Romor Designs was founded in 2015 by Rob Jones, a Japanese textiles inspired designer and natural dyer when he was made redundant from his retail eCommerce job.
Romor Designs is founded on the Japanese principle of 'wabi sabi'. 'Wabi' means quiet taste and 'sabi' means elegant simplicity and combined the principle embodies the idea of acceptance of beauty in randomness.
Wabi sabi is all about finding the beauty in what is already there. Romor Designs uses shibori to create a framework within which the indigo and natural dyes can work their magic and then takes the best of what the patterns and dyes produce to create truly unique pieces. Work can then be further embellished using stencil work, Sashiko embroidery and appliqued Boro patches.
No two works will ever be exactly the same ensuring that customers always have work that is truly their own.
Katagami stencilling, part of the training I did with my good friend, Bryan Whitehead in 2014, became an established part of my practice in 2018 after my second trip to Japan. I travelled down to Ise, the traditional home of stencilling to visit the stencil and paper museums in Shiroko and to get the many supplies needed to do katagami and then returned to teach it in many places in 2018.
During this period I also taught myself Sashiko embroidery and Boro (mending using vintage and other textiles) and started using these techniques in my work and bringing them to new students in the UK.
Romor Designs follows the Japanese concept of mottainai, which means concern about waste. Scraps of dyed fabric are used as "blockers" to stop knots pulling into stitched shibori work and indigo resist dyed threads are re-used in stitch projects wherever possible.
When buying from me you can rest assured that every effort has been made to recycle and not harm the environment.
Much of the beauty of Japanese textiles is in the layers of meaning surrounding each piece, each work being the sum of many different processes. Japanese kimono silk typically has a texture, often with a repeating design, the background being an important part of the finished work.
Romor Designs aims to create these layers by using carefully selected vintage fabric wherever possible. The fabric bears the marks of its past upon it, adding interest and tying back to the principle of wabi sabi by providing a canvas for the dyes used to meander through.
We use vintage French linen, undyed bolts of kimono silk and vintage kimono silk itself primarily. When we source new material it is always the best quality cotton, linen and silk and we aim to support small, local businesses wherever possible.
Romor Designs uses mainly natural dyes and indigo. Many of these dyes have been used since ancient times - indigo, madder, tansy although we love to discover dyes with real vibrancy and potential. There are so many natural dyes to choose from it would be a crime to limit our palette.
Dyes are selected to provide a rich field of colour and where they produce further layers of vibrant secondary colour in combination.
The colours natural dyes produce are organic, not artificial, a key part of Romor Designs' philosophy.