Vintage Fabric Guide

Don't you guys love the mix and match ethnic fabric trend that's been going on for a while.  It's been around of a while, but I don't think it's going anywhere and that's okay by me, because I still love it!  Do you look at these pillows and textiles and wonder "what the heck is mudcloth?"  I'm here to decode what to search for to find that perfect modern, bohemian pattern you've been searching for.  I am starting below with some inspiration photos from the queens of mixing and matching these beauties, Amber Lewis and The Mod Boho.  

Amber Interior Pillows
Amber Interiors Pillows
Amber Interiors Pillows

photos: 1 / 2 / 3


Now that you're pumped and ready to shop for these babies, here's a quick guide on what and where to search for ten popular ethnic textiles. 

Ethnic Textile Guide

African Mudcloth - is handmade in Mali, using Malian cotton fabric dyed using a process of fermented mud.  This dates back to the 12th century.  Look for this fabric on Etsy, The Mod Boho and even Urban Outfitters.  

Chinese Hmong - Every square is handmade by a Hmong hilltribe woman living in the remote hills of northern Laos using the reverse applique quilting method.  The designs are traditional symbols for love, longevity and life.  Delicate accent embroidery adorns each square.  Find these beautiful textiles on eBay, Etsy and The Mod Boho.

Kilim - These woven textiles have been handmade since ancient times, originating from Persia, Turkey and Mongolia.  The weft strands carry the color and pattern and are almost always wool, the warp yarns can either be wool or cotton.  Kilims can used be tapestries, rugs or pillows.  Find kilims on eBay and Etsy.  

Indigo mudcloth - methods are the same as described above, patterns tend toward stripes and striped like patterns.  Find these on Etsy, The Mod Boho and Amber Interiors.

Chinese batik - batik is a method of dying fabrics in patterns using wax to keep parts un-dyed.  Chinese batiks are often indigo colored and detailed dotted patterns. Look for Chinese batiks on Etsy and Amber Interiors.

African batik - African batik dying method is generally the same as Chinese, however fabrics are often more colorful and more varied patterns.  Beautiful textiles on Ananse Village.

Peruvian loomed fabric - similar to kilim, these fabrics are often striped.  Click over to Etsy to see more.

indigo shibori - Shibori is resist dying technique originated in Japan.  Usually used on silk, hemp and cotton, fabrics are folded and bound in different ways to create different patterns and are dyed using indigo.  There are many many DIY tutorials out there to make these fabrics yourself, but Etsy is also a great source.  

Chinese embroidery - These beautiful hand embroidered textiles are true works of art.  They are more rare and pricier than some of the others on this list.  Search Etsy here. 

Peruvian embroidery - brighter than their Chinese counterparts, these are a little harder to find, but there are some good options on Etsy and some gems on Amber Interiors