Let me introduce Eun il lee, master Korean textile designer and partner in Artvivant Textiles. Lee is a hidden gem in the textile world; creating inspirational and unique textiles for Coulisse and Nobilis along with his own firm. Both collections contain stunning textiles with a focus on window coverings as their end use.
We recently caught up with Lee and his partner Terry Bayless to discuss his collections and the process. The textiles are produced in the Philippines to take advantage of the natural fibers Asia has to offer; it’s a varied range of materials – beads, leather, silk, branches, raffia. Eun il lee’s textiles strike a balance between ancient and modern fibers combined with century old Korean looming techniques. The list is long and I am always inspired by it.
Nil’s style philosophy comes from the ying and yang. This can be the connection between God and man, God and nature, or man and nature. Yin Yang is also present at more personal level- relationships between man and his or her history, home, parents and friends. Nil weaves these relationships into his fabrics.
Nil explains, “I have a certain feeling with each material. My perception of silk, for example, is the womanly. The combination of hard fibers like abacas and pineapple and soft materials such as silk is exactly the philosophy of Yin and Yang. When you put them together they fight and harmonize to create a new personality.”
Nil sees his loom as the tool for his creations- the fabrics are his painter’s canvas or the music’s notes. He says it best: “The fabrics are my poems, my songs, my paintings.” The handloom used to create his emotional textiles, was devised about 2,000 years ago and was brought to England by the Romans. The process consists of interlacing one set of threads of yarn (the warp) with another (the weft). The warp threads are stretched lengthwise in the weaving loom. The weft cross-threads, are woven into the warp to make the cloths.
Innovative materials are often incorporated into the designs, via traditional back-strap weaving. Artvivant focuses on blending natural fibers in such a way to produce a quality level similar to modern man made fabrics, for example the piña silk or pineapple thread which is the base material for many of the designs, is traditionally used for rope making.
The incorporation of bamboo, sticks and buri reeds provide horizontal strength and stability, which eliminate the need for cross bars in roman blinds, and make for elegant panel glides, room dividers, or roman blinds.