Fabrics

Published on February 1st, 2011 | by Becky Striepe

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Fab Fabrics: Organic Block Prints from BIRCHseed

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Block printed fabrics by Australian artist BIRCHseed

Stay at home mom Nikki Shipard creates beautiful, food-inspired block prints on organic fabrics.

Being a mom has brought back Shipard’s creative drive from her childhood. Since having children, she was suddenly re-inspired to create, and BIRCHseed is the outlet for that creative energy. On top of her organic fabrics, Shipard creates block print housewares and kids’ clothing.

pea pod fabric by Australian artist BIRCHseed
She says there are a few reasons that using eco-friendly materials is important to her:

  • Looking after my health – I was diagnosed with acute leukemia at age 28 years, so I have gained a pretty strong stock hold on looking after myself and living a chemical reduced life though organic food and gardening, home life and my general outlook.
  • Looking after others – I try to pass on my knowledge I have gained (without preaching) so this is a way to I can hopefully inspire other by creating things that are both beautiful and healthy.
  • Ethical reasons – I like to buy local as much as possible or if materials come from overseas, at least to be sweat shop free and helping a local community. Also it’s good to know that the farmers and factory workers who are producing the organic fabrics are dealing with a lot less chemicals, and will have far less chance of getting cancers (like lymphoma’s) related to exposure from agricultural and manufacturing chemicals.

All of BIRCHseed’s fabrics are 100% organic and printed using Permaset Aqua inks, “an Australian product which is non-toxic and water-based.” You can find Shipard’s full line in the BIRCHseed Made It shop.

block printed fabrics
Made It is a marketplace just for Australian indie designers. While the artists are all Australian, they can ship anywhere, so don’t fret! Folks outside of Australia can pick up Shipard’s lovely block printed designs, as well.

Are you an eco-fabric designer? Want to be featured in an upcoming Fab Fabrics? Hit me up by emailing becky AT importantmedia DOT org.



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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • nikki @ BIRCHseed

    Hey Becky, thanks for making contact with me, even though I am all the way down in Australia! This is a great site you contribute to and am honoured to be a part of it. Best, Nikki

  • Kltaylor

    My mom, sister, and I all love to sew, but we’ve had a difficult time tracking down organic fabrics. Usually you can buy sheets and clothing from organic materials, but not the basic fabric itself. We did find one source, but they were shipping from India and it seemed like the emissions from shipping could outweigh the benefits of the organic process itself. In conclusion, I am very excited to hear about your fabrics and can’t wait to browse your collection. Do you find that these fabrics have a different feel from traditional fabrics?

    • nikki @ BIRCHseed

      Hi Kltaylor, thanks for your generous comments. Glad to hear of your interest in organic fabric, but i have to agree with you that it is rather difficult to find plain organic fabric, especially locally. I live in Australia, and our country is just not set up to farm large quantities of organic fabric. hopefully this will change in the future and we will begin to see organic fabric selections in general textile stores. So in saying that, most of Australian organic cotton also comes from India (and Turkey).

      In answering your question, i certainly do find the organic cotton does feel different to traditional, but i am not sure that is it because of its weave and weight. it is lovely to print with :) another great thing about working with organic fabrics is the smell… i love how they smell almost like freshly cut summer straw and not chemicals.

  • Mel

    Awesomely fresh and clean designs – I love them !!

    • nikki @ BIRCHseed

      thanks Mel, that’s so nice to hear your feedback :)

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