Lizzie Kroeze from Facing West was inspired by workwear and the techniques traditionally used to make, maintain, and re-use clothes that were made to optimally serve their wearer . She draws her inspiration from draw my inspiration from garments worn in various cultures, from American miners gear to Japanese farmers’ and fishermen’s wear, as well as the various techniques used to create, mend, strengthen and embellish them largely borne out of necessity. All this inspiration helped her in the creation of Facing West – a textile heritage craft company in 2013.
“I started out making American-inspired quilts using second-hand garments. I soon started applying my hand-quilting technique, similar to traditional japanese Sashiko stitching, in other ways; i.e. to repair and decorate pieces of clothing. I also started working more with antique Japanese boro fabrics which I repurpose to make scarves and bags but also interior design pieces. I also started experimenting more with natural dying techniques. “
Sashiko method of stitching is always done by hand and is very time consuming, but gives great effects , especially when Indigo dyed products are used. From Indigo dyed quilts, to distressed jeans and shirts , indigo dyed scarves etc , she repurposes a whole lot of used items.
She has also been building up her vintage collection with her fiance Elvert Arnold and this vintage collection forms the inspiration for the pieces she makes herself.
“In recent months I have had the opportunity to show both my vintage collection and my work for facing West together in two indigo exhibitions, one in Amsterdam together with Miles Johnson, and another last week at Bread and Butter Berlin. These exhibitions provided an insight into various indigo cultures with pieces from Japan, France, the US, Mexico, Thailand, India, Morocco and the Netherlands and allowed my to share my love for the color blue and hand-crafted garments and textile pieces”