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Textiles From Around the World That Will Bring Travel Into Your Home

From hand-dyed Japanese silks to Icelandic sheep-skin, these global textiles will elevate your living room and closet.


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One of our favorite marks of a frequent world traveler is their global wardrobe and decor pieces. A well-curated space draws inspiration from the world’s design capitals—even, at times, unintentionally. And just like those who embody the spirit of travel, cook with unique international spices, and mix cocktails with spirits and accoutrements from around the world, they decorate with pieces collected from flea markets and compile wardrobe pieces from the best textile makers. When playing with textiles in your home, whether sourcing new rugs and curtains for your den or luxurious cashmere pashminas for your closet, consider these fabrics from around the world:

Cashmere and Wool From Scotland

Arguably the world’s most coveted (and comfortable) textile, cashmere is made from goat hair in cold-climate destination from northern Europe to the Himalayas. Scotland is celebrated for their cashmere and some of the most luxurious cashmere houses in the world are in Edinburgh. We love to shop the warm Edinburgh cashmere stoles from Marchbrae. Travelers looking for a cashmere fix can also shop online or in-store at Edinburgh’s Dunedin Cashmere. Dunedin Cashmere has a stunning selection of Scottish Herringbone wool-blend blankets and men and women’s cashmere-blend coats, sweaters, gloves, and other wardrobe staples.

Vintage Turkish Rugs From Turkey

The tradition of Persian and Turkish rugs dates back to the 1600s, which is when production of these luxurious rugs began in Turkey and present-day Iran (then Persia). One of the most notable production resurgences of these rugs was in the 1800s when Persian rugs were woven using gold and silver thread and dyed naturally with plants to produce rich, lasting color. While the original Persian and Turkish rugs exist primarily in private collections around the world, it’s still possible to buy vintage Turkish rugs to bring some of this Middle Eastern opulence into your home. In-the-know designers tend to bid on high-end used or vintage Turkish rugs through online hubs like Chairish.

Yuzen Silk from Japan

Hand-dyed silks, or yuzen silks, are one of the prized Japanese textiles, dating back to the eighth century. Yuzen is actually the name of this dyeing technique, which started in Kyoto. Hand-dyeing yuzen silks takes precision because the dye must align with hand-drawn designs. Hand-dyeing these fabrics was declared a national Japanese craft in 1976. While these silks were traditionally meant to be used for special-occasion kimonos, the uses for yuzen silks have expanded as a result of both local Japanese and tourist demand. Through Japan’s LTK Brand, travelers can purchase yuzen silk scarves, pocket squares, and more. No two scarves, pocket squares, or bowties from LTK Brand are alike; the yuzen silk has noticeably raised detailing in the design and each thread of silk is carefully woven together by hand.

Embroidered Home Goods From Mexico

Mexico is known the world over for their embroidered textiles, which make for beautiful pillow covers, placemats, table runners, tapestries, and wall coverings. Arte de mi Tierra, a local shop offering embroidered textiles from the "highlands of Mexico" specializes in gorgeous bed spreads perfect for letting light into your master bedroom this summer. Using locally sourced fabrics and fair trade practices, everything Arte de mi Tierra sells is hand embroidered. The company was founded by a Guadalajara-based architect who wanted to showcase her country's talents while giving back to her community and instituting ethical practices in the textile industry.

Wool Blankets and Sheepskin Rugs From Iceland

Iceland's Scandinavian design principles can all be summed up in one sentiment: make it cozier. From sheepskin-covered accent chairs or sheepskin rugs to woolen home goods, the Icelandic textiles will bring a great sense of comfort into your home. Icelandic Store sells blankets made entirely from Icelandic sheep's wool, including colorful Álafoss wool throws, which are butter-soft, breathable, and steeped in Icelandic heritage.

Kitenge and Khanga Textiles From Tanzania

Founded by two expert travelers who quit their jobs and hit the road in 2014, The Robe Lives is a nonprofit fashion company creating luxury robes from authentic African textiles. Founders Adrienne and Andrew McDermott source materials from various countries in Africa (with a focus in east Africa) and guarantee a fair price directly to the textile producers. From there, they produce high-fashion robes from these beautifully patterned African textiles, working with local tailors in Tanzania. Give your loungewear an international boost with a robe fashioned from Tanzanian kitenge and khanga textiles, and your money will go directly to The Cup Foundation, a NGO bringing menstrual cups to young women in Nairobi.


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