Object of Desire: Towels Inspired by Ancient Textile Techniques

These caught our eye: a just-launched range of towels inspired by historical prints and patterns. The towels form the debut collection of Autumn Sonata, an evolving destination for interior objects that strike a balance between utility, comfort and artful beauty.

Photography courtesy of Autumn Sonata.

the reversible alma bath towel. all towels measure 70cm x 100cm and are priced 9
Above: The reversible Alma bath towel. All towels measure 70cm x 100cm and are priced at €78; the bathmats measure 50cm x 80cm and are priced at €82. Each towel is sustainably woven in Portugal using 100% cotton fibre. The bathmats are 950 GSM for richness and durability, while the towels are 600 GSM, optimised for quick drying while maintaining a soft touch.

autumn sonata swatch 2
Above: The Alma bath towel is inspired by ancient Katazome stencil practices (Katazome being a Japanese method of dyeing fabrics achieved using a resist paste).

The LA-born, Amsterdam-based company was founded this year by Lilli Elias – a former archivist with a lifelong fascination with antique textiles. “Working in archives, I found myself inspired by the beauty and endurance of craftsmanship that seemed to characterise so many fascinating objects of the past,” she explains. “All designs from Autumn Sonata are inspired by prints and patterns that have been created in a previous time period.” (The name, incidentally, was borrowed from the 1978 Bergman film. “I love the way the name evokes strong imagery – but also the musical nature of the prints and patterns,” says Elias.)

the karin bath towel – inspired by traditional ikat pattern making techn 11
Above: The Karin bath towel – inspired by traditional Ikat pattern-making techniques.

a close up of the karin. 12
Above: A close-up of the Karin.

Elias’s motivation to begin in the bathroom was simple: “I’ve always rented apartments with very small, aesthetically unappealing bathrooms, so I’ve always used towels and bath mats to personalize my space: they are one of the last blank canvases in the home,” she explains. “With that being said, it is incredibly difficult to find printed towels and bath mats that are not too loud or too plain: we see and use these objects every day, so it’s important to find the right balance.”

the ester bath towel is also inspired by katazome. “it took many mo 13
Above: The Ester bath towel is also inspired by Katazome. “It took many months to seek out and refine the perfect stripe, but I love the inconsistency of this one,” explains Elias.
the ester bath mat. “the unevenness of the stripes mimics the relax 14
Above: The Ester bath mat. “The unevenness of the stripes mimics the relaxed organic nature of bamboo mats.”

Each design has been realised with “mix and match” in mind. “My favorite thing about prints is how they interact with other prints.” says Elias. “I pieced this collection together with the idea that all pieces should compliment one another, and with the hope that they could compliment other prints and patterns that already exist in a home.”

Elias will be expanding the Autumn Sonata collection beyond the bathroom next year …