Industry Views September 2018

Fabric & Steel’s Michele Dopp On Crafting Artisan Textiles


Michele Dopp founded Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Fabric & Steel (646-416-3316, in 2015 after working in the interior design industry for nearly 20 years. The company specializes in designing artisan-crafted textiles and finished products, such as pillows and blankets, woven in Belgium and hand-screen printed in New England. Here Dopp shares insights into her design visions.

What drove you to establish your own textile company?
As long as I can remember, I’ve loved textiles. I’m drawn to them in all areas of life…from interior spaces in homes and public spaces, to fashion and art. I wanted to be a part of creating fabrics for people to love and live with—it’s a completely natural thing for me to do and I’m grateful every day that I am able to do it.

What are elements of your signature style?
I only use the finest Belgian linen and I only do hand-screen printing. As a result, my fabrics are of a higher-end quality than many of the offerings on the market. Linen is gorgeous, elegant, and becomes more beautiful with age. It is durable and lasts for many years.

How are your products sold/distributed?
My fabric yardage is available to the trade through the Fabric & Steel studio as well as showrooms throughout the U.S. and Canada. The finished products and collected objects are available through my online shop.

Disposability seems ingrained in the American psyche. Do you think Millennials will embrace long-lasting quality?
Living in Brooklyn, I have seen a shift in recent years towards younger people wanting artisan-made, heirloom type pieces for their homes. This is the result of the population of artisan makers in this area—being in the midst of it, one values quality and thoughtful design. There is definitely the feeling of buying fewer, but better, and this is starting to move into the mainstream.

Photos top to bottom: Michele Dopp, founder, Fabric & Steel; linen and wool 40- by 40-inch floor pillows with feather and down fill; and the Indigo fabric collection (top to bottom): Sapphire (90 percent linen, 10 percent polyester, Navy (45 percent cotton, 55 percent linen), Washed Blue (100 percent linen). (Photos by Vladislav Borimsky.)