About Fleur Swann
Welcome to my first ever website!
An early lockdown hobby has turned into a mini collection of organic cotton home, children's, and women's products designed by me.
After sending my designs to India and receiving my own set of carved wooden blocks I realised the skill and energy this ancient and highly admired craft requires...
I spent the winter of 2020 making my own colourways and combinations of these prints and in early 2021 I decided to source some Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton poplin and turned the prints into a mini collection.
I work with an ethically audited and approved family-run business in New Delhi who I have known for many years; they have been brilliant partners in helping me navigate my newest adventure.
Each piece is made in very limited numbers and unlikely to be made again, I hope you like them - and enjoy them as much as I did putting them together.
More about me...
I have always had a passion for colour and print and authentic craftmanship.
After studying fine art painting then History Of Art at University. I trained in Buying at the Arcadia group, only being noticed for promotion after printing my own T-shirts and wearing them while making tea for directors!
After 5 years working with Europe and China, I went on my first trip to India in 2004 and experienced what felt like endless possibilities in textile sourcing and product development; this trip to Delhi fuelled an already burning fire inside of me.
Many sourcing trips and a few holidays later and I am hooked. The texture, colour, creativity and positivity of the artisans & professionals I have had the pleasure of working with is second to none.
One of the crafts, which was a slight enigma to me, was hand wood block printing; it never felt possible to 'buy' these products in my professional life because the standard British retail customer would not accept the artisan nature of the printing colours, and the delicate dyes. Manufacturers were also not keen to take the risk and would always rather screen print. Screen printing is also a beautiful hand crafted process but with much more regimented results and less time consuming so is a much lower price point for large scale production. The forbidden fruit of block printing had become even more interesting and exciting to me & I wanted to learn more about it.
The makers mark: the beauty of hand wood block printing is in the subtle inconsistencies of changes in pigment, a slipped block, even slight variations in the strength of the hand can change the print, and you feel the makers mark. A real person, a craftsperson with incredible skill made that and nothing else in the world is quite the same.
I never thought I would want my own business because I always thought I could only imagine myself enjoying a bustling office environment in a team alongside inspiring, talented people.
Then lockdown of 2020 happened, I was forced to navigate the challenges of working from home in a creative product focussed industry. I also missed having all the stimulation of the normal working life that I had experienced for over 20 years, but I did have time to reflect on my own inspiration & values.
So here it is, a little collection of things I like made from prints I have designed.
The name Fleur Swann is inspired by my love of the garden, (not the slugs - the Flowers :) ) and my married name which I don't use professionally so lovely to see it here. I designed each of these prints by hand drawing with pencil, and I sent those pencil drawings to India to carve. I have my own set of blocks in London to experiment with, to try out different colours on different fabrics; there have been other experiments which at the moment are too ridiculous and uncommercial to even dream of!
A wonderful and talented friend & former colleague Ruth @studiorua helped me to turn my hand painted palette and pencil sketches into digital language for quicker communication with India so thank you to her, and to another former colleague, thank you to my pal Hannah @46stitch for lots of creative conversations and fun.
Here we have the results.
enough chatting - although I do like to chat
please enjoy xx
Contact me Sophie - email@example.com