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by Halley Sanford October 10, 2021 2 min read 2 Comments

One of the elements we incorporated into the Adirondacks collection was the Iroquois-inspired beadwork. Well, Iroquois as well as other East Coast indigenous artisans. There is a uniqueness to the technique that you don’t find in works from other parts of the country, and it really makes an impression.

“I’m a studier, I’m a collector; in a way, I’m a hoarder – of both items and information,” Cheryl laughed. “If something fascinates me, I can’t help but rabbit-hole. That’s how I was with this unique, interesting style of dimensional beadwork and stitching. So, it’s one of those things that I’ve always kept in the back of my mind, like ‘I’m going to do something with this someday.’ And when I started designing the Adirondacks collection, it was a natural fit. We worked it into several pieces of apparel – that signature floral style – and even on to a hat. And we also brought in the trade silver style, which in this collection, kind of replaces the traditional concho you would see in southwestern styles.”

In its origin, this technique of arched beading was accomplished by either adding padding beneath the paper patterns (another thing that sets these works apart) or by sewing a single strand of beads into the shape and then beading over top of it, almost perpendicular, which creates a raised result. You’ll find this style mostly on small bags and pouches, but occasionally on garments. We interpreted into apparel and accessories in the Adirondacks collection.

For instance, in our Whimsey Birds Dress (we’ll go ahead and say it: one of the shining stars of this collection), we incorporated a combination of beadwork and embroidery with that dimensional, “bumped out” element and the traditional floral motif. We’ve always taken great pride in the intricacy of our embroidery, but this little beauty is next level. 

“We didn’t go quite as dimensional with it on the Huron Valley Hat, but we did stay true to the aesthetic,” Cheryl said. “When you look at this collection as a whole, you’ll see how the beadwork and embroidery style differs from a lot of what we do, and has its own unique elegance. I’m really proud of this collection, and extending our aesthetic to the East Coast.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the history and technique, this is a great resource and also directs you to an even more informative book on the matter.


2 Responses

Carina Spies
Carina Spies

October 18, 2021

Absolutely magnificent

Cheryl Reader
Cheryl Reader

October 10, 2021

Completely enchanted by this collection! Can’t wait to see the beadwork in person!

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