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KRIS Likes… Fortuny Fabrics

The Signature of Beautiful Fabrics

How does one even begin to write about fabrics that have been described as so magnificent that they transcend all earthly description?  Or have been found so mystifying that when these world-renowned textiles were first produced, unfounded rumors of magic and sorcery about their creator, Mariano Fortuny, began to circulate? It is not easy (there is a reason I became a decorator and not a writer), however, my love for these exquisite and unparalleled textiles has inspired me to attempt the impossible….

Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo (1871-1949) was one of the great creative minds of the early 20th Century and was celebrated by his contemporaries as the last Renaissance man. Before opening the famed Fortuny fabric house, Mariano had established himself as a gifted painter, etcher, sculptor, photographer, inventor and fashion designer.  In 1910, he patented his secret printing process based on the ancient techniques of the masters; applying and building up colors and metallics on cotton, creating fabrics with vibrant variations of shading and color, and achieving a stunning illusion of richness and depth. This unique and highly secretive process remains intact today; produced in the original factory on the Island of Guidecca in Italy, using the same machines and methods implemented by Mariano Fortuny himself nearly a century ago!

I simply adore the variety and beauty of the Fortuny designs which are influenced by cultures around the world: Renaissance Europe, Byzantine Greece, and exhibiting Art Nouveau, Celtic, Persian and Moroccan motifs. Even better, every Fortuny fabric is entirely unique and nearly impossible to replicate - making each one truly a work of art in its own right.  Of course, there is a price tag to match these manifestations of pure artistic genius but in my dreams I live in a house where a new Fortuny fabric is always waiting to greet you around every corner. Like all great works of art, the pictures can never do justice to this beautiful, unique, hand-printed fabric with enduring appeal but I have a feeling you will at least get the idea… Enjoy!!!

Moresco (Early Moorish Style) – Green and Warm White Front Side

Moresco – Green and Warm White Back Side.  *** One of the great features of Fortuny fabrics is the reverse is often as or more beautiful than the front of the fabric.

Moresco Green and White Fortuny Pillow

Simboli (19th Century Design Inspired by Symbolisim in France) – Blue and Warm White

Rabat (Moorish Design Named After a Moroccan City) – Black and Silver

Jeffrey Bilhuber Chair upholstered in Rabat Black and Silver

Rabat – Red on Bourette

Richelieu (French Design Commonly Known as Lions Pattern) – Bittersweet and Pale Gray FRONT SIDE

Richelieu (French Design Commonly Known as Lions Pattern)Bittersweet and Pale Gray Back Side

Papiro (Teardrop Scallop Motif From an Early Drawing by Mariano Fortuny) – Ebony and White

Darren Henault Kips Bay Room with Daybed Upholstered in Papiro Ebony and White

Tapa – Sulpher Green with White Stripe Front Side

Tapa – Sulphur Green and White with Stripe Back Side

Peruviano (Early Andean Design, Chavin Culture) – Bittersweet and White

Barry Dixon Chair in Peruviano in White and Silvery Gold

Cuzco – Blue and Warm White

Uccelli (Bird Motif – 17th Cent French Design) – Amethyst and Beige

Sofa Upholstered inUccelli in Amethyst by Jeffrey Bilhuber

Maori (Traditional Design of New Zealand Maori Tribe) – Orange and Brown Texture

Mayan (Named After Early South American and Polynesian Design) – Black, Tan and White

Mayan Black, Tan and White on Antique Chair

Piumette (Small Feather Motif from 15th Cent Persian Design, Early Period) Gold and Ivory

Interior of the “Brick House” Opposite the Glass House in New Canaan. Designed by Phillip Johnson.

Walls above Upholstered in Piumette in Pink, Aquamarine and Gold

Ad for Elizabeth Locke Jewels Shot on Corone in Grey and Silvery Gold

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thank you so much for your kind words!

    February 22, 2012
  2. Hutch #

    Love those fabrics!

    November 17, 2010
  3. Lu Laird #

    These fabrics are so artistic and gorgeous. They could be framed as works of art.

    November 17, 2010

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