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Tribes :: printed history

Tribes and LAibik Collection by Julia Brendel

This collection is my personal and eclectic take on The World’s heritage.


When designing my latest collections TRIBES and then LAIBIK, I was drawn not to one but many cultural references. I was looking to create something that is familiar, recognisable and close to heart of most people, as I believe there is the single ingredient that is universal to us all.

I wanted to develop a pattern that feels like home yet at the same time reminds us of our journeys.

Tribes, Tribes Narrow Stripe and Laibik printed linen

Looking at original folk patterns from different places, I often find that there is a lot of similarity in them. Polish Highlanders' skirts have the same roses as the Tibetan’s ones, Hungarian and Swedish embroidery resemble each other. All these interrelations are due to centuries of migration and mutual influences. It used to take a long time for a pattern to seep through from one culture to another. The patterns would often be transformed by each craftsman, maker, embroiderer or printer to create something slightly different but the core would still be recognisable.

We are not one hermetic organism, despite living in specific countries with their own names, sets of law and clear borders. Our languages, cuisine, as much as what we wear and how we live is influenced by centuries of mutual exchange, trading, travel and borrowing what we like and making it into our own.

Tribes, Tribes Narrow Stripe and Laibik printed linen

This collection is very much a melange of influences that I have seen during my travels, at exhibitions, in books, on the Internet, effects that I experienced and loved. I can't event count all the separate elements that contributed to this collection. Designing Tribes and Libik was a bit like throwing different scraps and sketches from my memory into a bag then shaking it and pouring it onto the fabric.

There is a Polish element from Highlander's embroidered vests and a geometric pattern from folk shirt’s sleeves in Romania; a bit of used and faded surfaces from an old printed skirt and some elements that look slightly Moroccan. The colour combinations are drawn from Nature, landscapes and different seasons.

The concept of comfortable living for me is to combine all those parts of who I am and what I enjoy, in my interior. Traveling is one of those things I love the most. I believe getting to know more about others teaches us best about who we are ourselves.

I hope these fabrics bring you joy, a sense of belonging to one colourful and beautiful World and revive some of your own memories from visiting places far and close to home.

Julia x

Colours are coordinated with Farrow&Ball Paint

Designer’s note:

The three patterns in this collection: Tribes, Tribes Narrow Stripe and Laibik are colour coordinated and work well mixed together. We created a wide variety of colourways but it’s also possible to have your own bespoke colour printed or matched with an existing shade of your other fabric/wallpaper, for the perfect look. Tribes are printed as a horizontal stripe but we can also print it vertically if needed.

For details contact

Trade clients: Sample books are available, please email for details. The books are A4 size with 33 fabric samples included.

To open a trade account contact:

Julia Brendel Tribes :: Sample Books

Press and photography enquiries :

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