November 12 2012
Lucia van der Post
Since re-exploring Britain’s heritage is all the rage, whether it be something on wheels, Stoke‑on‑Trent’s finest, or country clothing, it’s no surprise that British textile mills are beginning to hum again. First, there’s Johnstons of Elgin, which for years was known chiefly for its very classic cashmere and tweeds, but which last year for the first time branched out into furnishing fabrics, drawing on its Scottish Highland heritage for inspiration. So successful was it that this September it expanded the collection and the result is a calm and charming collection of fabrics that would look perfect in a wide range of country homes.
There are three stories behind the collection and the names say it all. There’s Hebridean Hideaway, with colours taken from sandy beaches, turquoise seas, peaty moorlands and changing skies. Country Garden takes skies, fields and flowers as its theme so there are gentle shades of blue, soft green and coral. Finally there’s Manor House, all faded shades of old gold, smoke and verdigris which have been woven into Baroque-style jacquards, some pinstripes as well as textured plains and herringbone. Besides the woollen fabrics, which are perfect for upholstery, there are some silk‑and-linen and wool-and-cashmere blends. Prices range from £60 to £66 per metre.
Still on a very British theme, Tom Helme and Martin Ephson, the duo behind the quintessentially British paint brand Farrow & Ball, have recently launched a fabric company, Fermoie (pronounced Fer‑moy), which echoes the aesthetics of the paints in that it is indubitably British. It is created and manufactured in England and all the designs are inspired by early textile prints. “Fermoie’s aim is to capture the life, light and enjoyment of old woven textiles,” is how Tom Helme puts the philosophy behind the brand, and the result is a delightful collection. There are lots of matching or toning stripes and plains to make co-ordinating a doddle. Prices range from £78 a metre for the plains to £96 a metre for all the stripes and patterns (pictured).