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I got a feelin': new textiles big on texture

Written by Candace Ord Manroe

Metaphores, a French fabric house opened by Olivier Nourry in 1981, has always been as much about texture as it is the  other design elements (color, pattern, style, weave or print, and weight). At its Paris showroom in the St. Germaine district a couple of weeks ago, I was pleased to get up close and personal with Metaphores's  2010 introductions. My pick for most interesting texture from their new "New York, New York" collection is:


"Empire State"

This fabric is a combination of fuzzy and slick, matte and gloss, warm and cool—a treat to touch. Its geometric design is formed by wool grids and solid wool squares stitched onto  polyester taffeta like embroidery. For heft, the taffeta is laminated onto wool. Not only is the design urbane, the mix of materials is, too. You should see "Empire State"  in the blue taffeta with brown wool colorway (sorry, no pic). The teal-tone blue is toned down with brown for a little extra elegance. Gorgeous—and I'm not even a blue person.

More great textures this season from Metaphores can be found in its "MetaLIN Metallique" collection. The collection's "Manhattan" (do you get the idea the French have come a-courting?) is a 100 percent linen coated in a metallic wax, then covered with a clear film for gloss. Basically, it's polyurethane-coated linen with a shimmer. I once had a suit made of a similar fabric. Great to look at, not so great to walk in. Swish, swish, swish. No sneaking up on anyone in that fabric. I made the mistake of wearing it to High Point one market....My colleagues will never let me forget.

Even better than "Manhattan" (IMO) is the collection's "Central Park." I want this fabric! Its metallic threads of copper and zinc give it structure and memory, while its linen (53 percent) naturalizes it. Check it out while you're at the site, try to locate another newbie, "Cadence," from Metaphores's Le Crin Collection. The linen warp (60 percent) of this sheer combines with horsehair (26 percent) and shimmery threads for a metallic transparency. (Using horsehair is nothing new for this company. Nourry has been incorporating hairs from horses' manes  for seven years in his Le Crin collection of sheers.)

Embroidered linens are all over Paris in new collections from the major players. Here are a couple from Dedar:

14_ricami su lino




Take a quick look at this pillow in the new "Bark" fabric from de le Cuona:

bark Wallnut

The fabric, manufactured in Switzerland, is a linen plus synthetic that's dipped in a solvent that corrodes the synthetic for the textured bark pattern. This one would look great at the windows when a neutral is in order but personality's a must.

You can't beat the richness in this finger-pleasing velvet, "Metal Embroidered Crown," also from de le Cuona:

Metal Embroidered Crown

Other textural fabrics from de le Cuona include a thick stonewashed linen (really, it's beaten against real stones for a distressed finish); vegetable-dye leathers (available in a pillow collection); and eco-maniacs favorite, "Bamboo"—a 100 percent sustainable upholstery-weight bamboo.



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