(Gem of the Prairie Friday! From Chicago, Janel highlights new textiles for her 2nd post. Comment away.)
When selecting fabric, look for:
a: Great color, texture, and pattern
b: Environmentally friendly production
c: Hand crafted quality
d. Excellent pricing
e: All of the above
All is possible with Esperanto textiles (Note: the website needs updating and no longer sells. See sites below for sales). Based in the Midwest, Esperanto was started in 2002 by Tim Kurtz. A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, Tim worked as a designer for clients from rock bands to Herman Miller before starting Esperanto.
Esperanto makes hand silk-screened linens and cottons that are perfect for interiors. Tim creates the screens traditionally with hand-cut rubylith and prints the fabric on-site in small batches. Esperanto uses clean soy-based inks. The mixing of the sheer, saturated colors where the patterns overlap are gorgeous on the linen texture, especially when viewed in person (monitors don't do justice!).
We photographed Esperanto fabric on a loveseat at Sprout Home(above), a favorite Chicago shop that features a happy mix of inspiring design selections and plants. The pattern used for the loveseat, "Water", with its nature-inspired pattern and mod gold and grey colorway, echoed the natural and man-made beauty in the retail space.
These fabrics have a friendly, fresh vibe. Inspired by mid-century design and natural forms, they'll add a bit of personality to a room when used for smaller furniture pieces, pillows, drapes or stretched as a wall hanging. An in-home workspace would benefit from their upbeat energy. A side chair upholstered with Esperanto fabric would work well with the more neutral, serious pieces that often anchor a living space.
One of Tim's goals was to design and produce hand-crafted textiles for modern environments at an affordable price. At 28.00 /yard, he has certainly succeeded.
A current selection of Esperanto textiles is available for purchase online at contemporarycloth.com.