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Patchwork is a traditional craft with a long history, developed as a way to reuse fabric snippets, instead of throwing them away. Fashion has reignited a love for this technique and made patchwork a key feature in their collections, bringing together the contrasting effects of modern style with intricate examples of needlework skills and techniques.
Examples of patchwork have been recovered dating back to 3400 BC, during the Egyptian reign in the tombs of Pharaohs. Even army armour was originally made of heavy fabrics sewn together to form a rigid protective layer. For a long time, patchwork was regarded as a female pastime, used simply to design bed covers and cushions. However this over-simplification of the art of patchwork misses the fact that this technique has been handed down over years, centuries and even generations. It is an art form and also narrates the stories of women’s lives though stitching, colour and embroideries.
In the last few years, fashion has embraced this technique, with lots of designers making patchwork a key feature in their collections. Colourful, brave and bold fabrics have been paired in just one piece, giving life to any outfit. Patchwork designs also grew in popularity for their versatility, providing customers with a statement outfit, without having to wear many layers.
"Patchwork has always been cool. Even ones that were made 200 years ago look modern. There's a really complex visual language to quilting. It's like modern art. I think people are attracted to that as just an object." – Eileen Fisher
It is the ultimate expression of one’s creativity.
With an eye towards this tradition and another on contemporary designs, Les 100 Ciels has used the patchwork technique to give clients customized designs and trendy looks. Here is a collection of our favourite patchwork techniques that inspired our most-loved designs, that will slot seamlessly into your spring wardrobe.