Fuelled with passion for modern graphic prints and thinking it’s probably an obsession, Fuz Chowdhury set up the highly successful on-line shop Cloth & Candy. Fuz chats to us about how buying a wedding dress in Pakistan lead to a life-changing decision to start her business. She is really looking forward to meeting as many people as possible at her exhibitors stand at thread on 30th September.
When did your interest in textiles start?
It was my mum and her sisters who really got my sewing juices flowing! They are all artistic and as a child I was always involved in creating something crazy like a giant computer out of cereal boxes or sewing a (slightly frightening) ragdoll or cross-stitching little images as gifts for my grandparents. I can’t even remember when I started collecting fabrics, but as its quite a sizeable hoard, I’m pretty sure I’ve been at it for some time now 😉
What inspired you to start Cloth & Candy?
Mostly, I’m inspired by traveling. Seeing the amazing planet we live on always fuels my creativity. It was a trip to Pakistan to buy myself a wedding dress that allowed me to stumble on what I thought was just a small craft shop. We went down some stairs to find the most giant collection of intricately hand embroidered blankets, handwoven rugs and all sorts of beautiful textiles. I remember being in awe of the skill and craftsmanship that had gone into the pieces and I think that was when I decided the textile trade was for me! Needless to say, I came back with a suitcase full of kantha quilts, cushions and all sorts of printed textiles just for fun. Oh and yes, I found myself a pretty wedding dress too, haha!
Where and how do you source your beautiful printed cottons?
My collection of printed cottons are sourced from all over. I have mainly western designers, but produced in amazing cotton mills in places as far off as Japan and Korea. My motto is if I don’t love it, I won’t stock it so you could say it’s quite a personal selection, created with a modern aesthetic in mind. I stock brands such as Cotton+Steel, Dashwood Studio, Blend and Cloud9, to name a few. You’ll find them all at the Thread Festival later this month so make sure you pop along and have a peep 😉
What do you enjoy best about running Cloth & Candy?
My favourite thing is seeing what fabric choices my customers come up with. I do love a good print mash-up! Some customers play it safe and then some, BOOM, come out with something awesome you just never would have thought of yourself. I also offer help out over social media when people would like to see certain fabrics together or would like suggestions on mixing and matching prints. I love it, it gives me a good excuse to get all the fabrics out and just play hehe!
What are you most looking forward to at thread 2017?
Thread is going to be so much fun. I always get a buzz out of sharing my passion with fellow fabric hoarders, so mostly, I’m looking forward to meeting new people. There are a few stands I don’t want to miss too, including Made by Mrs M for her gorgeous fabric and stationery, Miesje Chafers screen-printed goodies and I’ll definitely be on the look out for some lovely textiles for the home. See you all there!
thread…a festival of textiles takes place on Saturday 30 September 2017 from 9am to 6pm. For £5 advance tickets click here. A day ticket includes access to the marketplace, talk programme and exhibitions. A full schedule of bookable workshops can be found on craft.farnhammaltings.com. A workshop ticket includes day entry to the festival
About thread: Spend the day celebrating textiles at thread! Browse the curated marketplace for artisan fabrics and haberdashery to purchase for your own textile projects or buy from artists and makers showcasing their own unique handcrafted work. Join in with the programme of talks, exhibitions and demonstrations from professionals or sign up to one of the bookable workshops. Following its success in 2016, thread will once again be exploring the social and ethical aspects of textiles through activities. Join our community of textile enthusiasts for a sociable and inspiring day out. A full listing of marketplace exhibitors, the talk programme and additional information is available at craft.farnhammaltings.com and follow us on Twitter Facebook and Instagram for news and programme updates.