DIY the Look of Your Favorite Global Fabrics

DIY the Look of Your Favorite Global Fabrics

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Dabney Frake
Sep 20, 2016
(Image credit: Burkatron)

For years western travelers have bought souvenirs on trips, then incorporated them into homes as reminders of the far-flung places they've been. It's no wonder that interior design is a mesh of cultures that blend together patterns and styles from different influences. You might not be a globe trotter yourself, able to afford to buy these actual fabrics in their countries of origin. But if you love them, get the look yourself right at home.

(Image credit: I Spy DIY)

Mudcloth: This gorgeous fabric comes from Mali and usually has a graphic pattern of geometric lines and dots, in high contrast black and white. It's got a rich history. You can create your own version of mudcloth with either an easy dye-resistant technique, or with a bleach pen. We showed you how to use glue in 2013, and I Spy DIY shows you the latter method. Burkatron just used a stamp (lead image above)!

(Image credit: Francois & Moi)

Otomi: From Mexico, this cloth historically has hand-embroidered animal motifs —sometimes in bright vibrant colors on a white background. Erin of Francois & Moi created a throw pillow with Otomi-like silhouettes using fabric paint and a stencil.

(Image credit: Martha Stewart)

Hawaiian Appliqué: Made famous by Poakalani & Co. these large patterns have graced homemade quilts for centuries. To get the look, Martha Stewart embellished a plain robe with sage green linen to create a large graphic floral print. Purl Soho did something similar with extra large floor cushions.

(Image credit: Room for Tuesday)

Shibori: There are tons of ways to manipulate cloth to resist dye and create the beautiful indigo pattern from Japan. If you like to getting messy, Room For Tuesday has an easy-to-follow tutorial that gives you the look of shibori.

(Image credit: ChippaSunshine)

Ikat: This fabric is created by dyeing threads before they are woven, which has pattern on both sides of the fabric as a result. It's found in many countries, including Southeast Asian, Africa & Latin America. ChippaSunshine used a stencil to create the (one-sided) pattern on her roller shades.

(Image credit: Design Sponge)

Suzani: This ornately embroidered fabric from Central Asia usually has a cotton or silk base. Design Sponge posted a tutorial several years ago featuring the one above, which uses cut-out felt as an applique to get the look.

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