My favourite Australian fabric designers

My beautiful customers ask me all the time where to get beautiful fabrics. Here is a bit of a list of Australian designers I love and regularly drool over! 

Please add others you love in the comments section - the more the merrier - I love discovering and exploring Australian textile talent! 

There is no particular order here and I plan to add to this list regularly so check back soon ;-) 

Australian Fabric and Textile Designers I Love

Tim Neve

I've been eagerly following Newcastle based Tim Neve's Instagram the last few weeks and am very excited to see he is launching a new collection called 'Foraged' this month (Feb 2019) at Life Instyle Sydney. I'm in love with 'Protea' - those colours!  

Tim Neve - Protea - fabric design

Protea by Tim Neve, from his Foraged collection

Tim's designs are available on a range of tactile base cloths including velvet and linen.  

Ink & Spindle

Many years ago I discovered Pippi Joe fabric designer Caitlin Klooger and have enjoyed following her journey which led her to co-founding Ink & Spindle in 2008 with designer Lara Cameron. With the highest quality fabrics (eco-linen, organic cotton hemp blends), all Ink & Spindle designs are hand printed in Melbourne and inspired by Australian fauna and flora. 

Flowering gum in desert red and tumeric - Lara Cameron - Ink & Spindle

Flowering gum in desert red and turmeric designed by Lara Cameron for Ink & Spindle 

I've been lucky enough to spend some time in the Ink & Spindle studio a few years ago when I was teaching workshops in Melbourne with Handmaker's Factory. So I can tell you these fabrics are printed by hand, in Melbourne. Its a laborious labour of love and they are absolutely beautiful quality fabrics. 

Sticks in brown ochre - Caitlin Klooger - Ink & Spindle

Sticks in brown ochre designed by Caitlin Klooger for Ink & Spindle

Ink & Spindle fabrics made into lampshades

These lampshades were made in the Ink & Spindle studios at one of my workshops. Not all the fabrics shown are Ink & Spindle but its easy to tell which ones are. 

Kirsten Katz

I love bright and colourful - that's me all over. So when I discovered these fun and happy designs by Bondi Beach based surface pattern design Kirsten Katz, my pleasure levels soared! Kirsten's designs are available through Spoonflower - warning...its a rabbit hole worth jumping down! 

Kirsten Katz - Mid Century Garden fabric collection 

Mid Century Garden collection by Kirsten Katz

Spoonflower has a large range of base cloths to choose from like cottons, poly, knits, woven and organics plus you can get most designs printed as wallpaper and wrapping paper. So much fun! The only problem is trying to choose! 

Amanda Brandl

Our Australian plants and animals are truly unique and such fun for pops of colour and groovy patriotism.  I'm in love with Amanda's Taking Flight collection.  

Wild Australia by Amanda Brandl fabric design

Fabric from Amanda Brandl's Taking Flight collection 

Cloth Fabric - Julie Patterson

Stalwart of Australian fabric design, Julie Patterson started a small fabric company almost 25 years ago and her timeless designs are just as beautiful now as then. Go and get lost in Julie's website - she's busy bee and her aesthetic is just so moreish - I find it hard to pull myself away.  Now based in the NSW Blue Mountains, Julie's work reflects the local environment. 

Cloth fabric - Julie Patterson - Australian textile design - Pod Peacock on Raw

Pod Peacock on Raw by Cloth Fabric, designed by Julie Patterson

Bima Wear

I would love to thank Jody Deamer from the Bouddi Gallery for introducing me to some of the incredible textile designs coming out of the Northern Territory, especially from remote indigenous communities. We've been collaborating for a few years making lampshades with contemporary indigenous designs.

Custom lampshades for Bouddi Gallery - Tiwi Designs fabrics

Fabric from Bima Wear - I'm not sure whether Bima are still selling fabric by the metre - you might find some remnants in stores like Bouddi Gallery in Killcare. 

Bima Wear is a Tiwi women’s creative enterprise based in Wurrumiyanga (Nguiu), Bathurst Island, Tiwi Islands. They've been operating since 1965 and their operation is run entirely by Tiwi women. Visiting the Tiwi Islands is definitely on my bucket list!

Another thank you goes to Martha, one of my workshop students, for introducing me to these fabulous designers. 

Wadeye Fabric

Wadeye is located in a remote pocket of North West Northern Territory. Palngun Wurnangat, means 'Strong Women Together' which is the name of the not for profit corporation which aims to support the local community, take the community's art and designs to a wider audience, and educate and create opportunities for the young women growing up in and around Wadeye. All Wadeye fabrics are hand printed and designed by individual local artists. 

Wadeye Fabric - Contemporary Print by Magdalena Mullumbuk

Contemporary Print designed by Wadeye artist Magdalena Mullumbuk 

Wadeye Fabric Dilly Bags Yellow and Orange on Charcoal by Alanga Nganbe

Dilly Bags Yellow and Orange on Charcoal fabric designed by Wadeye artist Alanga Nganbe

Fabric designs originating in our Australian remote regional art centres are so much more than just a fabric - these designs tell the stories of our ancient first peoples keeping their stories and history alive as well as teaching us all more about our precious Aboriginal culture which, for many Australians, has been a total mystery. I would like to thank these wonderful women and men who are sharing their culture and stories with us.

Babbarra

 Babbarra - Manwak (Mumeka Blooms) designed by Deborah Wurrkidj

Babbarra Women's Centre - Manwak (Mumeka Blooms) designed by Deborah Wurrkidj

Injalak Arts

 

Woven Mat collaborative design by Injalak Ladies - Priscilla Badari, Katra Nganjmirra, Sylvia Badari

The movement and texture in this design really appeals to me. The subtlety of the colour combination seems quite minimal and almost Scandinavian yet the woven mat image tells the stories of these women from the Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) region of northern Australia. 

 Injalak Arts - Frogs design by Gabriella Maralngurra

Injalak Arts - Frogs design by Gabriella Maralngurra.

Many of the Injalak designs feature this graduated colour change in the print - the effect is like seeing the light change in nature. 

Dragonfly design by Injalak Ladies

My Mum actually first introduced me to Injalak Arts as she and Dad were lucky enough to visit in 2017. Mum brought home this beautiful Dragonfly Design by the Injalak Ladies Lynne Nadjowh, Priscilla Badari, Merill Girrabul and I made some shades for her bedroom. If you look closely you can see that the shade on the left features a lime green print and on the right it is blue and green, these shades were from the same piece of fabric but we utilised the graduated colours in each shade so they're not exactly matching but still very much a pair. I love this about these designs. 

Femke Textiles

Another one to drool over on Instagram @femketextiles. Simone Deckers is a Melbourne based textile designer and maker. She makes so many beautiful things using her stunning fabrics. How good is this mustard?

Femke Mustard Seeds and Pods

Dani Design 

Surface pattern designer Dani Willis attended one of my workshops at Sew Make Create (you might remember her from her Guest Blog post) . She brought along her own fabric design which she turned into a beautiful lampshade and then went home and created her own lamp base to complement its mid century style.  

Dani Design

This lampshade features Gourmet Garden Green from Dani's Retro Twist Collection

Stacks of Teacups - Dani Design

I would love to use this design on a lampshade too - its called Tea Party - Stack of Teacups 

Utopia Goods 

I've only just discovered Utopia Goods, a lucky find! These high quality linen upholstery fabrics are quite striking! 

Utopia Goods - Angophora Blue Linen Furnishing Fabric

Angophora Blue Furnishing Linen designed by Bruce Slorach for Utopia Goods 

Firewheel Earth Furnishing Linen - Utopia Goods

Firewheel Earth Furnishing Linen designed by Bruce Slorach for Utopia Goods  

Note to self - add in Jos Proust - https://www.jocelynproustdesigns.com.au/

Well that is just a taste of the myriad of Australian fabric designers out there - please add more that you love in the comments section. Australia has such a rich and diverse range of designers producing truly beautiful fabrics. Here at 3Chooks I would definitely recommend supporting this homegrown talent if you get the chance. 

Happy lampshade making! 


2 comments

  • Check out Penny Malone Tasmanian textile designer. She has been designing for ions. I’m making two shades of her fabric this week

    Annie giffard
  • Also check out the work of Rachael King www.rachaelking.com.au who is a Qld surface designer with gorgeous colourful work as well as a unique toile based on the village she lives in – Samford.

    Sue Ford

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