The Saffron lumbar pillow is one of my favorites. The colors, patterns and fabrics make this pillow truly unique and a one-of-a-kind pillow. Saffron combines ikat from Indonesia, hand embroidery from India, embroidery with mirror work from Pakistan and vintage backstrap weaving from Guatemala. This pillow will be a delightful and intriguing addition to any room.
24” x 15” (61 cm x 38 cm)
Front - cotton
Back - polyester blend, in ecru
Down feather pillow insert
Fabric origins: Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Guatemala
This one of my favorite pillows. The earth-tone colors and surface designs complement one another so well and look very elegant together. It is a one-of-a-kind pillow assembled using handwoven and embroidered fabrics from four countries and each fabric was made using traditional techniques.
The fabric on the left with orange, burgundy and cream with black stripes was handwoven in Indonesia using the traditional ikat technique of wrapping warp threads to create a resist before placing them in the dye bath. Each color requires the re-wrapping of threads to achieve an intricate pattern in the fabric. This particular piece of ikat fabric was repurposed from a bag I found at a thrift store.
The saffron handwoven fabric, with traditional embroidery in shades of browns and light gold with hand stitching and embellished with shisha mirror work, is from Sasha, a women’s development fair trade organization that I have visited several times in Calcutta, India. Preserving the traditional hand embroidery is of great importance to Sasha and their work is beautifully executed. I added the row of orange glass beads to further embellish the piece.
I have always appreciated the incredible embroidery of Pakistan. I have tried several times to travel to visit the country but due to several reasons, such as travel alerts by the U.S. government, made it has been impossible for me to visit. Fortunately, through my work with the fair trade organization, Serrv International, I was able to have embroidered fabrics sent to me. The piece in this pillow is an exceptional. The Pakistan Phulkari embroidery technique you see in this piece is from the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent and literally means “flower work.” At one time, Phulkari” was also the word for embroidery. This fabric is rich in colors of oranges and purple, with accents of green. The patterns alternate in color and design.
The fourth fabric is from a vintage huipil, the traditional dress worn by indigenous women in Chuarrancho, Guatemala. It is part of a collection of huipils and other fabrics I collected during the seven years I lived in Guatemala. This fabric, woven on a backstrap loom, has a dark brown background with rows of flowers, ducks and other motifs woven with a supplementary weft technique. It is rich in earth tones and bright colors.