Tag Archive for "fabric

Posts Tagged ‘fabric’

What Excites Me? Fabric!

As an interior designer, I get introduced to many trends, products, the up & coming in home furnishings (#hpmkt), educational presentations and manufacturers. Sometimes I get blown away or I just keep seeing the same thing over & over- snooze alert. My clients like things that are a bit different and unique. Things you can’t easily find and they hire me to pull it all together and bring in an element that has a bit unexpected. One of the signature traits of my work is the “wow factor” in all my rooms. Something that sparks conversation; makes you do a double take or makes you want to touch, feel or look closer.

The following products made me want to touch, feel and look closer.

This delicious ottoman makes you want to go closer and feel the fabric. It makes you want to sit on it and rub your hand across it to see what kind of fabric it is. It has a bronze metalized look to it and it’s a sumptuous ottoman by Leathercraft.

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Wore Ikat as a Kid. Now, It’s Big in Home Decor!

People are always curious as to what my heritage and ethnicity is. I find it amusing because it’s just the way I grew up and never thought my background was any different than anyone else. Are you Hispanic, Phillipino, Hawaiian, Asian? I’m from Uzbekistan. Huh? What’s that? I speak Uzbek? Huh? What does that sound like…


I grew up fighting for the freedom of my country against Communist Regime and thought it was normal to wear colorful clothing and walk in parades! Ha! See me sporting my bob in the center. So now when I go to High Point Market in North Carolina and see fabulous, colorful Ikat fabric on pillows and home accessories, you can imagine my delight.


Above pink Ikat pillows found at uzbekalive.com

Ever wonder where your fabric originated and the process of how it came to be. Why is one fabric more expensive than another? When you are laying on your pillow, typically you are not thinking about the hand craftsmanship and the work that was put into the fibers of your fabric.There is a whole process and many people that hand weave certain fabrics. I’m happy to share some amazing photographs of the involved process of making Ikat fabrics specifically from Uzbekistan. 

All of these textiles are based from a complex process which is undertaken before the individual elements are arranged upon the loom.


If the pattern is more elaborate, the process before the weaving is longer and more involved. Ikat makers hand thread on looms, marking them with patterns as the go. The intricacy of the design is really fascinating. 




Above fabric found at uzbek-ikat.com

Typically, the fabric is only 16” wide. Consider this when ordering it and using it for pillows or drapes. 

These amazing Ikat purses are found at uzbekalive.com

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the involved voyage your Ikat fabric takes before you even enjoy it on your pillows or in your wardrobe.

I hope this gives you some more appreciation of the beauty of Ikat and where it comes from.

For more information, contact me at selmahammer.com.

Why I am an Interior Designer…

“I can’t find anything to match this swatch!”

“No problem. I know exactly what you are looking for!”

I was born into the creative field and entrepreneurship. My grandfather opened up one the first textile stores in Manhattan, NY in the Textile/Garment District. I grew up in the family business by working in numerous family textile stores in NYC, Jersey City and Elizabeth, NJ. My parents owned 2 stores, where I spent most of my time outside of school (from the age of 7).

I would advise customers on what fabrics to select for their involved custom projects. My ability to judge spaces and keen eye for spatial allotment was learned very early on. I remember studying pattern books so when I asked customers what they were looking for, I had the pattern location memorized!

I helped people match up the colors, fabrics, accessories and notions for a complete look. We used to sell Singer sewing machines, so I also learned to sew and still view it as a fun hobby. Knowing how to sew, helps me know if a design is feasible and how we can make adjustments to suit different projects. I always love taking elements from different styles and blending them into one fabulous final design.

My sales and people skills were learned from a young age and the priority of helping people with superior customer service. My grandfather would always pat the back of customers as they came into the store and asked them if there was anything they could be helped with. Some patrons would be surprised because even for an old man, he could pack a punch, lol. For some reason, when they would look at his smiling face they would open up to him and trust him to help.

My color sense and ability to select coordinating components for my clients’ spaces comes very naturally and for that I feel blessed. It maybe due to my grandfather always making me go around the whole store and cut off all the unraveling strings of all the fabric bolts! As you can imagine, I really got a good knowledge of fibers.

Once I took the risk of pursuing my dream of interior design, I quickly realized that it was a natural career path. I am so very appreciative of finding my passion in life and you can quickly tell because I’m usually really excited about how I can help other’s create their dream space.

I think if my grandfather could see me now, he’d be proud. He always told me if I put my mind to it, I could do anything I wanted. Thank you “Baba” for always believing in me. =)

Your Room’s Focal Point

Every room needs a great focal point. When you first walk into a room, where do you want people to look? That’s your focal. Then you want your eyes to move around the room to find interesting objects, such as various textures, fabrics and objects.  

A focal point in a lot homes in colder climates is fireplace. Spend time and money on accessorizing on that mantle. Don’t be afraid to buy something that has the feel of your home. If it doesn’t work on your mantle to can try it on your end tables or keep your receipt and return it. It may take a few tries to get it right.

Picture from http://www.hgtv.com/real-estate/10-ways-to-make-your-house-worth-more/pictures/page-5.html

You don’t really want a big screen TV as your focal. If you do not have another place to put your 52” flat screen (like in my home) make sure you have interesting objects on either side of the mantle or wall art on either side of the TV to detract from the GIANT BLACK SCREEN. Another good option is getting AppleTV and running a continuous slide show of landscapes or family photos on your big screen.

Another great focal for bedrooms is a grand headboard, whether it’s a wooden or upholstered one. If you have a beautiful view from your bedroom windows, make sure you dress your windows to impress with some elegant panels that can be pulled back on either side of the windows.