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Smitten Textile Designs - Katie Smith

At Smitten Design Textiles, artist Katie Smith makes products with integrity, because she knows that they will live in your home for years to come. Smitten Textile Designs takes pride in being a small, artisan-made and New Zealand-made business.

Katie's textile crush started when she was young. As a teenager, she hoarded charity-shop fabrics - like coats and dresses - in her room. Like a foodie, she obsessively sniffed out fabrics with superior weaves and designs.

In her own practice, many years on, this remains at the core of her business ethos: quality over quantity, carefully curated colours that change and evolve subtly and run against the prevailing tide of mass consumption. 

She likes to keep things simple, not too shouty. She does limited editions, small print runs - bespoke - with no waste. Katie also loves to collaborate, with the right people on the right project.

Katie is inspired by her stomping grounds, wherever she is. Whether in a fancy part of town or an edgy neighbourhood, she is always getting distracted by the sheer beauty of stuff that some people overlook: the colours in the concrete walls, the silhouettes in the shadows, the shapes made from natural clusters in nature. Katie sees most things as a pattern, from the trees in Titirangi, Auckland, where she lives, to the sawtooth roofs and brick stacks in the light industrial suburbs nearby.

"We live in a world with so many mass-produced fabrics and products. When I started my screen printing practise, I wanted to offer limited edition textiles and homewares that have been produced by me. When people purchase my products they are getting a personal story and a connection to me as an maker," Katie says.

Katie really enjoyed hand printing on textiles and was self-taught initially.
"It really suits me creatively as you can be both restrained and unrestrained at the same time. I chose textiles because it traverses beautifully between the worlds of craft, art, design, fashion and commercial applications which suits be down to the ground."

Katie has only ever used water-based inks. She mixes all the colours in small batches and designs different colour pallets each year. The ink she uses has a translucency to it, so she can overprint with the inks - part of the joy for her. Katie mostly prints on linen. "I love its texture and the way it matures, weathers and softens over time."

Support local. Support independent artist Katie Smith at Smitten Textile Designs.

"When you purchase our screen printed fabrics, you're not only supporting our growth so that we can continue to expand our range, you are also supporting many other small businesses along the way who help bring our collections to life." - Katie Smith.