CHINA | Nankeen-dyed fabric, accessories and home furnishings
Childhood friends Claire Russo and Liza Serratore's adventures through the markets of Shanghai brought them into fascinated contact with the ancient but ailing art of Chinese Nankeen dyeing. As supply will only respond to demand, they decided in 2010 to partner with the few remaining workshops still practicing traditionally to create LuRu Home — based between Shanghai and Brooklyn, NY — as a means of bringing this unique form of textile art to the wider world and, in turn, patronage to the craftspeople and a brighter future to the technique.
Nankeen dyeing dates back 3000 years and originated in Jiangsu Province. Patterns created from motifs conveying good luck, prosperity and health are transferred onto plain cotton or linen fabric using hand-cut paper screens, soybean paste thickened with lime, and natural indigo dye. In addition to new Nankeen-dyed products, LuRu offers items hand-crafted from vintage Nankeens; incorporating vintage, naturally dyed homespun cloth; and a line of upholstery fabrics screen-printed in Rhode Island with traditional Chinese motifs reimagined for modern tastes.