Dym  |  california textiles

About

"Hundreds of decisions go into the way we create our patterns. Our process rewards us with endlessly stunning patterns." 

-Miriam Dym, Designer & Founder

 

Who we are

Dym | California Textiles create dynamic block-printed fabrics, custom printed for whatever you can dream up. We also craft our fabric in-house into micro collections of home goods and limited-edition clothing. We hand print with dyes on sumptuous natural fiber cloth to produce the richest color and the softest hand. All of our products are designed and printed in our Northern California workshop.

Photo: Karoline Robbins

Photo: Karoline Robbins

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About Miriam Dym, founder:

Miriam is an artist, designer, dreamer, and self-taught systems thinker. For her sprawling project REFUSE, which, like in a fairy tale, lasted seven years, Miriam saved all her garbage. She worked to process her collected non-recyclable trash into raw materials, an attempt to get her hands around the messy economic systems that connect products and selling to floods of so-called waste.

In creating textiles, Dym focuses on how patterns can emerge—and fall apart—through systems of rules and decision making, all the more interesting when made manifest on hand printed fabric. From learning to block print, she has also delved into philosophical value of “error”—learning to what extent mistakes can fold into a process, with wonderful results instead of, well, waste.

 

About our printerS

Hannah is a musician, currently studying at a conservatory in Berkeley. She sings in a band that just finished a West Coast tour. She has worked at Dym for 3 years. In that period, she went from being essentially an intern and a pair of hands to the genius behind how the patterns manifest. Hannah’s ever-deepening knowledge and management of all things workshop has brought about a greatly standardized process, while also increasing the studio’s capacity to experiment. Hannah is our production studio guru! She loves working with such creative and smart women, and hanging with our studio dog Louie.

River is a visual and social practice artist currently pursuing her MFA in San Francisco. With a background in ceramics, she has...in her work as an artist. She joined DYM in February 2017. Her ability to see and understand everything from minute details in complicated printing patterns to the big picture of Dym’s vision make her a key presence both in the shop and the office. She delights sharing podcast listening “responsibilities” with Hannah in the studio as they work together making beautiful, colorful textiles. 

 

About the people who sew for us:

When you create fabric, you also create opportunity to sew things from the cloth. How to go about this? For larger orders—which are quite small really, usually less than 50 pieces at a time—we work with a small sewing factory in San Francisco. Our pillow inserts must be custom sewn for Dym’s increasingly sculptural pillows. We get these made at a venerable San Francisco workshop.

For our smaller orders, including your custom curtains, pillows, tablecloths, and, soon, our first micro clothing collection, we work with a couple of truly brilliant people in the Bay Area. Antonia and Marge are the newest contributors to Dym. They both approach their work with a divine combination of structural engineering, high aesthetic standards, and calm playfulness. Each in their own way, Antonia and Marge are visionaries who bring magic to process and results. We are lucky we can hand off a project to these women, knowing it will come back with every detail attended to, creatively and efficiently.

OUR VALUES

Sustainability. From our choice of fabrics (100% natural fibers), to our water use (it’s recycled!), to the (very minimal) waste produced, we care deeply about our environmental impact on the planet. Read more about our sustainability practices [HERE], including our 2017 Levi’s grant [HERE].

Local workers. We employ a network of local artists in the the Bay Area to make our blocks, to print our fabric, and to sew it into custom creations for you. Working within our community, enables us to go deep into our process, to create with intentionality and complexity—the opposite of cookie cutter manufacturing.

Made by hand, for real. Everything is made by people, not computers or machines! Never digitally printed. Hand printed for a one-of-a-kind look and feel. We want each piece to have richness and depth, so that when you touch and hold, as well as look at our fabric, you have a full sensual experience.

Endless variation, including radical imperfection. We embrace the beauty of irregularity, in the Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi. Even as we continue improving at our craft, we relish delightful variations yielded by the block printing process. “Errors” such as drops of ink or untoward color variation genuinely add charm and visual interest. No two pieces are alike, so no one else in the world will own a piece the same as yours.

Small production. Slow textiles. We don’t take shortcuts. Keeping it special, celebrating the value of *all* materials: Noticing the world has plenty of manufactured stuff, and less wild space, we’re taking time to be deliberate with our love of making and to make less, to make it slowly and carefully, to value what we have. It’s why we choose to reprint and maintain our fabric, creating beautiful heirlooms into the future. We really lucked out with the craft of block printing—with it, as with almost no other technique, we can actually reprint your old piece to give it new life! Or print micro quantities with the same flow as printing several yards.