Maresca Textiles Debuts Wallpaper Collection from Designer Kathryn Faull
Tell us more about your new range of textiles.
I’ve just released my first line of wallpaper, which is an exciting addition and accompaniment to my fabric line. I’ve taken a few of my most popular fabric designs and translated them into both grasscloth and type II capable wall covering, keeping the handmade marks they’re designed from at the forefront.
I’ve used techniques like block printing, resist watercolor painting, and pen and ink drawing to develop the motifs of the three designs called Shipibo, Kantha, and Hash, and although the papers are digitally printed, they still retain the look of the original handmade marks.
Here I’ll give you a more detailed look at my inspiration for the three new wallcovering patterns (which are also fabric patterns in my collection). Shipibo’s design was inspired by the embroideries of the Amazon’s Shipibo tribe. They use their intricate embroideries as a form of meditation. I took inspiration from their motifs and carved my own intricate stamp to use for block printing. Because the motifs are made using the handmade block, the end paper has the look of block printing with the precision of digital printing that can be so useful when installing seamless wallpaper.
Kantha was inspired by the stitches embroidered on Indian Kantha quilts. I drew marks by hand using a resist material that dries in place and can be painted on top. I used watercolors on top of the marks to develop a rich ground and then removed the resist, leaving crisp white marks on top of the painted ground. Again, the paper is digitally printed to maintain the ease of installation, but the paper retains the look of hand painted watercolor.
Finally, Hash was inspired by architectural renderings. My parents are both architects, and their influence is always apparent in the reference materials I gravitate toward. Using a pen and ink drawing technique, I drew hash marks reminiscent of the lines drawn in architectural drawings. The end results are hand drawn lines in an interesting geometric pattern, colored in more tonal hues to add subtle texture to walls.
Both grasscloths and type II papers are printed in local mills that I’ve sourced since moving to Chicago. The grasscloth papers are printed in Detroit on both metallic and paper weave grounds, and the type II papers are printed here in Chicago. The type II papers can be printed on two weights, one is an 8oz. that is rated for residential use and the other is a 20oz. vinyl suitable for more commercial applications. Both weights are class A fire rated, water and mold resistant, wipeable, and colorfast.
What is the design process like for you?
In all of my designs the initial phase is finding an interesting point of reference. Generally, when I introduce a new collection I have a specific theme or reference in mind. The designs that comprise this wallpaper collection actually launched in the same collection, and the theme then was mark making. In particular, repetitive mark making.
So I looked at various resources, from architecture to tribal embroidery to quilting to find interesting patterns to draw inspiration from and then I figured out how to make my own repetitive marks through different techniques like block printing and resist drawing. As in all of my design work, the handmade element is apparent and maintained throughout the design process. I like for my designs to retain that initial handmade painting that was used regardless of whether they’re screen or digitally printed.
When I first started designing Maresca Textiles back in 2013 my palette was much brighter, but as I get older my taste is changing a bit to the more classic palette. I still love printing color, but often it’s a more muted color like my willow green. Or if I do print a bright color like golden I print it on a flax ground that softens it a bit. My favorite color combination is still navy blue and golden yellow. Our house is covered in it!
Anything else to add?
I’ve always had a more classic approach to design, and it’s something I strive for as I introduce new product to my collection. As much as I love a good trend, I also recognize that clients will be living with my fabrics and wall coverings for years to come so they need to feel timeless while maintaining that fresh point of view. This is always something I play with as I design, and something I think sets me apart in this niche market.
Discover more about the collection on https://www.marescatextiles.com