Old World Weavers our Picks

Iris Apfel & Carl married on February 22, 1948, and set up business two years later, after searching for a fabric that didn’t exist. Apfel called a friend’s weaver father to make the design for her, which was so successful the Apfels decided to open Old World Weavers, producing replicas of 17th-, 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century fabrics.

Drawing from global adventures and time spent exploring abroad, Iris Apfel brought her overseas inspiration to life and founded Old World Weavers in 1950. Today, Old World Weavers is considered one of the most respected luxury textile brands in the industry, and is known for its blend of sophisticated historical design, and an exotic, world travelled aesthetic. Remaining true to its foundation of beautiful design and standard in quality, Old World Weavers’ collections remain rich with history and adventure, while incorporating a unique and independent aesthetic, relevant to both the brand and contemporary trends.


Here are a few our favorites. Each is a true piece of art:


Scalamandre Length 2.5Y Mitra Teal/Plum/Brick on White Crewel MSRP USD 500+/y

Scalamandre Magnificent Lalita Wool Crewel Rose Flower Black MSRP USD494/Y

Scalamandre Teodora Ochre Gold Old World Weavers Silk Damask Renaissance ArtichokeTraditional Damask MSRP USD 338/Y

By Yard Scalamandre Felce Cotton Fern *Yellow* Turtle Dragonfly Newt MSRP USD 276/Y

18 EV32 Square Scalamandre Old World Weavers Mitra Teal/Plum/Brick on White Crewel MSRP USD 500+/y – silkresource.com


Founder of Old World Weavers Designer Doyenne Iris Apfel Has Died at 102


Ahead of her time or his time in too many ways.

She has good taste in man, in design, in food and at last, probably of least importance,  in fashion.

On relationship and diet: “Apfel responds: “And I figured he was cool, and he was cuddly, and he cooked Chinese, so I couldn’t do any better.” (Above is also a lesson of fitness and health.)

On fakery and loss of authentic craftsmanship: We see her lambasting modern designers (“They don’t sew, they don’t drape, they’re media freaks”).

Aging or ageism: In 2019, aged 97, she landed a modelling contract with IMG. “I’m very excited. I never had a proper agent.”

On Slow Fashion (and Slow Home Deco): “I still wear the dress that I wore on my first date with my husband and that was 68 years ago. I get a lot of mileage out of my clothes,” she told Vanity Fair in 2015. Good quality and good taste are forever. (I never buy anything from fast fashion brands. I’d rather wear something old, with holes, faded, used but in good quality. )

On frugality and resourcefulness: “Another time, her mother gave her $25 to buy an outfit for the Easter Parade. “I bought a beautiful silk dress in pale peach, a straw hat, and a pair of pumps, and I still had money left for coffee and lunch,” she told The Guardian.

She built a great business with her husband for 55 years and started a 2nd career  in her 90s.

Thank you for giving us Old World Weavers and an inspiring life.

Your legend is a proof that America was, is and still can be a great country where one can get Russian immigrant, Italian Silk, Chinese food, American agent and some more, all within two blocks of NYC, where all the Old World Weavers of Seven Continents and Seven Seas come together to weave something new.

Wedding Gown From Original Silk Lampas

From our creative client:

“About a year ago, you were able to procure my dream fabric for me. I made it into my wedding dress. My husband doesn’t want his face on the internet, and I don’t have a foto of only me, but we agreed to send you this pic, which you can put into your gallery, if you wish. A thousand thanks from me for that beautiful, beautiful fabric!

Best wishes, K.  “

Something actualized from our own vision, created by our own eyes and hands, is a thousand times more satisfying than store bought mass production. Not to mention this wedding gown can be worn again and again in different occasions. , while you can pick 100% silk and have it custom-made into a truly one-of-a-kind attire.

Fabric cost: anywhere $300-1000 total fabric cost.

Sewing service: Anywhere $200-800 that create local jobs and support individual artisans.

Total cost: $500-2000 max.

Vs Those so called high fashion, mostly in polyester (=plastic), mostly will never be worn again, mostly will be “out of style” in 5-10 years, costs $5K and above.

Decorating with a Budget?

Using high end fabric on light shade is a brilliant idea! Our eyes are naturally drawn to light and the center of the room. Its height also invites contemplative gazing. When the light is on, the beauty of the textile is also amplified and illuminated.

Here, merely one yard is needed for our client to make a statement: Scalamandre Watermark Moire in Ming Yellow.

2nd idea: use high quality textile—something you absolutely love to create a small “nook”. A small space that you will spend a lot of time often. Thus the beauty will be enjoyed more often. In this private retreat, you can disregard other family member’s opinion and simply go with what pleases, energizes and revitalizes you and you only.

Here is what our client did with some extravagant silk lampas. Merely 2 yards, full of colors, patterns, fantasies and textures, offers her a piece of heaven that nowhere to be found.

3rd trick: create a “wearable” or “carry-on” piece that you can use and enjoy in different rooms and occasions. A throw can be on the sofa, your reading chair, your table, your bed and even on your evening out!

After you get years of joy out of these pieces, full of our own creative energy, you will see so clearly how “affordable” and “economical” such projects are! Even half a yard, as a gorgeous table running, can make such an impact.

A Tiny Extra Will Save Your Day Down the Road

Every year we have clients coming to ask “this is discontinued and I need just such and such small amount but I cannot find anywhere!”

The chances of finding a discontinued wallpaper, fabric, trim with accurate identification information is very slim. Even with those information it is still very hard. This is from our 14+ years of experience.

You may have to find a creative way to repair that area. Or even replace all the wallpaper, fabric or trim if it’s not too costly. Unless your time has no value, pending two years watching internet is costly too.

1.Next time when you buy new wallpaper, fabric and trim, it is a good idea to have a bit extra for future repair. Because repair will happen. Same with tiles & paint!

2. Save the accurate information of the material: Brand, pattern name, colorway, SKU # and even dye lot.

Do not just put it on paper. Save it on your email or/and computer.

Experienced designers may know this. The rest of us (99%) learn this too late!