Textiles also showed up in force across the NYIGF, featuring a variety of sophisticated surfaces transformed into home goods designs. Of particular note, Proud Mary’s hand woven and dyed textile designs from Mali, West Africa and Guatemalan artisans come in a variety of subtle hues and serve as pillow covers or small travel pouches. Boasting products in a similar range of hues but with a different story and type of weaving, Basik 855 offers placemats, napkins, pillows and other home goods made in Cambodia using traditional Ikat techniques. Run as a social enterprise, the business employs 46 weavers who receive healthcare and 10% of proceeds go towards clean water initiatives.
For those with an appreciation for textiles and texture, Marina Paper’s variety of hand-bound books, wall hangings and cushions will challenge you to re-think paper use. Founder Marina Shrestha has developed a paper alternative to leather that she calls Vegetal. The durable material is made from Lokta fibers and is featured in her cushion and journal designs. The designer has also created a wall hanging that features block colors, which upon closer inspection reveal small books that fit perfectly into the larger board making it both decorative and functional. The Nepal-based company has existed for over 20 years and has worked with the same 20 employees during that period. Previously sales came mostly from Europe and France, but as the company continues to grow, they hope to find US outlets to sell their high-quality designs.
With thousands of designs on exhibit and the sustainable roster growing each year, the NYIGF continues to make a strong presence in New York City drawing crowds from across the globe. It offers a great chance to not only see the latest designs, but to also meet some of the makers at select stalls. The show continues through Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at the Javitz Center, Pier 92 and Pier 94.
All images © Amanda Silvana Coen for Inhabitat