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Join our textile supply ecosystem and bring deep wealth to the textile products you create!

New York Textile Lab is a design and consulting company. We design yarns and textiles that connect designers to fiber producers and mills to help grow an economically diverse textile supply ecosystem. The resources that we provide give designers agency to make better decisions about their social and environmental investments. Our textiles embody deep value through our sourcing and production practices. The fibers we use are grown on healthy, climate beneficial soil within our region, and we partner with mills and manufacturers that are local, transparent, and ethical.

NY textile Lab believes that the worlds textile production should grow out of abundant, regenerative systems that emerge from collective thinking, rather than centralized systems that rely on extraction, scarcity and competition. Connect to the textile supply ecosystem with NY Textile Lab and thrive.

Partners of NY Textile Lab:

 
 
 
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About Laura Sansone

 

Laura Sansone is a textile designer, activist, and consultant. She is the creator of Textile Lab and is currently an Assistant Professor of Textiles at Parsons The New School For Design. She has developed initiatives that bring NY designers and farmers together with the goal of creating products that have social and environmental value. Textile Lab’s NYS Regional Textile Initiative is a collection of locally sourced and produced yarns and textiles that are intended to link apparel, product and interior designers to the regional network of farms and fiber processing mills; including spinning, weaving and knitting. This initiative is recognized internationally as a significant economic revitalization effort on the East Coast of the US. In addition, she has designed woven textiles for the following companies: Maharam, New York, NY, American Silk Mills, New York, NY and Burlington House Fabrics, New York, NY.

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Manifesto

I studied textiles in both college and graduate school just a few short decades ago. When I was a student we learned about the innate characteristics of fiber materials; the elasticity of wool, it’s tendency to shrink and distort, the tooth that one feels when you crush a piece of silk in your hands, and the enduring strength of linen when it’s warped onto a loom. But we didn’t really learn too much about exactly where the materials came from, particularly industrial textile materials and clothing. There was a glossed over mention of the flax plant, the sheep, and the silk worm, and there was little attention dedicated to the actual farm or the geographic region where these materials grow and the farming communities that cultivate them.

Today, as designers, it’s our imperative to share information about the provenance of materials and the socio-economic effects of manufacturing. Decades of outsourcing, agricultural revolutions, and trade polices have given way to a textile industry that is centralized and highly reliant on extracted resources. We have found ourselves in an industry that lacks diversity in material choices: we have seen polyester and cotton monopolize the clothing and textile industry for more than a decade, together accounting for 85% of world fiber production.[1] Economic diversity is also threatened, as large conglomerate businesses monopolize the clothing and textile industry influencing policies and outcomes for the benefit of profit alone. 

A shift away from fibers reliant on petrochemicals and big agricultural systems to biodegradable materials like wool and other natural fibers that are cultivated on smaller farms can bring benefits. Some benefits include; better farming practices that have regenerative outcomes, reduced consumption of resources, and a focus on local jobs. These strategies bring both environmental and economic diversity and better stewardship to our biosphere. 

 At Textile Lab, we see a new textile economy where:

Members of decentralized supply chains work together to build an interdependent ecosystem.

Supply chains foster economic diversity rather than monopolies

We reject practices that rely on extraction and scarcity and adopt those that regenerate and sustain.

Material diversity is embraced and celebrated as necessary to balancing our ecosystems.

Community and cooperation rise above isolation and competition.

The creation of textiles and textile products, are built on social and environmental value, not just economic profit. 

Women are treated with respect and are recognized as important partners in restoring homeostasis to our natural and human made systems.

 1.      Simpson, P. (2011) Global Trends in Fiber Prices, Production and Consumption, Textiles Outlook International, 150, p82.

 
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The New York Regional Yarn Sourcebook

The NYS Regional Yarn Sourcebook raises the visibility of the yarns and fibers that New York State farms are currently producing. It is both a reference book for design professionals to use when they source materials and a means to connect farmers, mills and designers together in a single resource. This book encourages a viable, interdependent supply chain that can help to increase revenue for both small businesses as well as small farms in New York State. The NYS Regional Yarn Sourcebook is updated annually and it contains:

-Yarns and hand knit samples

-Micrometer and tensile strength data for the featured yarns

-Glossary of terms for yarn and textile processing

-End use suggestions based on micrometer average

-Farm description and contact information

-Inventory and pricing

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Memberships

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