Backstory

Perrotine began, like so many ideas, with “where can I find…” and coming up empty. In this country, from what I could tell, I could find stiff, run of the mill white lampshades, or, at the other end entirely, overly elaborate, fussy lampshades that would not be out of place on a Victorian stage set.  Gathered lampshades of the sort found in London were nowhere to be found, and I needed some for my house.

I had for years been cultivating a love affair with vintage fabrics generally and block-printed textiles specifically. I obsessed over the V&A’s collection of simple Indian calicos and elaborate, fanciful palampores, many of which can also be found in historic house museums here in New England.

The textile love seeped into my little print shop, and I spent a good chunk of time trying to mimic the look of fabric on letterpress printed paper. It worked beautifully from a design perspective, but I had fallen out of love with printing.

Thus began the silk sari hoarding, learning to use a pale minty green vintage sewing machine, sourcing a perfect rosy linen (thank you, David Hicks) to line the frames, and making silk bias trim by hand to finish the top and bottom. A collection started to form, and so did a clear picture of where this is all going: every six to eight weeks or so, a new collection, centered on a color.

perrotine

The perrotine was a machine invented by Perrot of Rouen in the early 19th century to automate the process of block printing.
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