Heirloom Fibrecraft commenced in 2012 as a textile art and contemporary craft label representing the natural palette of Australia's landscape and it's distinctive native plant foliage. Over the years, designer-maker Kim Shipton has developed a collection of textiles, interior soft furnishings and fashion accessories which are available in both commercial print designs and handmade 'art series' projects. Each textile design, ranging from wallpaper to outdoor cushion, derives from Heirloom's original art and craft formula.
Premium quality, natural materials and sustainable production contribute to Heirloom's 'pared-back', naturalist and biophilic style:
"Observing nature regularly; the shifting cycles of the seasons, the beauty of a landscape (both aquatic and terrestrial), the habits and interactions of wild life with flora, creates empathy and understanding of the natural world, which we are intrinsically apart of. This has been described as ‘Biophilia’ (refer to the book by Edward O Wilson, titled ‘Biophila; the human bond with other species’).
I believe that the more we remove of the natural world the less human we become. There is a great deal of scientific evidence on the psychological and physical health benefits of living within the Natural world, ranging from reducing depression, anxiety, stress related illnesses, heart disease and high blood pressure. This is the primary motivation behind the Heirloom Fibrecraft brand; to revitalise and realign our minds and bodies with nature by surrounding ourselves with forest; familiar leaf shapes; the sensually tactile, to remind us of where we may belong and what we are apart of. Our products are made with a genuine connection to nature, using sustainable resources and the tool of conservation to complete the creative cycle. Heirloom pieces are made for longevity and lasting design appeal". Kim Shipton (Diploma of Commercial Arts; Interior Decoration and Design)
THE HANDCRAFT DYEING TECHNIQUE
Heirloom motifs, composition and designs are created by direct contact between native plants and the textile which are heated to release minerals stored in plants that bind to the cloth surface. Using native plants creates a colourfast result. Each design is influenced by seasonal cycles and the unique characteristics of every plant. Up to 40 Australian native plant species are used to create solid colours or 'contact prints'.
In every plant exists endless elements (minerals) that are sourced from soil. The Table of Elements shows many minerals which naturally exist in soil. When leaves are heated their minerals are released. Cloth that is wound tightly around leaves and branches absorb the minerals and create a photocopy of the leaf. This is assisted with mordants (binding agents) such as protein which are found in the textiles we select. We also temper the dye bath with natural alkalis and citrus acid.
'ART SERIES' NATURAL TEXTILES
Many of Heirloom's handcrafted projects are produced on textiles which are sourced and handwoven in Fair Trade communities. Locally grown wool in Tibet is used accompanied with wild Eri Silk (humanely harvested silk). Ethical resources are our priority. Although non animal based textiles would be our preferred path, wool and silk fibres offer protein which is a key ingredient to the mordant process in dyeing. We also have a lifelong appreciation for wool and silk handcraft. Our yarns are sourced from small scale farmers in Australia who treat animals with care and respect. Sadly we cannot monitor the ethical standards of some textiles which are produced at commercial scale but we select suppliers who share our ethos. Our cushions are made from EcoCert Wool.
Our handcraft and dye production follow these sustainable standards.
SUSTAINABLE COMMERCIAL PRINT TEXTILES
Original Heirloom handmade prints and craft mediums are now commercially produced into a developing range of fabrics by the metre, wall papers and soft furnishings using water based inks, zero water consumption and minimal waste output. These textiles meet commercial application standards.
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Shop 6, 12-14 Waratah Street, Mona Vale Sydney 2103
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone – +61+2+9973 1135
Mail – PO Box 17 Narrabeen NSW 2107 Australia