Join 3,503 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Give Respect to Get Respect
July 8, 2014 6:05 AM   Subscribe

Cotton + Steel is five Southern women - fabric design artists - who convinced "an industry giant to let them build an entire new division of the company according to their own particular vision." Tough, creative women making beautiful fabric in a time of renewed interest in sewing and quilting, and succeeding in business. interview with company founder Melody Miller here.
posted by tizzie (15 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Love the story, but the fabrics leave me feeling sort of meh.
posted by MadMadam at 6:37 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]


Thanks for this story, and for the introduction to The Bitter Southerner. Cool site.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:57 AM on July 8 [3 favorites]


Thanks! The Bitter Southerner does tell great stories, and I enjoyed this one - and liked the way it tied in with the July by Women effort.
posted by tizzie at 7:18 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


“I talked to a lot of people and tried to do a lot of research so that I was bringing them very specific numbers and answers to any questions I could imagine that they would have. I wanted to paint as clear a picture as I could of what this company would look like. I wanted to set the expectations very accurately.”

The women sound really sharp. And yeah, The Bitter Southerner looks really nice, the writing and design are appealing and engaging (some interesting stuff about race and Southern identity in the Lee Bains story, e.g.) Great post; thanks, tizzie.

(Agree with MadMadam about what seems like the....ordinariness of the fabrics. Wish they were more odd and interesting.)
posted by mediareport at 7:46 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I quite liked some.
posted by maryr at 7:57 AM on July 8 [3 favorites]


I'm with you, maryr. I think the patterns are whimsical and fun without being too cutesy.
posted by tizzie at 8:05 AM on July 8


Ooh, I want everything on this page that does not contain butterflies!
posted by ghostbikes at 8:54 AM on July 8


I just started a sewing class last night. Several people in the class were lamenting the disappearance from the U.S.A. of fabric and clothing craft as a decent source of employment, especially for women. One woman's mom was a professional seamstress for years. I grew up in an area that was heavy on small clothing companies and mills, so I saw the change firsthand.

So I will be sure to check out this site as a source for my first class project and will forward it along to others.

JulyByWomen has been a fantastic month so far on the blue. I'm hoping we can keep it going on a permanent basis.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 9:24 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


Cotton + Steel was the hot debut at Quilt Market this spring - very on-trend or trend-setting.
I just love seeing beautiful quilting cottons get a little more "out-there" in their design.
posted by Coffeemate at 10:18 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Several people in the class were lamenting the disappearance from the U.S.A. of fabric and clothing craft as a decent source of employment, especially for women.

Agreed! My sister works for a very small company that does custom furniture slipcovers. (Shameless plug: if you happen to live in Houston and are interested, memail me for their website. Not sure if it would be ok to link here.) It's a really great gig for a working mother of two, because the hours are flexible and she's able to do at least some of the work on her machine at home. But I know other women with similar backgrounds (textile/apparel design degrees) really struggling to find decent work in the industry. Not everyone has the capital to open a cool clothing boutique in a major city, you know? Also, my sis doesn't make enough to be able to support her family by herself - her husband also works full-time. But at least it's something, it uses her talents, and it's creative.
posted by misskaz at 10:54 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I was surprised to learn of the $1.3 billion quilting market. That's huge. I'm thrilled that so many people are keeping the textile arts alive!

Great post, thanks!
posted by danabanana at 11:14 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I keep wanting to quilt. My grandmother used to quilt; my mother did a little when I was young but she was never really into it. These fabrics seem hip and modern. Also, the craftsy.com site mentioned in the article seems very cool too.

I'm trying to make more time for interesting pursuits/hobbies so maybe there is quilt, made by me, in my future.
posted by shoesietart at 11:18 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


This is neat. I was a fan of Kim Kight's old blog, True Up, and her fabric design book. I remember her mentioning being involved in a new venture and it's great to see more about it.

And I got way into quilting thanks to Metafilter, when a few of us took part in a round robin quilt-by- mail project last year. (MetaQuilter, if you will.)
posted by medeine at 1:20 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


(Shameless plug: if you happen to live in Houston and are interested, memail me for their website. Not sure if it would be ok to link here.)

No reason to be shameful, misskaz; self-linking in *comments* has always been OK at Metafilter. It's just self-linking in posts that's not cool. Give us the link!
posted by mediareport at 2:42 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


Hah, ok then: LS Slipcovers. Thanks, mediareport.
posted by misskaz at 4:41 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


« Older For many years Bruce Sterling has been writing abo...  |  The Woman Who Wasn't There.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments