Fabric Friday: David Butler


David Butler… rock star turned fabric designer. An unusual combination of skills… and would it surprise you to learn he is married to fabric design supremo Amy Butler? David’s fabric range Curious Nature could be what you’re looking for if you’re angling for edgy, or wanting a dark and mysterious look for a room in your home… We caught up with David to find out more…

We like to bring you something a little different on a Fabric Friday, so thought we’d take a break from florals and vintage (just for a moment, mind you) and showcase the mean and moody prints in David’s Curious Nature range for Parson Gray. Inspired by mid-century graphic shapes from a collection of vases, with tones influenced by rocks and nature, this is a line that looks grown-up, sophisticated and edgy all at once.

Mollie Makes: How long have you been designing fabric and how did you get started in that?

David: Well, this is my first line, and so really only for about a year. Although I’ve been helping Amy with her computer production for the last seven years or so, and in the industry for ten years since Amy began. I’ve always been fascinated by textiles, and enjoy the industry and love the people, so it was a natural evolution. The more I learned, the more I loved it! 

Mollie Makes: We know you’ve been working ‘behind the scenes’ with Amy’s fabrics and wondered how much of an influence you had on her work… What was your involvement?

David: Hired hand! Ha ha. Actually, I merely helped her turn her hand-drawn work into computer art. It’s a necessity nowadays. But she does respect my opinion and draws me in when she’s editing scales or prints and even colours. I give her my opinions, and she goes from there. Sometimes I have good ideas, and sometimes I’m way off. I wouldn’t say I have much influence on the collections or designs, but I enjoy being a sounding board for her to figure out the semantics of her ranges.

Mollie Makes: And how did it go from there to developing your own fabric range?

Amy and Joyce (from Westminster Fabrics) have been after me for a few years to do this. We all saw a niche that I could fill. They had the confidence, I just needed the time. It’s a big job keeping up with our studio and all of Amy’s comings and goings with licences. And my band Black Owls, and all the other cool things I love to do.

Mollie Makes: What can we expect to see from your next fabrics?

David: My next range is already designed and in production. It’s called Seven Wonders – 24 prints that will work alongside Curious Nature. I wanted to expand upon the palette that I’ve built with the first line, and create a world of prints and colours that go together. So folks can refresh their investment in Curious Nature with an addendum set of colors and prints. I love the idea of expanding upon something already built. From there, I’m not sure. I venture my 2013 collections will begin anew.

Mollie Makes: Rockstar and fabric designer is an interesting mix – is this a world first?

David: Well, it’s very funny, isn’t it? I always call Amy the rockstar fabric designer, so I guess if I can do them both individually it’s somehow a good covering of the bases. I always think of fashion and rock going together.. and this is all a bit of fashion, art, craft, so why not music too? I’m pretty unapologetic about my passion for rock, and everyone seems to be cool with that. So thank you all!

Mollie Makes: Thanks, David. Great to talk with you.

The Seven Wonders range is due this summer. If you’d like to find out more about David’s fabrics you can visit the Parson Gray website. And you can see fabric swatches from the range on the FreeSpirit fabric website. Interested to learn more about the music behind the man? Check out the band Black Owls.

PS. Did you notice that gorgeous quilt in the fabric shots…? If you’re as beady eyed as us, you’ll be pleased to hear this quilt is available as a free pattern from FreeSpirit Fabric. Go create!