Oxford-based Sarah Matthews was taught to sew by her mother, who, whenever she took a trip into town, always made sure to pick up a few scraps of fabric for her daughter to practice with. Later, Sarah’s interests in archaeology and anthropology led her to study ancient and medieval textile practices and material cultures of the world. Her favorite haunt? The rural countryside of Japan, where she admires the rich folk customs and measured way of life. All of these interests inspired her to launch Octavi, her own line of signature textiles and vintage goods inspired by the age-old craft traditions of Japan and beyond.
Above: Octavi’s signature boro pillows are hand stitched from antique Japanese indigo cloth; $73.
Above: A detail of two boro cushions shows the individual scraps of Shibori and other fabrics, which are the hallmark of these characterful cloths.
Above: A dark blue boro cloth pillow is made from patched denim; $57.
Above: A cushion is handmade from rare white boro fabric with blue stripes; $73.
Above: East meets West: this dual cushion is fashioned from a panel of hand-dyed antique linen from Germany and a sashiko-stitched light gray linen from Japan; $39.
Above: This one-of-a-kind cushion is made from a remnant of woven indigo fabric from Kyoto; $40.
Above: Octavi’s velvet cushion is filled with buckwheat, a natural, sustainable material widely used in Japan; $23.
Above: In addition to pillows, Octavi goods including handmade pouches ($10 to$45), as well as table linens and a curated selection of vintage housewares.
N.B. Seems like indigo is the new black. Are you as obsessed as we are? Check out all our favorites in this inky hue.