Confessions of a Souvenir Textile Addict

Silk saris from Mumbai, catching their first glimpse
of the world outside the closet in over a year

Some people collect postcards from their travels, or shot glasses, or kitchen tools, or tribal masks... Personally I never thought of myself as collecting much of anything, until recently I realized I've got two whole drawers filled to bursting with bolts of fabric from various Asian locales. So I suppose it's time to admit it: I collect fabric. Block-printed Indian cotton, Vietnamese silk, Tibetan yak wool—you name an exotic textile, chances are I've schlepped it in my suitcase. And something tells me that among Apartment Therapy readers, I'm not the only one. So today, in honor of Escapes Month, I'm hoping my fellow addicts can help me out with some suggestions for just exactly what to do with all of this fabric I've got tucked away...

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There are the obvious options, of course—having pillows made, or clothing, or table linens. As you can see, I even put one actual souvenir, an Indian sari, to work as a table skirt in my office, to hide the unsightly wires under a desk. (By the way, please excuse the off colors in the photo, as well as the icky Ikea sawhorse desk, a "temporary" solution that's lasted years.) But I'm curious about more creative ways to use souvenir textiles at home.

Any ideas? If you like to bring home fabrics from abroad, how do you use them?

(Images: Susie Nadler for Apartment Therapy)