Meaning ‘homelands’ in Latin, Patriae serves as both title and influence for Barbara Pisch’s work; within it are the principles and aesthetics of her own family history.
Born in Slovakia to a lineage of tailors and fiber-craft experts, Barbara relocated to the US at age seven, and grew up collecting antique textiles from her homeland as a way of connecting to her heritage. She first made a tote from an antique handwoven hemp grainsack over twenty years ago, and after years in various design fields opened her textile showroom and sewing studio in Asbury Park, NJ in 2016.
Since then, Patriae has organically evolved into a store and gallery that focuses on unique and skillfully-crafted new and vintage goods and clothes, sourced locally and internationally.
Patriae’s collection of original goods—including our iconic tote bags and pouches— is expertly crafted from antique homespun, handwoven hemp and linen textiles sourced in Barbara’s homeland in Central/Eastern Europe.
Woven between the early-19th and mid-20th centuries, the durable organic textiles used in the Patriae collection bare individual stories of family-based subsistence farming, indigenous heritage crafts, and women’s traditional handwork. Historically, each family in this region harvested their own hemp and flax, spun these fibers into thread, then wove it into fabrics to be hand-sewn into clothes, towels, tablecloths, pillows, sheets, grain sacks, and wagon covers. We transform these historic items into functional pieces, each handmade in-house in our Ocean Grove, NJ workshop, just a few blocks from Patriae.