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Irene Salas: Fabric of the World

By Historic Santa Fe Foundation Press
Historic Santa Fe Foundation (HSFF) is pleased to host the exhibition Irene Salas: Fabric of the World at HSFF’s El Zaguán, 545 Canyon Road, from December 7-28with the opening on Friday, December 7 at El Zaguán.

Irene Salas has traveled the world looking for exotic and well-made fabrics. In her daily life, she considers and contemplates the textiles and their many varied uses both aesthetic and utilitarian. Salas paints on linen to design and produces her custom textiles and, thus, feels a connection to the earth and the long history of textile production and textile art. In this exhibition, the artist will present some of the varied textiles that she produces and works with daily to highlight how fabrics may further speak to us in our everyday life.

Salas works with Mary Steigerwald who created an eco-friendly dyeing process for fabrics. Steigerwald collects foliage from the mountains and uses other natural elements such as wood-burning fires and free-flowing rivers to create fabrics with earthy colors and printed leaf designs. Salas met Steigerwald at the Santa Fe Farmers Market and explored the idea of using linen, cashmere, silk and other materials. The two have been working together for three years and make amazing finished pieces to use as wall hangings, furniture upholstery, and fashionable clothing.

With nearly 30 years of experience in the textile business, Irene Salas continues to expand her unique offerings. She started out by owning two successful fabric stores in California. Moving to Toronto, Canada, she created and operated a production company specializing in designing and producing soft home furnishings. From there, she was based in Mexico City, and imported linen and silk while continuing to build her design business.

Salas’ passion for textiles and design inspires everything she does: decorating homes, creating soft home furnishings, and painting textiles. Her collection is filled with lovely, hard-to-find fabrics, pillows, and aprons. There is also a great assortment of linen, silk, and custom leather fabrics. She also provides clients with custom orders for upholstery, cushions and curtains.

In 2012, Salas launched The Fabric Merchant & Company in Santa Fe where she built on her sought-after selections of fabric, vintage lace, trims, buttons, bolt ends, hand-painted fabrics and other special items. She is co-owner of The Duke & I, a concept store featuring world textiles, trims, and accessories in a magnificent and highly relevant mash-ups of global style and border-defiant beauty. Furniture, décor, and accents abound in vignettes inspired by cross-cultural influences. Salas is an artist-in-residence at Historic Santa Fe Foundation’s El Zaguán.

For more information on the exhibition, contact Melanie McWhorter at 505-983-2567 or

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