2020 : THE YEAR OF COLOR

It is hard for me to believe that 2020 will mark 20 years of Alabama Chanin and 20 years of defining sustainability. The School of Making programming began 12 years ago with the launch of  Alabama Stitch Book, although we didn’t know or plan how the publication of that book would change the course of our business.  From 2008, with the first yards of natural color Organic Cotton Jersey fabric we sold on a homemade website, to the elevated programming of our 2019 Build a Wardrobe, The School of Making has evolved and grown into a global web of crafters committed to organics, sustainability, creativity, and a deep connection to intentional making and slow design.  

To celebrate 2020 and 20 years of making by hand, The School of Making is launching a year-long discovery of creativity and color that reflects my own recent color explorations and desire to slow down and explore—simply for the sake of exploring.  

Color card from Little Green Paint & Paper 

The inspiration for this program came from a variety of sources.  First, a dear friend and colleague sent me An Atlas of Rare and Familiar Color, which is such an incredible collection of colors, histories, and stories (more on this book soon) that led me down a rabbit hole of pigment beauty.  Additionally, upon embarking on a full kitchen renovation that’s been 10 years in the planning (more on this soon, too), I obsessed over the kitchen designs and color combinations of Plain English Designs and, although I’ve chosen to build a very white and neutral kitchen for my home studio (still a work in process as I write this), I’m in love with the colors and inspiration of Little Green Paint & Paper.  Also on my bedside table is Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours: Adapted to Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Mineralogy, Anatomy, and the Artswhich was first published in 1814 and is described as “a taxonomic guide to the colors of the natural world.” All of that to say, I’ve been living with fabric swatches and paint chips and taxonomies of color and dreaming in technicolor.  

The Year of Color takes inspiration from our beloved Swatch of the Month Club, started in January of 2014, and the quarterly Design Bundles, originally launched in 2017. I’ve curated a collection of fabric color palettes and swatches to explore in 2020 and invite you to join me and all of us at The School of Making for our 20 in 2020 stitchalong, using the hashtag #TSOM20in20.  We’ve challenged ourselves to create (at least) 20 new and fresh combinations. Over the year, we will explore and share ranges of our favorite palettes, inspirations, and design choices with projects, kits, and outfits led by color. 

The first palette is inspired by a seminar about activewear hosted by famed trend forecaster, and friend, Li Edelkoort (more coming soon); it is also influenced by the life of dark indigo-dyed selvedge denim—from loom to washed saturation (Navy and Peacock), combined with crisp white lines (100% Organic Cotton Jersey and Embroidery Floss), copper-colored rivets (Camel and Ballet), gold-toned stitches (Gold Embroidery Floss), and new leather (Brown Embroidery Floss). You’ll find a range of swatches below that highlight our classic Navy and Peacock, along with limited-edition Camel and Ballet accented with White. 

We’re offering 2-yard cuts of these colors bundled together for deep design explorations. Our 10” x 16” precut and stenciled Sample Swatch is perfect for embroidery and treatment developments, and our 5” x 5” Organic Cotton Swatches are intended for color explorations.  Thread and Embroidery Floss bundles are also available to add to your color tool kit.   

I find the possibilities endless, inspiring, and exciting. Explore our favorite inspiration swatches below, in combination with our own design choices, and all with our Abstract Stencil.  We’re all looking forward to The Year of Color and experimenting with a range of stencils, fabric colors, threads, and embroidery flosses to create our own palettes.  Stich along with us. #TSOM20in20 indeed. 

In the coming weeks and throughout the year, we’ll be launching new paper patterns, projects, and inspirations for making this the best year ever to make intentionally, with joy, and together. 

Thank you for following along this journey,  

xoNatalie 

OUR DESIGN CHOICES 

Fabric – 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey 
Top layer fabric color – Navy 
Backing layer fabric color – Peacock 
Stencil –  Abstract 

Treatment –Backstitch Negative Reverse Applique 
Textile paint – Slate 

Embroidery Floss – Brunette 

Fabric – 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey 
Top layer fabric color – Navy 
Backing layer fabric color – Peacock 
Stencil – Variegated Stripe 
Treatment –Assorted Embroidery Stitches 
Textile paint – Slate 

Embroidery Floss – Peacock 

Fabric – 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey 
Top layer fabric color – Navy 
Backing layer fabric color – White 
Stencil – Abstract   
Treatment – Backstitch Reverse Applique  
Textile paint – Slate 

Embroidery Floss – Peacock 

Fabric – 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey 
Top layer fabric color – Navy 
Backing layer fabric color – Camel 
Stencil – Variegated Stripe 
Treatment –Assorted Embroidery Stitches 
Textile paint – Slate 

Embroidery Floss – Brunette 

14 comments on “2020 : THE YEAR OF COLOR

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  1. Marsha Taylor

    These are amazing 😍😍 and I love them all but the camel and navy are the best just starting to do this and I’m very excited. Marsha

    Reply
  2. Joanne Burnett

    I am working on my first project a swing skirt. Had put aside over the holidays, am fired up to return to to it. I am already thinking on what is next for me. I am looking forward to exploring more colors.

    Reply
    1. Alabama Chanin

      Welcome to The School of Making family, Joanne! I am happy to hear that you are enjoying working on your first project with us.

      Reply