How lovely to be featured in the always inspiring SA Home Owner magazine April 2017! Thank you so much for the interview and supporting my small textile brand…take a look at the article below or read the online version on SA Home Owner.
It’s not everyday that you get to be on a very hip international website…our home and my Cloth and Print studio was recently featured on the awesome Apartment Therapy. Lana of Lanalou Style photographed our home beautifully and we were so delighted with the House Tour feature. Take a look at the full feature on Apartment Therapy.
I’m quite shy so normally I’m behind a camera and it’s a bit strange to see myself on the other side of the lens…in a video too! Take a look…
The lovely ladies of I Heart Your Outfit recently featured Cloth and Print on their fabulous blog. Thank you so much Liza and Emily!
Tell us how Cloth and Print came about
I adore beautiful fabric and have a passion for print. My background is in Textile Design and over the years I have been eager to create my own handprinted collection but have parked it on the back burner until the time was right. I think the real catalyst to begin Cloth and Print came after a creative trip to Jaipur, India in 2014. Being so close to the historic craft of block-printing and being immersed in a culture rich in textiles gave me the impetus to lay the cornerstone of my dream to create my own textile collection. The name Cloth and Print simply expresses my love for fabric and my joy for print… where these two concepts meet, one repeat at a time.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I feel inspired by so many little things we find around us. Recently, I found myself mesmerised by the rather arbitrary shadows thrown by roadside retainer blocks, thinking what a great print it would make! But more often that not, I’m drawn to the natural beauty of our surroundings, flowers in particular are a source of inspiration to my work. I find that travel is a wonderful eye-opener especially when we allow ourselves to learn from people around the globe and the creative process they follow. It shakes us out of our comfort zone and broadens our perspective.
Where can we find your products?
Cloth and Print has an online shop where all the products are available, both ready-made and custom orders. I also supply Fabricate in Gardens Centre with most of the purses and bags from the range.
What are your favourite items to date?
I absolutely adore the Clutch & Cover bag which is both fabulous and functional! With a handmade leather wrist strap and available in two sizes, it can be used as a beautiful clutch for a night on the town or an iPad cover during the day.
In just a sentence, tell us what Cloth and Print means to you
Our lives are made up of memories, and Cloth and Print is the curated cultural recollections of my life told in the manner of pattern and print.
What a great little feature Cloth and Print received in the Weekend Argus this past Saturday! If you didn’t catch it, you’ll find the PDF of the interview and pics from the newspaper below…
Great article on House and Leisure! Thank you so much for featuring Cloth and Print.
You know you’re talking to a true textile designer when her first confession is: ‘I have a weakness for beautiful textiles and adore the texture of good fabric.’
It’s this passion that drives Megan Smith to create the handmade items for her relatively young label Cloth and Print. But it’s not just a focus on the material object which makes Megan’s products stand out. Her designs are deeply influenced by personal and cultural experiences, making them relatable beyond just a pretty object.
‘The story behind the design is often the most interesting part of a print. It gives complexity to a pattern and tells a tale beyond the surface of a textile print,’ she explains of her Heirloom range, which includes seven textile designs used to make a range of items such as bags, cushion covers and even a clever origami purse.
It is this range, inspired by memories from childhood, that has brought Cloth and Print to the fore, seeing it being chosen as one of 40 new designers in the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives fair.
The seven different textile designs in Heirloom each tackle a ‘curated recollection’ of her own cultural heritage, for example, Blackjack is inspired by growing up in countryside in KZN where Blackjack seeds would often stick to clothing and socks.
Choosing to print on natural fabrics such as 100% cotton and a linen/cotton blend is a careful decision too since it corresponds well with the already organic shapes.
Of her design aesthetic, Megan notes that she aims to create balance by synchronising the stories that come from her own roots with contemporary culture.
‘I’ve taken the geometric elements [a current design trend] and given them a bit of a twist to suit my pattern philosophy of perfect imperfection,’ she explains.
Finnish company Marimekko is her source of inspiration for its bold, simple graphic work which remains fresh to this day.
‘In a world filled with fleeting trends, I find the enduring nature of such a brand very inspiring,’ she says.
Megan plans to continue building on her Heirloom range with new colourways and potentially some botanical elements, so watch this space!
Most recently, she has launched her own online store making her Heirloom range available to a broader audience.
You can shop for Cloth and Print products and textiles at shop.clothandprint.com
Thank you for the fab feature on the Ogilvy Blog … read the full feature and interview by clicking the link!
“Cloth and Print is a small textile studio based in Cape Town. Original designs are hand screen printed onto natural fabrics and made into beautiful accessories and home wear. Small runs keep things special and individual. Where CLOTH meets PRINT…one repeat at a time.”
Q: How did you get into textile design?
A: I adore the texture of fabrics. I remember visiting fabric stores when I was young and running my hands across the rolls and rolls of different cloth and relishing the sensation of the various textures. I have always drawn and invariably the drawings become patterns. Textile Design was a natural choice for a girl who loves cloth with a bit of print!
Q: Which things in your environment are you inspired by?
A: I feel inspired by the natural beauty we find around us. Flowers in particular are a beautiful source of inspiration for my work. I also find that travel opens up my eyes to new cultures and I get a real sense of joy when I learn about people across the globe and the creativity process they follow.
Q: What has been the most exciting piece you have created? .
A: The story behind the design, is for me, the most exciting part of a print. It gives a real sense of depth to a pattern and tells a tale beyond the surface of a textile print. My design called Granny’s Beads is one of those patterns that began from a memory of when I was a little girl…my granny would let me rummage through her dressing-table drawers, that packed with her sparkly brooches & colourful beaded necklaces. I loved the feel of the smooth, cool beads sliding through my fingers. This print is a nostalgic memory of my Granny and her beads, captured on cloth in a simple and graphic way.
Cloth and Print is thrilled to be featured on the beautiful blog Lanalou Style. The article features an interview and collages of images from the Heirloom collection by Cloth and Print. Please click on the link to view the full feature. Thank you Lana!
How did you decide on the name, Cloth and print?
I have a deep love for beautiful fabric and a passion for print…the name Cloth and Print expresses where these two concepts meet, one repeat at a time.
When did you start designing your collection? How long has the process taken from planning to being ready to sell?
The creative process often takes place slowly and in stages…mainly in my head and sketchbook! The real catalyst for the collection began in India when I attended a creative travel course through Ace Camps in October 2014. It was my creative reset button. I then began designing my collection in January 2015, mainly sketching ideas and inspirational concepts.
But it actually all started taking tactile shape about 6 months ago. I’ve tried to keep my emerging brand very true to its textile roots and purchased secondhand silkscreens that I refurbished and now use to print my designs.
I created 7 repeatable designs that have different inspirations and stories behind each print, but all with a common thread of organic minimalism running through them. I’m only printing on natural 100% cotton and linen, which gives the product a wonderfully indigenous feel. I’ve explored my love of the monochromatic with a black, white and natural palette, and introduced gold to give a sense of luxe.
Do you do everything yourself?
At the moment, I am silkscreening all the designs in my little Cape Town studio. I source everything from the fabric to the making of the leather accessories that I add to the finished product. I decided that stitching the final product would perhaps be a bit more than I could handle, so I have a gorgeous group of ladies who make up my printed fabric into the items that I designed.
The process of screen printing is very slow and a true labour of love! Each repeat has to be carefully placed on the fabric in order to create a consistent print, allowing drying time between all the repeats. Right now, I’m not able to mass produce my prints, but then that’s what makes them special and authentic. I appreciate the handmade quality that results from screenprinting by hand and I really hope that others will too!
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
The nature of my range is handcrafted and rather labour intensive, so making sure that my collection has attention to detail is really important to me. This however takes time and discipline. But I feel it’s worth it because it adds real authenticity to the end product.
What motivates you?
The pull towards doing something creative is always motivating. But the joy of seeing the seed of a design germinate into a print then grow into a finished product is hugely gratifying. I love using my hands to make things!
3 things that inspire you…
The adventure of travel, the beauty of nature and a love of cultural history
Any tips for someone starting out as a textile designer?
Learn to observe the world around you with an editing eye because sometimes less is more when it comes to printed fabric. Take workshops that give you hands on experience with printing fabric. Study traditional textile prints because there’s beautiful inspiration from the old masters.
Cloth and Print is delighted to have been featured on Visi Magazine this week…SA’s most beautiful magazine! Click the image to be whisked off to the full article!
Welcome to Cloth and Print! It’s been an unbelievably busy but incredibly inspiring start to the year. I’m thrilled at the positive response I received at the Emerging Creatives 2016 exhibition of which I was proudly a part of. My handmade textile collection Cloth and Print was selected as one of the 40 young creatives from around South Africa, across diverse design and architectural disciplines, to exhibit as part of the massively influential Design Indaba. Wow. I’m still pinching myself from receiving the news and the past few weeks have been a roller-coaster of busyness. But I did it and launched my Heirloom Collection at the Emerging Creatives Design Indaba 2016 exhibition.