I always love to discover new fabric. There is something wonderful about seeing a new line or pattern. My head starts to kick into high gear and I think about all the different ways that I could use this new found fabric.
I have fallen in love with the fabric put out by Birch fabric - especially since I saw the quilt (that graced the cover of International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene) by Elizabeth Hartman. What makes me love this fabric even more is that it is organic! Cynthia Mann took a bit of time out of her busy day to talk to me about the Birch Fabric company. Read on to learn more!
(oh! and because they are so generous, one lucky winner who leaves a comment explaining what they would use Birch fabric for will win some Birch fabric! leave a comment at the end of this post for your chance to win!)
Lindsey: How long has Birch Fabrics been around?
Cynthia: We started Birch Fabrics in April of 2009 and our first collection shipped in May of 2010
L: A quilt featured on Quilt Scene’s cover was made with Birch fabrics; can you tell us what line?
C: Avalon by Jay-Cyn Designs
L: Why is Birch Fabrics different from other fabric companies?
C: From our very first collection, we have only used organic cotton. Our cotton is certified by the GOTS
L: You are a “green” company. How did you make the decision to go green?
C: Birch Fabrics began as a green company. I was sewing baby clothes for my two little boys, and I was searching for organic prints, I really loved all the modern designs from the big manufacturers, but none of them were organic. This is when I decided to start Birch Fabrics, I figured if I was looking for great modern prints on organic, other Moms were too!
L: What has changed in the company since making this move (going green).
C: Well, it wasn’t really a move to “go green” since we started out green. We chose to only offer fabrics that were organic, not only for our environment, but for the health of workers and our own children. My husband Jason had asthma as a child and is allergic to so many things, we were nervous our boys would also have strong allergies, and wanted to reduce there chances of allergic reactions with organic clothes and bedding.
L: Your fabric is now certified by the GOTS. Can you tell me what that is, and what it means for your fabric?
C: Our fabric has always been GOTS certified, since our first collection. This means that we are standardized against the highest level of certification in organic textiles. Guidelines are set by GOTS that must be adhered to from seed to finished product, in a not only environmentally responsible way, but also a socially responsible way. To put it simply, this means that not only do they make sure that no pesticides are used on the cotton during farming, but that the dyes used to print the fabric do not contain heavy metals or other harmful chemicals, and workers are treated fairly and have safe working conditions
L: Can you tell me a little about the five new collections that are debuting this fall?
Circa 52 by Monaluna will begin shipping at the end of November. This collection is a follow up to our very successful, debut collection by Monaluna Circa 50. We took the best sellers and added a new print, the “Woodland Party” and changed the palette to a softer color story. The result is a very sweet collection, perfect for babies and toddlers.
Commute by Jay-Cyn Designs will begin shipping in early February of 2012. This collection is inspired by city life and how we get from home to work. It’s a transportation theme that we love because it works for boys and girls of all ages! We picture messenger bags for dads, and crib bedding for babies! It’s a very universal collection.
Mod Basics by Jay-Cyn Designs will also begin shipping in early February 2012. Mod Basics takes the same palette used in Commute and encompasses several basic designs that will make great blenders for Quilters. The idea was to give several single color options to use along with our other collections to create great coordinates. Mod Basics will also color coordinate with our Spring collections, Next Stop… by Monaluna in March and Mod Squad by Dan Stiles in April.
Next Stop… by Monaluna will deliver in March 2012. This small collection consisting of 6 prints, is all about cross country travel. It includes a luggage tag print, a suitcase print, a camera print, a map print, and a couple other cuties!
Mod Squad by Dan Stiles will deliver in April 2012. This collection will consist of 6 prints in a coral color-way for girls, and 6 prints in a green color-way for boys. The theme is British Invasion, a sort of nod to the sixties music scene.
L: Can you explain what Green sewing is?
C: Green sewing can mean a lot of different things. It can mean that you sew with recycled materials, such as t-shirts that you find at a thrift store, or it can mean sewing with only organic fabrics. There are lots of ways to sew in an eco conscious manner that don’t have to include buying organic fabrics, which can be very expensive. One of our customers in our brick and mortar store makes tote bags out of used Capri Sun juice containers!
L: Where do you gain most of your inspiration from? Is it all from one place, or from many different aspects of your life?
C: My inspiration comes from many different places and times in my life. Often the palettes that I use are from things from my childhood; especially wallpaper, favorite dresses, and toys that I played with. Jason and I both get a lot inspiration from Japanese designers such as Shinzi Katoh, Etsuko Furuya, and the animations of all Hayao Miyazaki movies
Thank you Cynthia!
And readers - don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win some Birch Fabric!!