When it comes to archives, they don’t get much more impressive than that of Andrea Aranow, the designer and ethnographer who has been collecting samples of textiles that take her fancy since the late 1960s. She’s made snakeskin ensembles for Jimi Hendrix, travelled through the mountains of Peru, China and Japan collecting, consulted designers from Louis Vuitton to Dries Van Noten and even curated exhibitions for the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Andrea’s collection was featured in the Spring issue of Printed Pages, when she told us about the mammoth task she’d undertaken with her son Caleb Sayan in attempting to scan and digitise every sample in this 40,000 piece strong archive, a task we scarcely believed achievable. But now, they’ve finished! The website they’ve created to house the collection is a feat of wonderful design, showing clips of Andrea sifting through her samples alongside photographs of her discovering pieces in the first place. You can lose hours clicking through, as the site is as much a record of this incredible woman’s love of textiles as it is an invaluable practical resource.