American Craft: Spotlight on Margo Petitti

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(Left) Photo: Rhiannon Newman (Middle) Margo Petitti. Image courtesy of the artist (Right) Image courtesy of the artist

In conjunction with Made in the USA, we’re celebrating contemporary American ingenuity by highlighting some of our favorite American artisans featured in the museum shop. Today we interview Margo Petitti. Based in Fall River, Massachusetts, she designs and creates scarves and pocket squares.

How do you mix patterns in your scarves and pocket squares?

Margo Petitti: I of course take color and pattern into account when selecting fabric combinations, but also texture, weight, and fiber content. It’s important to keep like-weights and similar fibers together. When I design, sometimes I like to make something so bright and high contrast just to see it, and other times I keep the combinations more monochromatic or tonal and focus more on texture and finish.

What inspired you to make scarves and pocket squares?

MP: I was in graduate school when I started, and was introduced to a friend that has a men’s shop in Providence. He taught me about the suiting fabrics that he carried and gave me a swatch book of jacketing fabrics that he was discontinuing. I cut out the swatches and made a patchwork scarf for my dad for Christmas. I decided to withdraw from the graduate program over winter break and launched the company three months later. I started with scarves, and the pocket squares were a natural progression.

How does fashion inspire and inform your work?

MP: I’m actually much more inspired by the textiles themselves than with fashion. It’s difficult to not be inspired when working with such beautiful fabrics and classic patterns.

Do you have a favorite American artist? If yes, who, and why?

MP: I have always admired American fashion designers like, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, and Ralph Lauren for their timeless looks. One painter that I’ve always liked is Thomas Mcknight.  My parents have a few of his prints and when I was little I always loved them because of their color. They have one with a skinny moon that I particularly like.

See Margo in action in this visit to her office:

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