January 15, 2018
Schumacher's Iridescent New Wallcoverings Collection, Plume
A new, handcrafted collection from Schumacher is the ultimate way to feather your nest.
by Deborah L. Martin
NOM DE PLUME
In the world of luxury textiles and wall coverings for the home, Schumacher—founded in 1889—reigns supreme. The company's long history of supplying the most elegant homes in the world with the finest fabrics, rugs, and wall coverings, has made them one of the most recognizable names in the textiles industry. The firm has collaborated with top designers such as Miles Redd, Celerie Kemble, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, and Mary McDonald, with architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Josef Frank, and other luminaries such as Cecil Beaton, Saul Steinberg, and Elsa Schiaparelli. One of their newest collections lives up to their luxurious history.
Plume, introduced this year, is made from hand-gathered feathers that are collected in Asia, and painstakingly applied to paper panels. The feathers—ranging in colors from the deepest iridescent jewel tones to black and white and neutrals—are never plucked from the birds. Schumacher's creative director, Dara Caponigro, says, "The natural colors of the feathers, their luster, cannot be replicated in a man-made material. The colors are stunning and completely natural—everything from neutrals to turquoise and citrine. They are really the ultimate luxury."
Caponigro has always had an affinity for natural materials, and in particular has a connection to our feathered friends. "When I was about six years old, we lived across the street from a place that had pigeons and birds and I had a feather collection." Caponigro says that although walls made of feathers might seem very high maintenance, the wall coverings actually can be gently wiped with a damp cloth, or dusted, as long as it is done in the direction that the feathers are aligned. She says, "The thing I learned about feathers—besides their spectacular beauty—was that they are virtually indestructible. I washed them and they would go right back to their shape."
A former editor at such publications as House Beautiful and Veranda, Caponigro has helped to revitalize the venerable fabric house. She has an editor's eye when it comes to envisioning how the firm's designs will be used. "Plume would be lovely in a powder room, making it into a jewel box, or an entryway to really make an impact. The wall coverings are conversation pieces, and are wonderful for public spaces."
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