Update: Thank you for entering – the giveaway is now closed.

Today we are on the 5th Canadian Online Fabric Store in our monthly series.  I am super excited to feature an interview with Esmari, owner of Warp and Weft! (I might have a small crush on her store… eek!)  Esmari’s store – located in Toronto, Ontario – has been open for almost a year.  She has been super generous in giving away some of her amazing fabric and has a discount code for you (she ships worldwide!). Plus she is including a coupon to be used at the Toronto Creativ Festival later this year! Amazing!

When I first saw her store I was immediately hooked, the graphic designer in me loves clean white website and great logo. Her fabric choices are unique and I really like how she puts together her custom bundles. I love how the packages arrive as well – wrapped in brown paper and twine with a tag telling you what you have received. Everything about her shop makes me more excited to receive what I’m ordering! It is easy to see that her background is in interior design – all of the details are perfect.

As well as a great selection of designer fabric, Esmari stocks notions from Merchant and Mills and is one of the only suppliers in Canada to do so. I was lucky enough to receive a bamboo point turner from a friend for my birthday, and it works really well – even though I don’t have the heart to remove the tag, it’s so pretty! You’ve got to check out this sewing box as well. I think I wouldn’t be able to use it, but might just sit and stare at it for a while, or display it on a shelf. (Of course eventually I would have to use it, I do like to sew you know!) She also stocks embroidery products, ribbons and more from Sajou – which are gorgeous as well. Maybe I should also take up embroidery just so I can have these Eiffel Tower scissors?!

Of course, I could talk about this shop all day, not to mention the Warp & Weft Sewing Society and upcoming appearance in Made In magazine… but you can check out more for yourself I’m sure! On to the interview…

Thread Riding Hood: What inspired you to start Warp & Weft?

Esmari: “After many years of working as an Interior Designer I had a niggling feeling that I needed to try my hand at something different although it wasn’t immediately apparent what that ‘something different’ would be. I had taken up sewing as a hobby when my husband and I immigrated from South Africa to Canada and was really enjoying using it as a different type of creative outlet from my work as a designer.  I soon realized that for me, the most exciting part of starting a new sewing project was the search for the right fabric. I would spend hours trying out different combinations and palettes long before I knew what I was going to make. So when the time came to make my next move my husband’s advice to me was to do what made me happiest and of course the answer was clear – fabric!! Before moving to Toronto we had lived in a more rural part of Ontario and I found it quite difficult to find anything that really suited my tastes as far as clothing, home décor and even hair styling went! Eventually I found a great hair stylist in town but I found that I was increasingly shopping online for designer furniture, clothing and eventually fabric too. So I started Warp & Weft with a very specific objective in mind – to bring a more design orientated selection of fabric to people in the same predicament as I was in.  As a designer I was taught by my mentors that one should never compromise on quality or aesthetics and in this age of e-commerce, whether you live in Toronto or Yellowknife you should be able to have access to products that reflect both those characteristics. I approach every purchase that I make for the Warp & Weft online store with this in mind. You can say I curate the collections and always try to find that one thing that stands out in the crowd, that piece that I would happily use in my own home and life.”

Thread Riding Hood: Can you tell us more about your (gorgeous!) Design Team fabrics?

Esmari: “Design Team is a textile design company based in South Africa which started out as a final year project in 2000 for the then students, Amanda Haupt and Lise Butler, and has flourished and grown into a business now employing 40 people, many of them previous unskilled workers who Amanda and Lise have trained over the years. There are so many amazing designers in South Africa who are committed to bringing unique and world class designs to the market whilst doing great work towards uplifting previously disadvantaged communities and Design Team is definitely one of the trailblazers today. Their textiles are all printed using a freehand silkscreen technique which renders each and every piece of cloth printed completely unique. Pigments are mixed by hand and printed on base cloths which are woven in South Africa and Lise and Amanda approach traditional and local iconography in a completely contemporary manner which is both internationally relevant as well as reflecting the socially dynamic South Africa of today. Their product line consists of upholstery grade cottons and linens as well as laminated cottons and wallpaper which can be used for just about any home decorating project from drapery and furniture to totes and other fashion accessories. The quality of their work and their approach to interior design in general seemed to be completely in line with what I aimed to achieve with Warp & Weft so I am absolutely thrilled to be the exclusive stockist of Design Team products in Canada.”

Thread Riding Hood: What is something coming up in the near future that you are especially excited about?

Esmari: “Warp & Weft will be teaming up with RE:Style Studio and exhibiting at the Fall edition of Creativ Festival this year. It is the largest exhibit of its kind in Canada and this will be my first chance to take Warp & Weft directly to the public and I look forward to meeting some existing and new clients there in person. E-commerce can be a bit impersonal at times and I always try to engage with clients as much as I can but nothing beats hanging out in a fabric store (or booth, in this case!) and having a big old chit chat about shared passions! We’ll be bringing the full product line which is available on the Warp & Weft website to the exhibit, including an extensive collection of Design Team fabric samples from which you’ll be able to make selections for special orders, as well as upholstery tool kits and supplies and ottoman, headboard and ‘Bring Your Own Piece’ workshop sign-ups from RE:Style Studio. So do please drop in at booth #624 on October 25 – 27th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and come say hi!”

You do not want to miss out on this one! Esmari is giving away a 1/2 metre cut of 3 different Design Team fabrics (pictured below) – an approximate value of $120.00 – to one (very fortunate) Thread Riding Hood reader. Seriously, this is the good stuff, freehand silk screened fabric with hand-mixed pigments means you get fabric that is totally unique. Aside from the great quality, take a look at the designs. They would look great as throw pillows in my house, and I’m sure you can think of a million ways to use them as well. I’m imagining an amazing tote bag or a small upholstery project… hmmmm… oh, sorry – you want to know how to win these?! UPDATE: Thank you for entering – the giveaway is now closed.

This giveaway is open to all Thread Riding Hood readers, internationally (No one gets left out, hooray!). The giveaway will be run from today, August 9th, until Friday, August 23rd at 10pm.

Here’s how to win: (Make sure to leave one comment per entry on this post so we can count them all properly.)

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell us your favorite Warp and Weft fabric, notion, embroidery product or kit!
  2. Social Media Extra Entries: You can get one giveaway entry for each of the following: (1) Like Warp & Weft on Facebook and/or (2) Follow on Twitter and/or (3) Follow on Pinterest. Leave a comment on this post for each like or follow to say that you did so we can count them all!
  3. Newsletter Extra Entry: Sign up to receive the Warp & Weft Newsletter. Leave a comment on this post to say that you did.
  4. Pinterest Extra Entry: Pin the giveaway official pic below. Leave a comment on this post to say that you did. 

Warp & Weft Giveaway! August 9-23, 2013 - visit Thread Riding Hood to enter!

Choose your favorite ways to win from the list above and leave a comment below for each one – you just might win… and that’s not all!

Esmari is also providing Thread Riding Hood readers with a discount code. Thank you Esmari! Shop at Warp & Weft throughout the giveaway (August 9 – August 23, 2013) and get 10% off your order with the code: “THREAD10″! This discount can also be used to purchase her exclusive Design Team special order fabrics – lucky you! Here are some of my favorites… off you go shopping now!

 Design Team - Rabbit  

I’m very excited to be visiting the Creativ Festival this fall, and was glad to hear that Esmari would be there as well! For all of those in the Toronto area, this Festival is not to be missed. You can find more information on their website – and my review of this year’s spring Creativ Festival here. Just in case you need more incentive to visit – Esmari is providing a printable coupon that you can use during the show! Click on the coupon image below to access the pdf printable coupon. It will provide you with 10% off any Warp & Weft products at the booth, including Design Team special order fabrics!  Bring the printout with you to the show, one coupon can be used per customer per day at the festival.

Thanks for hanging in to the end of this one! Enter the contest – and check out Esmari’s shop, you won’t be disappointed. Have a great weekend, see you on Monday!

Note: I have not received compensation for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.