You know you’re talking to a true textile designer when her first confession is: ‘I have a weakness for beautiful textiles and adore the texture of good fabric.’
It’s this passion that drives Megan Smith to create the handmade items for her relatively young label Cloth and Print. But it’s not just a focus on the material object which makes Megan’s products stand out. Her designs are deeply influenced by personal and cultural experiences, making them relatable beyond just a pretty object.
‘The story behind the design is often the most interesting part of a print. It gives complexity to a pattern and tells a tale beyond the surface of a textile print,’ she explains of her Heirloom range, which includes seven textile designs used to make a range of items such as bags, cushion covers and even a clever origami purse.
It is this range, inspired by memories from childhood, that has brought Cloth and Print to the fore, seeing it being chosen as one of 40 new designers in the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives fair.
The seven different textile designs in Heirloom each tackle a ‘curated recollection’ of her own cultural heritage, for example, Blackjack is inspired by growing up in countryside in KZN where Blackjack seeds would often stick to clothing and socks.
Choosing to print on natural fabrics such as 100% cotton and a linen/cotton blend is a careful decision too since it corresponds well with the already organic shapes.
Of her design aesthetic, Megan notes that she aims to create balance by synchronising the stories that come from her own roots with contemporary culture.
‘I’ve taken the geometric elements [a current design trend] and given them a bit of a twist to suit my pattern philosophy of perfect imperfection,’ she explains.
Finnish company Marimekko is her source of inspiration for its bold, simple graphic work which remains fresh to this day.
‘In a world filled with fleeting trends, I find the enduring nature of such a brand very inspiring,’ she says.
Megan plans to continue building on her Heirloom range with new colourways and potentially some botanical elements, so watch this space!
Most recently, she has launched her own online store making her Heirloom range available to a broader audience.
You can shop for Cloth and Print products and textiles at shop.clothandprint.com