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Love means...babies' and kids' bedding

Jeff Linville, Michele SanFilippo -- Home Textiles Today, December 15, 2003

Actress Ali MacGraw is searching for a producer — a manufacturer, that is — for Babito, her line of bedding for babies and small children inspired by her drawings of animals.

MacGraw has produced the line privately for friends and family for about two years.

The initial patterns in the line were realized with the help of local artisans in Jaipur, India, who hand blocked the designs onto bolts of cotton, and a sewing cooperative in Albuquerque that pieced the products together from her fabrics and patterns.

According to spokeswoman Mary Loving, MacGraw is now seeking manufacturers to produce her line.

"She is interested in bringing these designs to a widespread market, and is really concerned with where the products are made, the construction of the materials and how workers are treated," said Loving.

Color & whimsy

Babito products include crib bumpers, throws, quilts, duvet covers, pillow shams, bed ruffles and three styles of sheets for each pattern. All patterns, which consist of unisex looks and colorations, work together and layer back to one another.

The hand-blocked designs draw from MacGraw's affinity for animals as an owner of two Scottish terriers at her home in Santa Fe. Currently, there are looks with monkeys, cats, elephants and Scotties in red, black, yellow, blue, pink, white and turquoise colorations.

"My initial interest in textiles came from India — one of my favorite places with its colors and whimsy, but my father was actually a textiles designer, so maybe it's always been there without my knowing it," MacGraw told HTT in an interview.

"I'm insanely mad for the Indian sensibility and aesthetic as well as a big animal person. I wanted something whimsical with animals, especially with all the wonderful [creatures] we were seeing over there," she said.

MacGraw added that her simple repeat patterns could easily be transferred to wall borders, hangings, accent rugs, chair cushions and small furniture.

"Ali has created these whimsical, yet sophisticated patterns for babies and young children and is trying to address the product gap between really high-end looks and the low-end, lesser quality bedding fashions" explained Loving.

In addition, MacGraw said she would love to see her line produced in the U.S. with American cotton and textile partners.

"There's no reason why we couldn't do this in the U.S. and put some people to work in the deserted mill towns throughout the South."

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