I spent last Thursday morning having tea and cake at the Canterbury Studios at the Lulu fabrics Silk Road Collection launch. I get inspired about most things related to fashion including magnificent fabrics and if you are ever in need of covering cushions or couch covers I highly recommend a visit to the studio. Everything is beautiful! If I could have walked away with the chair I sat in, I would have. I did score big time by purchasing two pairs of cotton printed pumps that remind me of her stunning hand-made prints every time I wear them.
South African fabric company Lula Fabrics, celebrating its fifth birthday this year, has launched a new illustrious collection, The Silk Road, inspired by the hand-woven textiles of ancient China and the desert oases of Bhukhara, Samarkand, Kashgar (now known as Uzbekistan). The new hand-designed and locally created range was inspired by traditional Ikats and Suzani’s from the 19th century, the delicate textiles carried by traders on the famous route from China to Russia and back, famously known as the Silk Road.
“The old-style textile designs of the Ikat and Suzani are one of Lula Fabrics’design themes,” says Melissa Kerkhoff, creative designer at Lula Fabrics.
The range features rustic plain cotton weaves in Aqua, Chartreuse, Pink, Charcoal and Grey, perfect for upholstery, slipcovers and curtaining. It has a sumptuous slub and has been pre-washed for slipcovers lending it a wonderful floppy handle – perfect for the shabby-chic look and the relaxed beach-house appeal. Filigry is a delicate ornamental one-coloured print on light mesh linen. The scale and softness of this fabric lends itself to floaty drapery.
“We have introduced some new colours to the range which are very in keeping with what is currently on the catwalks overseas such as salmon, sea foam and yellow mixed in with our vibrant chartreuse, mellow duck egg and subtle grey hues – a wonderful quiet complement to the bold Suzani and Ikat designs.”
The Ikat is a traditional dyeing and weaving technique used to pattern textiles and one of the oldest forms of fabric decoration. Lula’s Ikat design Sarawak is a large, oversized one-colour print with variegated shading giving it depth and a worn/aged feel.
“We love the relaxed hand-woven effect the Ikat method of weaving brings to textiles and have successfully translated this stried edge effect in our printed designs.”
Suzani, a type of embroidered tribal textile, originated in Uzbekistan, which was a major port of call along the Silk Road route. The newly launched Silk Road Collection has a more casual, antique looking Suzani design, which is printed with a rich woven texture in six colours on linen and on natural white cotton, called Timur.
“This range is concise yet versatile and will co-ordinate beautifully with the rest of Lula’s collections – enriching the range and allowing more scope to the designer.”
The latest Silk Road collection builds on the success of Melissa’s previous collections such as Spring, African Mischief, New Tribal and Damask & Paisley. The Delicious Monster collection followed and was born out of designs created for the Eden Island resort in the Seychelles. This collection and the Delicious Monster design have become iconic symbols of the Lula Fabrics collections, being used in lodges in Mozambique, Mauritius, Italy , Australia and the Seychelles.
Lula Fabrics has also launched a range of fashion items such as hand bags, shoppers and ballet pumps in the popular Lula Fabrics designs with hints of hot pink, purple and orange.
Lula Fabrics was founded in 2007 by Melissa Kerkhoff, textile designer and international seller of fantastic African and classic fabric prints.
Visit Melissa and view her fabric collections and fashion ranges at her show room in Cape Town, open to the trade and the public from Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Unit 4 Canterbury Studios, Wesley Street, Gardens