Today I’d like to introduce you to Cloth and Print which is beautiful textile & homeware range created by Megan Smith. I’ve known Megan for a few years now through her blog, dressed by style and I’m so impressed with her latest venture.
Megan originally trained as a textile designer and has spent many years in the design industry. Now that her two boys are a little older, she is able to devote more time and effort into making her dream textile collection a reality.
Megan currently has her range on display at the Emerging Creatives Exhibition at The Watershed which I wrote about yesterday, so do go and visit. Megan’s created seven designs and she screen prints all of the fabrics herself by hand! Apart from the lovely designs themselves, both the quality and finish of Megan’s products are excellent.
The Cloth and Print online store will be launching soon and Megan will also be supplying a few niche stores. Hop down for a great interview with Megan…
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.
Image credits: Cloth and Print