Remnants into Rags with John Robshaw

Remnants into Rags with John Robshaw

I remember, maybe 25 years ago now, reading a magazine mention about the textile passions of a young artist named John Robshaw. Over the years, I've watched from afar as John—one who fell in love with the textiles of Asia, and in particular, the block-printing traditions of India—began to innovate with artisans in design, turning the ancient craft into bed linens. Before long, a veritable empire of sheets and pillows tumbled across the country and into the White House, dressing our beds and wrapping our dreams each night in fanciful elephants, bright stars, and arabesques.  

When I had the chance to meet John and his wife, Rachel, (as textile lovers are destined to converge at some point), I learned more about his process of working with artisans in India and his desire to use all of the scraps from his now gargantuan endeavor so as to not contribute to the disastrous overloading of our landfills. In a light-hearted way (as is his way in all creative pursuits), John began to design clothing in small batches, using remnants to make fashionable rags. I was intrigued.

block-printing traditions of India

Every week or so, I hear the same questions from men who love Ibu: when are you going to offer something for us guys? Here was our chance. John's team sent us block-printed blazers, vests, easy summer shirts—everything one might want—man or woman—to make the hot days cool. Today, we offer this limited drop of hand block-printed linens and cotton—from bits and bobs into handsome togs. Grab some while you can!

Married to an Ibu team member, Eric Amoquandoh agreed to don these duds while trying out his newest drum—one he had just carried back from his home in Ghana—and occasionally, irrepressibly, he breaks into Ghanian traditional dance. Can't you hear the music, feel the beat in these threads?

It's all there—the rhythmic thump of the block print, the thrum of the drum—hand-over-hand joy in creating good things in life. Here's to John and Eric, both dads to young daughters—my hope is for a brilliant and joyful Father's Day for you each. As I hope the same for the beloved He-bu men reading this. I beat a drum for all of you who daily honor your daughters, wives, colleagues, sisters, mothers, and women of the world.

All the best,

hand block-printed linens and cotton