Meet Ellisha Alexina, Textile Designer

Ellisha Alexina  in her studio // Photo:  Joyelle West

Ellisha Alexina in her studio // Photo: Joyelle West

Written by Jenna Talbott + Noelani Zervas • Photos by Joyelle West // We’ve been a fan of western Massachusetts-based textile designer Ellisha Alexina since our first encounter with her atmospheric patterns a handful of years ago. Ellisha studied textiles at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, then moved to western Mass where she found a mentor in the celebrated Berkshires-based textile designer Peter Fasano. After settling into her own studio, she set about exploring the unique process she is now known for. To create her hand-blended bespoke collections, she draws on years’ spent researching dying techniques from around the world in a mixed media process that blends polychromatic screen-printing and hand-painting. We spoke to her back in February as she prepared for the launch of her online shop and a spring collection. 

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What do you personally use your designs for? 

I love having my textiles in my home—each is an example of how Ellisha Alexina has grown over the years. I have a chair upholstered in our Rajah in Ash Mahonia from one of the very first screen printing runs we did in our Easthampton studio. And one of my favorite pieces is a framed piece of canvas off my first print table. To many it looks abstract, but to me there are so many memories. 

What are your main sources of inspiration?

All of my collections share inspiration from 17th-century Turkish textiles and embroidery. The shapes in each pattern have such movement, and the colors are so natural, delicate, and rich. My new collection is inspired by these qualities, as well as indigo vat-dying techniques and some new hand-dying techniques I’ve experimented with in the studio. 

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Do you typically work with designers or directly with clients?

The majority of my clients are interior designers. I started my company as to-the-trade only, which allowed me to create a product that is exclusive and special. However, as my brand grows and continues to evolve, I find myself making more connections with direct clients. My online shop gives me the opportunity to collaborate with both interior designers and direct clients, which is exciting!