Printed on the Memory
Lewis & Wood has delved into the Victoria & Albert Museum’s peerless collection of textiles to create its latest collection, Stitch Prints. As the name suggests, although they were inspired by embroideries – specifically, Greek 19th-century examples – the finished products are printed linens.
Full of folkloric detail, the three designs in the collection each reflect the distinctive regional character of Greece’s revered embroidery tradition. Pictured below, left to right, ‘Iliad’ is a design full of birds, beasts and people, influenced by a bed hanging from Epira, an area in the far west of Greece that supplied textiles to most of the Ottoman empire in the 19th century; ‘Metaxa’ takes its inspiration from a cushion cover originating from the island of Thasos; and ‘Athena’ is a cross-stitch design taken from a linen under-dress made on Kalymnos.
The collection cements Lewis & Wood’s reputation for adventurous, considered design, and beautiful pattern in particular. Uniting them all is a sense of individuality, a quality that speaks of fabrics that are carefully crafted: they only produce things they love. The company has been working with the V&A since 2014, with an arrangement that allows it to use the museum’s entire archive as source material: the work of May Morris and CFA Voysey have provided the inspiration for previous collections.
While the showroom at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour remains closed, Lewis & Wood’s headquarters in the Cotswolds is currently operational, with a with a skeleton staff working individually to maintain equipment and others working remotely to field requests, so it is able to send out samples, albeit more slowly than usual.