Dezeen Magazine

Isfahan by Apparatus and Pierre Frey

Apparatus draws on Persian marquetry patterns for Isfahan fabrics

The kaleidoscopic pattern that adorns this textile collection by New York studio Apparatus takes cues from a Persian inlaying technique.

The Isfahan series is the final output of Apparatus' ACT III collection, for which creative director Gabriel Hendifar looked to his Persian heritage for influences.

Isfahan by Apparatus and Pierre Frey

Featuring intricate, geometric patterns, the fabric design is intended as a reference the Persian Khatam – a traditional inlaying technique that decorates objects with pieces of wood, metal and camel bone.

Khatam has become less popular but is still practiced in the Iranian city of Isfahan, giving the collection its name.

Isfahan by Apparatus and Pierre Frey

"The Isfahan textile balances ancient and modern geometry, remaining faithful to both its heritage and the studio's rich vocabulary," said the studio in a project description.

Launched in 2018, Apparatus' ACT III home collection was initially sparked by a Khatam box that Hendifar's grandmother brought with her to the US after leaving Iran as a political refugee in 1979.

Isfahan by Apparatus and Pierre Frey

The studio, which Hendifar runs with partner Jeremy Anderson, had previously used the technique for another collection of objects for ACT III called Shiraz Khatam. However, US sanctions against trade with Iran prevented them from going ahead with production.

In response, Apparatus developed the Isfahan line in collaboration with French textile manufacturer Le Manach. The fabrics are available as a limited series of curtains and cushion covers.

Isfahan by Apparatus and Pierre Frey

These come in a variety of colours – including dark reds, greys and greens – that follow the brand's moody and luxurious style, as captured in styled shots of the works captured by Joseph De Leo. Additional decorative details include large tassels.

Isfahan by Apparatus and Pierre Frey

Hendifar and Anderson founded Apparatus in New York 2012. Other works in the brand's full range include collections that drawn inspiration from the Wiener Werkstätte art movement and the forms of ceremonial objects used for ancient rituals

The duo recently expanded to the West Coast with a showroom in Los Angeles, to accompany their New York outpost and a European hub in Milan.

Photography is by Joseph De Leo.