Book Review: Cloth

Cloth by Cassandra Ellis is a whopping hardback book, but definitely does not existing solely for coffee table flicking. Featuring 30 oh-so-lovely projects to help you make linen bedsheets, denim aprons, silk curtains, zipped purses... it's honestly just an inspiring book that spurs on the desire to make everything in there that Cassandra has suggested.

Cassandra Ellis Cloth book at Ray Stitch

Cassandra Ellis Cloth book at Ray Stitch

Cassandra is a designer of home furnishings and high-end quilts in her London studio, where she also works on interior design commissions and teaches contemporary craft and interiors workshops (we want to go to them!). She believes that making things ourselves for our home and those that live there is a vital part in speaking out about who we are and what we love. We look on Pinterest and see masses upon masses of imagery that we drool over and say, "yeah, I can make that", but never get around to it, generally because it's not so straightforward to make a pattern from what you see online, or maybe you actually just can't print a PDF off! That's where project books like Cloth really do come in handy, as not only do they look good on your bookshelf, but it's easy to access, especially when it has the paper patterns there ready for you in order to make the things inside.

Cassandra Ellis Cloth

What we really like about Cloth, is that it isn't just a project book. It is split into five sections: cotton, wool, silk, linen and hide, with each section including pages of material history and craftsmanship. The projects within each section are purposefully matched to the properties of each material, such as the antibacterial properties of hemp for napkins, the strong hard-wearing twill weave of cotton denim for aprons, and the supple flexibility of leather for bags. There's also a personal section at the beginning where Cassandra explains how important the stories of an object is - whether made, found or purchased, your objects were chosen for a reason, and that reason is usually emotional. And get this, Cassandra even gives you readers a guide as to where to buy antique fabric, some suppliers or organic fabric (i.e. Ray Stitch) and instruction on things like how to hand-dye fabric.

Cassandra Ellis Cloth

As has actually happened before when I planned to write a book review, saved a draft and came back to it over the weekend, the last book was sold over the weekend! We're going to be updating our book selection so keep an eye out for our book reviews on the blog so you know what we have. We best get ordering Cloth! (FYI, we have some last-chance books on sale in our shop - check out Instagram for some information).

Feel inspired and would like some fabrics that would work with the projects? Well we have some things that would be perfect! We have a wide range of plain and printed linen and linen mixes, natural-coloured organics, and what about some buttery soft chambray? Yes please.

Words by Steph