It took me quite a bit of time to think about what inspires me around all the many designs and ideas I have had a hand in producing over the years.
The many bags, cushions, clothes, even my own home and I realised it was never ever one big image or thought or action that got me in the mood to start a new Collection.
In fact it was the smallest glimmer of an idea or a tiny image or action, or something left lying around in my house that got me excited and off on a new journey.
I realise that for me, an inspirational thought is like the beginning of a wonderful journey. Start with an idea, take one step, stop check out where the next step may go, and little by little I find myself creating something new.
One of the most successful ideas I ever came up with was from a small piece of Banares silk sari border, which I used for making a velvet cushion, trimmed with a sari border, and attaching four huge tassels. Simple and stunning. We made this cushion for Laura Ashley and ran with the same design for almost two years, changing colours for pertinent seasons. They loved them, their customers loved them, my suppliers were happy.
But let me tell you about the silk sari border cushion.
Beth Jordan, design - Velevet with Varanasi hand loom silk sari border and hand made tassels
The silk was hand woven with shuttles on traditional pit looms in Banares, India. The silk was woven with the right side underneath, so one would not see the finished front of the silk until the whole piece was woven.
Such was the skill of the weaver, that when the whole piece was finished, the front was perfection. I used to get very cross if the Buyers thought a natural slub was a defect and rejected the whole piece. (But that is another story).
s.The conditions under which the weaver worked was hot and humid and I would often go to Banares to see my weavers and felt such huge pride for these artisans
We made over 30,000 of these cushions for Laura Ashley and I am so pleased that this style sold so well. It gave a lot of employment to the weavers of Banares, and introduced many customers to the wonders of Banares silk.
traditional hand looms, skilled weavers, pit loom, varansi silk, India,