Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mirella Spinella Textiles

Don't you laugh when you see a real estate listing that describes a home as having "old world charm"? There must be something about those three words that is catnip to most of America, because it's unbelievable how many listings use that phrase. And usually, there isn't a shred of old world or charm to the house.

Just what is old world charm? I think people have different ideas about it, but for me, I know it when I see it. But, old world, even when done well, doesn't really do it for me. My style is far too American. However, I think I've found something that has changed my mind.

Mirella Spinella is a textile designer who has lived and worked in Venice for close to thirty years. Her fabrics, most of which are handprinted silk velvet, evoke the history and "old wordliness" of Spinella's city. In addition to yardage, many of her fabrics are used to make pillows, tablecloths, curtains, and other decorative items.

Spinella recently branched out into custom-dyed linen, which might be a little more me than the silk velvet. Regardless of the fabric though, her old world designs just might have charmed me.

(More information, visit Spinella's
website. Sue Fisher King in San Francisco does carry many of Spinella's pillows and hangings, including the new linen line.)

Suleyman II





Deco 4

Deco 2


  1. Luscious Old world, new world, third world. I am delighted to see the use of these beautiful ancient symbols in new ways. As I mentioned in you Stefandis post it is what keeps us Jung. To see what I mean, you might look at Mariga Gimbutus' works. You will never look at patterns the same again! Are these fabrics to the trade only?

  2. I think that my love of Fortuny has just found a new outlet. These textiles are amazingly beautiful and detailed--the colors are intense, yet have a bit of mystery. Thanks so much for showing them.

  3. I am in love with these fabrics! So beautiful. The Tiger is my favorite.

  4. These textiles are spectacular! Thanks for introducing us to them.

  5. These are wonderful. Thank you so much for the introduction.

  6. well, you are on a textile jag, aren't you? The Spinella textiles show influences of William and Morris, Indian saris, and Moorish culture, With Venice being a cultural crossroads it is only natural these wonderful textiles exist! Great post. Thanks for the history.

  7. These are beautiful! I think she was mentioned in this month's Vogue Living - at least I'm sure I read her name within the last few days. I live in England so less of the "old world charm" and more of the "elegant period living" or "could do with modernization" depending on the optimism of the estate agent...