Fran Seigel and Andy Pastorino, Textile Gems

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Textile Gems’ partners Fran Seigel and Andy Pastorino, are immersed in collecting and repurposing stunning fragments of vintage world textiles into unique jewelry items and other creations. “Our great joy is to ‘rescue’ imperfect but wonderful textile treasures (mostly from the 1920s to 1970s) which are often dyed, painted, stitched, embroidered, woven, or embellished by hand.”

Frequently sourced items we choose for repurposing include handmade Japanese kimonos, dyed/ woven brocade Indian Sarees, Mexican and Guatemalan hand-embroideries and weavings, Chinese embroideries, and hand-dyed or hand-woven African garments and textiles.

Our cuff bracelet (in 5 different shapes) has been our signature jewelry item since our launch in 2003. Each bracelet showcases the beauty of a select textile fragment which we adhere to a brass base, then meticulously coat the bracelet with up to 8 fine layers of clear flexible epoxy resin, with rounds of baking and sanding in between, and then buffing to a high-luster finish.

Other Textile Gems creations are our original pendant designs, our textile bead necklaces and our earrings. Pendants, textile beads and various findings designed by us (are produced with castings using the “lost wax” method). We fabricate jewelry in brass, bronze or sterling silver, and may embellish our jewelry pieces with microbeads or colored resins and occasionally use accents of 18K gold leaf. Our earrings have 14K solid gold posts. Jewelry items are one—or few of a kind and all fabrication work is done
entirely by us.

Currently, we are enjoying repurposing larger textile treasures into dramatic, one-of-a-kind scarves, shawls and also, “outfits” for your home” in the form of Textile Gems wall pieces.

“We love feeling a bond with the unknown creator of each textile we work with and feel strongly that the beauty of handmade textiles is a joyful unifying pleasure in our complex world.”

IG: @textilegems