Coe Textiles started with a love affair for finely crafted clothing. From a young age, Amanda Coe found beauty in pieces handed down to her by her grandmother. A camel colored coat made from felted cashmere and a detachable mink collar was among her favorites. Every inch of the coat was mesmerizing from the hand stitched satin silk lining to the kimono cut sleeves popular in the 1950’s. With an International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union tag on the inside, the coat told a story of a once thriving domestic industry.
The fine materials and attention to detail in her grandmother’s coat set the standard as Amanda pursued a degree in textiles with a focus in apparel from the Rhode Island School of Design. After spending summers interning in New York, she was dissatisfied with the nature of global mass production and the fashion industry’s detachment from makers.
Amanda was looking for the next frontier in manufacturing. With a firm belief that craftsmanship should inform design, she bought herself a one-way ticket to India and enrolled in an artist residency hoping to learn more about textiles in a country where handcraft traditions still thrived.
What was expected to be a summer long trip turned into three years spent in the country and the founding of a company. Amanda immersed herself in the place, learning bits of Hindi and traveling by train to seek out experienced dyers, block printers, hand weavers, and silk cultivators. She settled for two and a half years in the craft rich northern city of Jaipur where she established her own clothing line while working for an embroidery designer. Coe Textiles’ exclusive fabrics are made by master craftsmen who have perfected their trade over generations. Amanda adds her own playful touch through illustrations which are hand carved into wood blocks for printing. Others fabrics are the work of handloom weavers who cultivate eri silk in the northeastern state of Assam. The clothing is meticulously stitched in a small, family run tailoring unit in Jaipur. Each piece is a testament to the beauty of the human hand in an age of mass production.
One of the driving forces behind Coe Textiles is a desire to create fashion with low environmental and human impact. In the age of globalization, traditional craftsmen face an uphill battle against the rise of mass produced goods. Their skill sets, honed over centuries, are becoming increasingly rare. We believe that the human hand is essential in creating unique, one of a kind pieces as well as providing dignified employment. Natural dyes are used whenever possible and low impact, azo-free dyes when not. We work closely with family run block print workshops, handloom weavers and our small tailoring unit to produce high quality, sweat shop free clothing.