing Seeds’ goal is to narrow the gap between the desire for and access to knowledge and materials regarding natural dyes, through building Natural Dyes Living Libraries in public spaces – such as community gardens – to be used freely for education and research, connecting individuals who are interested in natural dyes and laying the groundwork for the local production of natural plant dyes and naturally-dyed yarns.

Sewing Seeds started a collaboration with the community garden in 2010 and began proudly using Brooklyn-grown dyes in their workshops and classes. In 2011, the community garden became the home of TAC’s first Natural Dyes Living Library, a collection of dye plants used as a reference and teaching tool. The Living Library included indigo, safflower, lady’s bedstraw and marigold. Each dye plant was individually labeled with the plant’s common and scientific names and the colors it produces.

Natural Dye Garden

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One of out newest collections, Natural Palette, was inspired by natural dyed fibers created by Savannah College of Art and Design students. This collection explores the color ranges created when dyeing fiber. The Shaw Contract Group design team experimented with different fiber types to create a natural and hand woven effect. This exploration led them to discover a range of textual nuances, delicate lusters and heavy gauge matte filaments.

Photos: Textile Arts Center, TrendTablet

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Design Takes us on a Journey Around the World

Design is a journey.

At Shaw Contract Group, it starts as an idea in Cartersville, GA and ends as a pattern, sometimes half a world away.

But what happens in between?

For Shaw Creative Director Reesie Duncan and her team, that question is more than just conceptual. In their quest to push the limits of how carpet tile looks and feels, they have found themselves in college classrooms, tropical villages and teeming megacities.

And now that Shaw’s tile production plant is under construction in Nantong, China, the creative process is leaping languages and time zones anew.

Luckily, Duncan is prepared. When she first arrived at Shaw 15 years ago, the company was largely unknown outside of the U.S. Since then, the company has become the world’s biggest carpet manufacturer. “I’ve seen Shaw climb and climb — making that journey from where no one knew who we were to the biggest in the industry,” she said.

Shaw’s global strategy shares a common fiber with its creative process: innovation.

Duncan works year round to rethink carpeting, just as the company’s business side is constantly questioning best practices in order to enhance quality and efficiency. Though it’s doubtful they have as much fun.

To wit: although carpeting is made of synthetic materials, which are more robust and easier to maintain, they chose to tackle an ancient material impossible to create with machines. That fiber was silk. Centuries ago, this fabric treasured by kings was carried across deserts and mountains by camel and horseback. The devotion to silk and the painstaking natural process to create it is still revered. In the modern era, luxury is as much about new technologies as old crafts, and Shaw is eager to unite both practices in its search for the highest quality carpets.

Rather than just buy silk Stateside, Duncan and crew journeyed to Thailand, where they crisscrossed the country to learn how silk is made. “We saw how silkworms are grown and went to villages responsible for dying, spinning and weaving the yarn,” said Duncan. “We never would have been able to get so hands on if we’d stayed home.”

Yarn spinners in Thailand inspired one product in the Silk collection aptly named Yarn

Taking their newfound knowledge of an ancient craft, the team returned to Georgia, where they developed Shaw’s most plush yarns yet. While the ensuing collection, called “Silk” is synthetic, their exploration and Shaw’s financial backing allowed them to invest in new technologies that mirror the delicately soft threads of silk. The collection is a contemporary carpet version of the age-old regal fabric, and covers the floors of executive suites across the globe.

To discover new colors and patterns, Shaw finds inspiration everywhere, including in the minute details and elements of daily life. For Shaw’s latest collection, DyeLab and Natural Palette, the design team played with organic fibers like wool and silk, and ingredients from the kitchen and garden: pomegranates, black tea, blackberries, coffee, wood and root. The results were as breathtaking as they were surprising.

“We really view process sometimes as more important than end result,” said Duncan of the three-month experiment. What they found is that mother nature is delightfully unpredictable. Think pomegranate dyes red? Guess again. The crimson fruit comes out a rich amber and green. “It was fascinating to experiment with dyes and see where it took us,” Duncan said. “The result is really natural and organic.”

Once they found the right hues, the team tackled texture by bundling, twisting, dipping wools and silks. The textures look and feel like an artist’s impressionistic canvas, awash in light and depth. The organic influence carries through to the final pattern, as no two carpet tiles are the same.

What sounds easy in fact takes an entire year — but that’s the beauty of the in between. “In our design cycle we challenge ourselves to make it a process,” said Duncan. They’re not just playing with colors. Once the patterns are finalized, it’s time to test the market. That focus allows the design team to gage just what works on real floors and how real people engage with the color and texture.

Then comes the most exciting step in design: the next journey.

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SCAD Students Inspire Natural Palette Collection

Drawn to the beauty and process of natural eco-dyeing, the Shaw Contract Group design team partnered with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) to gain more insight into this medium. Through a fiber art competition, students submitted original, innovative work that inspired our new carpet collection, Natural Palette. Industry leaders from Interior Design magazine, SmithGroupJJR, Perkins + Will and Mancini Duffy chose their favorite projects as winners. The winning students will receive a cash prize and be exposed to thousands of worldwide industry professionals — a terrific path for beginning a career. The first place winner will also attend NeoCon, where Natural Palette will be launched.

And the winners are…

FIRST PLACE: Maria Cristina Oreamuno - "Cabuya: The potential of an unexposed delicacy"

SECOND PLACE: Jamie Galloway – Permaculture Collection

THIRD PLACE (tie): Jennifer Moss – The natural process of rusting

THIRD PLACE (tie): Brittany Beste – architectural weaving installations

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Bringing the Dip Dye Trend into Two New Colorful Collections

Dip dyeing (or tie-dyeing) has been used in many cultures around the world, dating back to around 500 AD in South America. The trend became popular in the 1960s and 1970s in the United States as part of hippie style and embraced by musicians like The Grateful Dead. This trend is yet again making a comeback in everything from clothing to hair. Fashion designers, including Alexander McQueen and Rodarte, have shown off this trend on the runway. Celebrities including Katy Perry are enjoying the dip dye hair trend, adding vibrant pops of color to the ends of their locks. Like the popular trends in fashion and beauty, two of our latest collections are also inspired by the dip dye trend: Dye Lab and Natural Palette.

Stop by our NeoCon showroom at 10-167 to see more of this dip dye trend.

(from left) Stephane Rolland, Dries Van Noten, Rodarte, Alexander McQueen, ADAM

The dip dye hair trend, embraced by celebrities like Katy Perry and Lauren Conrad

 

Photos: SalonAddict.co.uk, Vogue UK

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