For our new fall blanket, I wanted to continue the large scale patterns we did with NATURE and SQUARES, but in a warmer, softer fabric for the colder months. I was inspired by the simple shapes of Constructivism but with a more versatile palette to play with our new PERLA colors, stone and plant. I had in mind something geometric with a 1970s inspiration, and with that, I started to experiment.
As with SQUARES, I began cutting irregular geometric shapes out of construction paper. This is a method I have used since my design school days, and I really like working with that scalpel. Whatever idea you have for a pattern you have to figure out the medium to get it right.
I used paper I had laying around to cut out the shapes, and started playing around with different patterns before settling on specific colors. I always make sure colorful designs go with a few neutrals from the line.
I also experimented with designing in Illustrator, where I can more quickly change around colors and patterns to find what shapes I am looking for.
As you can see, even at this stage I wasn't totally sure what I wanted. Below is a pattern I tried before deciding on the circle direction. Maybe I'll come back to it in the future.
Finally, I figured out the pattern: circles and rectangles all in different variations, a more dynamic look rather than just a static grid.
Then I worked on getting the colors just right.
I keep any pieces of material that intrigue me, whether for the tone or texture, in my color library. Here I found my palette in old blanket and paper cuttings I’ve held onto that were waiting for a project like this.
I sent my original collage to the factory to see what they could do. In order to make an irregular design like the one I had envisioned, the factory has to make some adjustments due to technical limitations.
In woven patterns you always get more colors than you specify, as any color gets mixed with at least one other color. Starting with my five in this case resulted in eight colors. I was very happy with the unforeseen colors in the first sample we got. Ultimately, these are colors people are going to have to live with, they can't overpower and must last so that you don't easily tire of them.
The rusty orange color in the image below was made by weaving together the TOBACCO and LILAC colors from my swatches. The other new colors were a darker lilac tone and a darker melon color.
Here I check out the weave with a magnifying glass:
And here is the final blanket in our office for inspection:
Once I saw it in person, the warm and cool tones together reminded me of spices, flowers, soil and stones: of INDIA.