18.03.2013 § Leave a comment
A color combination I am working on these days. After more than 10 years in vogue for interiors, it is not a new color, but it seems to persist, showing up with different twists from era to era. I am still fond of this morning blue with cream.
01.02.2013 § Leave a comment
Symphonic Collection Inspiration
I volunteered to be an art teacher at day camps quite a few times through my youth and during my children’s adolescent years. Besides typical art projects such as still-life painting or going outside to paint landscapes, I later decided to inspire the children to experience the artistic elements. One time I had them draw the feelings aroused by touching contrasting materials, such as hard angular rocks compared to soft cotton or fur. « Read the rest of this entry »
05.12.2012 § Leave a comment
To be able to enjoy life is a great blessing, but to take on a challenge is more rewarding. It is both the painful process of overcoming the difficulty and the thrill of attaining the goal, the mixture of these two extremes that makes life more inspiring and meaningful. I suppose that is why I do what I do. In developing the Brentano line, I am constantly challenging the status quo and searching for new technology, new color sense and new points of view.
Making colors for natural fibers such as cotton, rayon, wool—the process is a sheer pleasure. They each have a noble characteristic when taking dyes. When finalizing the color selections for a pattern with a natural fiber, we are torn between so many good colors that exquisite colors often get left out.
19.10.2012 § Leave a comment
I designed a maple key pattern about ten years ago, but it was not successful as a fabric and I never introduced it. I am making the attempt again and making some studies. Maybe it will become a Brentano fabric design one day.
24.08.2012 § 1 Comment
When I was at Kent State University for my graduate studies, I had a modern art history professor who was very serious, did not smile much, but was very knowledgeable and had good taste. He was tall and seemed uncoordinated; he probably wasn’t a very sporty person. I learned a lot from him, though. « Read the rest of this entry »
21.06.2012 § Leave a comment
About 25 years ago, before I started Brentano, I was studying the vegetable dye color names of ancient China. This interest was first initiated by the incredible color descriptions in a classical Chinese novel depicting the lives of the aristocracy. I wrote a lyrical prose piece about “color names in literature” that was published in a Chinese publication and have been hooked on the subject ever since.
I wrote to a textile historian once who was a professor at the then Hwa Tung Textile Academy in Shanghai. To my surprise, he wrote me back and awarded me with many texts with old Chinese weaving references and some of their vegetable-dyed scarf samples to identify the names of the dyes that I had questioned him about in my letter—such as Su Fong, Madder and Gardenia, etc. Some of those color names were among the early product color names I used when the color inspiration derived from this lineage.
These two scarves are dyed with Shiso Leaf (lavender), Gardenia (yellow), and Su Fang Wood (red). My notes about the dyes are in pencil.
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14.06.2012 § 1 Comment
Would you dry clean your sofa?
For our polyurethane product, we typically recommend that clients clean it with soap and water. In a tough stain situation, the “solvent resistant finish” on our polyurethane means that rubbing alcohol or a solution of 1:5 diluted household bleach to water is also safe to use. All of these cleaning agents have been tested at Brentano and in our mill’s lab along with Windex, Murphy’s oil soap, and Formula 409.
That’s not an exhaustive list because clients often have specific cleaners they want to use. Recently I was asked about using dry cleaning chemicals, namely Perc and hydrocarbon solvents. According to our mill, there are many kinds of hydrocarbon solvent products. The exact chemical formulas are usually trade secrets, so it is difficult to find out exactly what is in a particular solvent, and the only way to find out what kind of effect it will have is to test it. « Read the rest of this entry »
03.02.2012 § 1 Comment
The spring 2012 collection developed around a desire to create things that possess a tranquil quality. We are introducing soft textures and subtle patterns, many within our Brentano Green line. There are high performing patterns too like Plein Air and Zinnia (above), but in my mind, the idea of tranquility connects most closely with green mindfulness.
02.12.2011 § Leave a comment
Brentano Designer Aaron Mensik has great color sense, so we tend to rely on him as our colorist in the design studio. Usually before he starts to color a pattern, we will talk about how and where the fabric will be used and what kind of color it should have. For instance, if the fabric is to be used in a vertical application, we tend to want colors that are clear and soft. We might not produce any dark colors at all. There are also differences for residential and hospitality, healthcare, etc., fabrics. « Read the rest of this entry »