Marimekko Inspired – NEW workshop

CTS studio member Ana Galindo is offering an exciting opportunity to see the Marimekko, With Love exhibition and then learn hands-on fabric design techniques including screen printing at our studio!  Sounds amazing right!?   Learn more about the class and how to register below and then read about her process as she prepares for the class on her blog! 


Marimekko Inspired: “Pebbles”, water-based pigments on cotton twill, Ana Galindo, 2013

Marimekko Inspired

With Ana Galindo

Wednesday March 27th 2013 (Museum Visit)*

Thursdays April 4 & 11 2013 (studio time at 401 Richmond)**

6-9 p.m.

$250 + $40 materials fee

Wrap-up Winter with a splash of colour and bold designs a la Marimekko.  This three-day workshop will kick-off on Wednesday evening at the Textile Museum of Canada with a guided visit to the exhibition Marimekko, With Love, where we will draw inspiration from the work of the early Marimekko designers.

Later that evening, we will walk back to the studio located in 401 Richmond , for a hands-on design session using traditional materials, such as India ink and paper-cut stencils.  Throughout the workshop we will learn about the many components of textile print design, including colour, patterns and screenprinting methodologies.

Open to all levels of experience.

To register please contact:



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Upcoming Workshop – Creating 3D Form with Textile Techniques

There are still a few spaces available in the Creating 3D Form with Textile Techniques class starting this Sunday February 3rd 2013.   Taught by the ever talented and inspiring Meghan Price, this class is sure to provide a fascinating collection of sculptural techniques to invigorate and inspire your art practice.

Using a process of deconstruction, coiling, plaiting and re-construction, students will explore a variety of 3 dimensional textile techniques.  With a focus on innovative use of recycled materials, students engage with materials exploration and will be introduced to the practice of making one’s own materials.  Students will create a series of flat and 3 dimensional samples and a 3 dimensional form.


Photo by Meghan Price


Creating 3-D Form with Textile Techniques
With Meghan Price

Sundays, Feb. 3 & 10, 11am – 4pm

Tuition: $200 + Materials: $65

To Register email:


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Rachel MacHenry and the Brand Aid Project

Over the past 6 months, CTS member Rachel MacHenry has made several trips to Haiti to work with textile artisans as part of the Brand Aid Project.  Brand Aid ( is a Canadian social enterprise that works with artisans in the world’s poorest countries to bring marketing, branding and design support so producers can access global markets.  For this project, they have also had extensive support from the Canadian government and have worked with a number of Canadian designers, including product designer Patty Johnson
Peace Quilts - quilt-makers on treadle sewing machines photo credit: Patrick Jeff Poteau

Peace Quilts – quilt-makers on treadle sewing machines
photo credit: Patrick Jeff Poteau

Rachel has been working with a group of quilt makers, Peace Quilts (  in the Port au Prince area to assist the women in developing some quilt collections for production.  The group already has had significant success with their “story quilts”, selling these through galleries in the United States, as well as with small quilted accessories that have been available through Macy’s.  For the Brand Aid Project, we were looking for a way to create less costly and time consuming collections while still retaining a feeling of Haitian culture in the designs.  One of the new collections is shown below. Inspired by the old clothes or “pepe”  markets in Port au Prince where second hand men’s suits, among other garments, hang along the roadside for sale, these sombre woollen suitings are contrasted with rich, traditional beading to create a contemporary craft object. For more information on this group, go to:
Cropped bag sample Photo credit: Rachel MacHenry

Cropped bag sample
Photo credit: Rachel MacHenry

 Amazing craft skills are everywhere in Haiti.  Another group that has been part of the project is “Les Dix Doigts de la Vallee”. Located in a remote valley where most farmers are engaged in subsistence agriculture, this group maintains a centuries-old tradition of cut-work lacemaking in a style called “Richelieu”, first introduced to the region by French nuns.  Between their work in the fields, raising children and caring for their families, this group of women produce intricate lacework that looks as if it were intended for Marie Antoinette.  With the income generated from their work, they are able to pay their children’s school fees.  Education is not universal in Haiti and many of the women are illiterate themselves; they are anxious to provide a better future for their own children.
Les Dix Doigts de la Vallee de Jacmel  - Lacemakers photo credit: Patrick Jeff Poteau

Les Dix Doigts de la Vallee de Jacmel – Lacemakers
photo credit: Patrick Jeff Poteau

Much of the lacework currently being produced is geared towards local usage for the church and celebrations such as baptisms and communions.  In order to access a larger market, new products were needed that would have broader appeal.  Making use of the women’s high level of skill, we developed a children’s wear line that incorporates lace and embroidery details as well as traditional smocking, pleating and tucks.  In addition to this, embroidered cushion designs are under development.
quilt-maker using charcoal powered iron photo credit: Patrick Jeff Poteau

quilt-maker using charcoal powered iron
photo credit: Patrick Jeff Poteau

For all of these skilled artisans, the income generated from craft production is crucial in maintaining their livelihoods, providing support to their families and especially in accessing food, education and healthcare.    Since the devastation caused by the catastrophic earthquake in 2010, the need for accessible employment has been even greater as families struggle to re-build their lives.
These collections, as well as many other craft products, have been launched at Selfridges in London, UK.  They will be on view as part of Toronto’s Design Week festival at the Brand Aid Studio, 317 Adelaide St. West, Suite 303 (near the corner of Peter and Adelaide Streets) on Friday, January 25th from 9 am – 5 pm.
Brand Aid Exhibition  Photo Credit: Rachel MacHenry

Brand Aid Exhibition
Photo Credit: Rachel MacHenry

Brand Aid Exhibition Photo Credit: Rachel MacHenry

Vodu Nuvo: The Birth of a Brand is an example of design in the service of cultural truth. Traditional Haitian artisans collaborate with Canadian design to create a new image for one of the world’s oldest and most misunderstood religions. Designers across several disciplines, from textiles to merchandising, combine to build a collection of products and a brand platform to launch them into global markets. Inspired by the ancient aesthetics of Vodou design, the Vodu Nuvo Collection launched at the famed Selfridge’s & Company in London, UK on September 24, 2012.
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There is something magical and awe inspiring about the printed textiles and simple, modern patterns of Marimekko.  The Toronto textile community is all aflutter for the opening of the Textile Museum of Canada’s new exhibition Marimekko, With Love.

textile museum marimekko

Many of us in the studio have been cooing over videos which give fun sneak peaks into Marimekko’s collaborations with Converse and Finair and this amazing video describing the process, inspiration and aesthetic in Marimekko fabric printing.


Marimekko, With Love at the Textile Museum of Canada opens January 21th and runs until April 21st 2013.  For more information visit the Textile Museum of Canada website.


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Winter Class Schedule Announced

The Class schedule for Winter and early spring 2013 has been unveiled!  We will be bringing you more information about classes including an interview with Thea Haines who will be teaching the Block Printing with Natural Dyes class.  Also exciting is a new course taught by Meghan Price  – Creating 3D forms with Textile Techniques.   There are a few spaces left in that class.  To find out more email

CTS flyer 2013 winter

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