Inspired by Association

Sometimes, we see something in a fabric that triggers an unexpected reaction. It isn’t something we set out to do by any means. Indeed, until 18 months ago, I (that’s Paul) wouldn’t have personally spent much time thinking about fabric. Fil enjoyed collecting fabric (we have material that has travelled the world and lurked sealed in stay fresh-style containment for a decade or more) for other purposes in the past – but we have never sought out fabric proactively or as a team!

A good example of an unexpected association would be our becoming fans of Parks & Recreation – the US situation comedy starring Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman and others. We are big Ron Swanson fans. Big fans. Therefore, when we came across a fabric that prominently displayed bacon, we had to get some (fabric that is… not bacon). Yes, we remain on the lookout for the ideal bacon and egg fabric, but for the moment Mmm… Bacon will suffice.

Our love of the Big Bang Theory has a similar connection to Big Bang – with an association that has a design very much like the spinning atoms of the TV series break graphics.

Mmm… Bacon All Rolled Up
Big Bang All Rolled Up

A weird connection with TV exists in Zoid-Doz! Never intentionally anything to do with Futurama, I suspect we picked up this fabric more to do with some Cthulhu-type association. However, on seeing it for real, in hand, I couldn’t help but get this weird flashback to the 1974 Sean Connery film Zardoz – which featured a giant floating rock head – combined with the faithful Doctor Zoidberg. Zoid-Doz was born…

Zoid-Doz! All Rolled Up

Often, we’ll opt to buy a fabric because it has immediate appeal to us, and therefore we reason that it will have the same effect on at least a segment of our audience. For example, we have a big garden and a have accommodated hedgehogs in the past, so we both loved Pointed. Fil enjoys roaming around local woodland seeking out wildlife and, especially, wild mushrooms, so fabric like that used on Deep Forest appealed.

Pointed All Rolled Up
Deep Forest All Rolled Up

I have been collecting comics since childhood (and that’s quite a long time). I remember old issues of Marvel comics in particular that came rammed full of adverts for the most dubious of offers. Columns of tiny type offering art lessons, practical jokes and home science kits. Odd as the fabric might appear, Seamonkey gave me a nostalgic flashback for that very reason. Who could turn down the opportunity to spawn life in a glass of water from a sachet of dried stuff…?

Seamonkeys All Rolled Up
Seamonkeys Tiny All Rolled Up

And sometimes we have a spontaneous purchase, where we grab something from a fabric store or take a chance on a bolt. The material used for both Renaissance and What Ho! Jeeves didn’t necessarily have a theme or purpose until we had it in hand. When I saw What Ho! Jeeves for the first time, Fil had really liked the fabric but didn’t really have a plan for it. However, the moment I saw it, I immediately had an image of Hugh Laurie’s portrayal of Bertie Wooster. I can’t tell you whether he actually ever wore anything like it, but it stuck with me and refused to budge.

Renaissance All Rolled Up
What Ho! Jeeves All Rolled Up

I look forward to future revelations! The experience of finding fabric and making something special out of it has been a fascinating and exciting one. Really – who would have guessed I’d have been shopping for fabric with so much interest before All Rolled Up?

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