Get Your Swag On

Get Your Swag On

Happy New year all,

What will the world of interiors bring in 2016?  Many designers are making predictions. I refuse to, all I will say is I am sure it will be a wonderful and interesting year, and I look forward to all the surprises to come with bated breath.

For a while now many things have been forecast to be the next “in thing” or “coming back“. one of which are Swags and Tails, of all things. They made a big resurgence in the eighties. Probably urged on by bouffant hairstyles and Dallas sized shoulder pads. And lets not forget the crazy poly-cotton prints that were used in their creations!   So you can imagine my surprise when I heard on the interiors grapevine that these Marmite blasts from the past were going to grace our windows once again.

swags-and-tails-curtains-261x185

http://www.lovemycurtainsandblinds.com

There are plenty of books, on-line guides, great templates and systems available to help you create a plethora of different types of swag and tail or just swag variations. I aim to show you a cross section of my favourite designs using some of my esteemed colleagues images as examples.

Sonia Dowsett

http://www.soniakcurtains.co.uk  .Kent. England

I am a lover of the flamboyant, swaths of fabric and a smorgasbord of trims. I am a girl who loves the term “More is More“. Elegance abounds with the calossus of the curtain world.

Elaine Sealey

Elaine Sealey Handmade Curtains, blinds and soft furnishings. The fabric is from Rubelli with bespoke trimmings by Wendy Cushing.

No one sits on the fence with these bad boys. You either love or loath them. Some designers will say they are gauche, old fashioned and even baroque. Quite recently someone commented directly upon this style of drapery as

Horrible !!!! “trés cul cul la praline ” désolé “.

How rude! Oh well, each to their own I suppose. This in truth is what prompted this first blog. I felt I needed to challenge this attitude. In the least I wish the unbeliever of the style to re-asses their negative opinion of this window treatment. Fingers crossed.

Rachel Robinson

Www.rayrobinson.co.uk fabric and lace from james hare and trim by price and co.

Negative comments aside, I am glad to say there are designers who love them in all their flamboyancy. They find them a great way to indulge and flex their muscles in the sumptuous world of cloth . They enjoy their elegance and undeniable extravagance.

www.beechwoodcurtaindesign.co.uk 2

www.beechwoodcurtaindesign.co.uk

In this day and age (especially for the young designer), they pose a huge technical challenge. This is manly due to their complexity and the fact that you don’t get to design them often these days. You need to plan and draw them to get it just right.  They also require high ceilings to compensate for the loss of light. Lets face it we don’t all have Victorian houses.

Beechwood Curtain Design4

 

Beechwood Curtain Design2

www.beechwoodcurtaindesign.co.uk Prestigious Textiles Bamboo

This aside, they do not have to have ooodles of trims or be made with heavy damask fabrics. They can be stripped down, simplified and with a bit of care even used in a modern setting.

Mary Grice Villa Nova Naples fabric

 Mary Grice Soft Furnishings Jones Monaco beaded trim and Villa Nova Naples fabric which gave them a bit of a contemporary twist

Unique-curtains-swag-tails-gallery-image05

http://www.uniquecurtainswa.com.au/

Helen Greene Suit

 From the Helen Green suite at the Berkeley. www.helengreendesign.com/

1888_Peterson's_Magazine_Fashion_plate

Petterson’s Magazine Fashion Plate

France in the XIX century saw some of the first swag designs, even the clothing of around this time and later bare similarities to the window treatments. Right from the beginning fashion and interiors have been inexplicably linked.

Mary Grice 4

Mary Grice Soft Furnishings

Fiona Tait 4

 http://www.fionataitinteriors.co.uk/

IMG_1453

There are so many variations of this style of window treatment that I struggle to understand how any one can hate them ALL!                                                                                     From single swags with or without pelmets, on poles, on valances, under pelmets, with or without tails, with jabots, on lambrequins, multiple swags, overlap swags, tip to tip, with trims, without trims and on, and on.                                                                                                   The only thing you ideally need is the space above the window. I simply loath it when swags are really shallow, the deeper they are the better they look so naturally you need the space .

3

http://www.foxridgeinteriors.com/

Geraldine Cockerell

Geraldine Cockerell

Bev Spencer2

Bev Spencer

Suzanne Scott

Suzanne Scott

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http://sonsuzdekorasyon.blogspot.co.uk/

Dawn Ellis-Brown

Dawn Ellis-Brown

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http://sonsuzdekorasyon.blogspot.co.uk/

American Horror Story

Unfortunately you can only just see the side fixed swags on this image taken from the set of American Horror Story. I think they look wonderful.

Susan Kirk Designs

Susan Kirk Designs

A lovely contemporary approach to this style. Tastefully done I feel.

I have barely skimmed the surface trying to show a cross section of the variety of styles of swag and tails that are out there. You can find lots more inspiration especially on uk.pinterest.com  where you can also find mine and Susan Kirk’s Designs boards.

Well that is the first blog of the year. Hope your interior design year is a great one.

A big thank you to all the designers that have contributed their work to this blog and thank you for reading.

E.Wolfe

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Deadly Designs

Hi all, 

All Hallows eve is upon us so I thought I would get into the spirit of things and look at what our ghosts, ghouls and vampires had on offer for us as far has interior design was concerned.

Have fun and enjoy.

E.D.Wolfe

Deadly Design

Believe it or not this blog was quite hard to research, purely because most supernatural programs and films depend heavily on pure location. What I mean is , run down buildings, wood work, architecture as supposed to actual interior decoration. I did however find some and boy do I love them.

TRUE BLOOD

Production designer Suzuki Ingerslev

True Blood

Bill (the vampire) Compton’s office.

stripe-along-lower-third-drops-really-makes-them-pop

This was the easy one. Bill (the vampire) Compton’s office. This is not from the first series. Originally the office was run down, but it got a re-vamp along with Bill’s new position in the vampire hierarchy. And boy has Bill got taste. The room oozes sensual male sophistication, enough to get your teeth into.

Bill Compton's office, above, has a desk from Eric Brand Furniture, leather desk chair from Alan Desk, Daytona armchairs in faux crocodile upholstery from 22 Bond St., a glass and chrome side table

Only the best will do for this vampire boss. Bill Compton’s office, above, has a desk from Eric Brand Furniture, leather desk chair from Alan Desk, Daytona armchairs in faux crocodile upholstery from 22 Bond St., a glass and chrome side table.

The curtains are very simple heading in a plain colour with braiding about a third up in rows to make it pop!. I would use the following to re create this look.

col_g_MIAMI1Houles

This Miami braid is by Wemyss Houles and comes in many colours including black. http://www.houles.com/

Valleta Vanilla

Great double width fabric by Villa Nova, Valleta Vanilla. definitely interline this bad boy for added luxury. www.villanova.co.uk. Put into a wave or inverted double pleat heading.

Troia-Ebony Byron&byron

Troia-Ebony Byron&byron

T7676Thibaut Damask Resource Volume 3 Antoine Trellis Silver on Charcoal - T-7676 ( T7676 ) Pattern

T7676Thibaut Damask Resource Volume 3 Antoine Trellis Silver on Charcoal – T-7676 ( T7676 ) Pattern. http://www.thibautdesign.com/ This is not the exact wallpaper in the office but it will work.

74824_thSacala wallpaper rococo

I also found this wallpaper that is beautiful. Ulf Moritz, Scala Rococo. http://www.ulfmoritz.com

American Horror Story

Set Designer Ellen Brill

American Horror Story

From the coven mansion. White on white elegance. With dark wood accent banister.

Spooky horror is always fun. To be honest I get frightened silly watching it but I keep going back for more.

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Beautiful chandelier

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Naomi @ Uber Interiors helped me find this one, hats off to them. www.uberinteriors.com. Thanks.

61B44-91pRLExpo International 10Yard Kylie Classic Tassel Fringe Trim, Gold

61B44-91pRLExpo International 10Yard Kylie Classic Tassel Fringe Trim, Gold. /www.expointl.com

ZIMMER + ROHDE

ZIMMER + ROHDE Symphony. http://www.zimmer-rohde.com/

Hannibal

Production designer Patti Podesta and set decorator Jaro Dick

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Hannibal Lecter’s Office

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Production designer Patti Podesta and set decorator Jaro Dick to bring Lecter’s deadly lairs to life. The aim was to create  a Danish Modern feel which also oozed sophistication. I think they managed that in truck loads!  He obviously has the best taste. Hannibal’s desk is an original Leif Jacobsen design. The grey therapy chairs were ordered new from Urban Barn in Toronto, and the side tables are Eileen Gray classics.  And I just can’t get over the tongue in cheek Red and white surgeon pole curtains! You can find many images on the net showing similar, but I am afraid the only way for creating this on the scale shown, is by using two different coloured fabrics, (ideally with the same fibre composition) and joining them. It is hard to see but they look like tabs. Therefore a tab curtain this tall would be dress only.

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Voile = A lovely metallic look, there are several on the market by Harlequin, Ulf Moritz and Voyage to mention but a few.

The closest wallpapers I could source based on the photo are as follows…..

282772-Crown--Samsara-Grey-Texture-Blown-Wallpaper

Crown–Samsara-Grey-Texture-Blown-Wallpaper

& Torino Plain Charcoal Silver Glitter Textured Wallpaper by Fine Decor Torino Plain Charcoal Silver Glitter Textured Wallpaper by Fine Decor FD40237

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The rug I believe is an antique (as are quite a few items around the room).

loire_emotions_grey_14mm_oak_sawcut_matt_lacquered_click_engineered_flooring_pefc_lifestyle_2

http://www.factory-direct-flooring.co.uk/

element7 also do a great one.

Once Upon A Time

Set designer Mark Lane

Regina, the evil queen’s Office

RX_disney-wikia-regina-OUAT-promo

All the naughty people have the best designs. We love the bad guys, they have sensuality coming out of every pore, so their surroundings have to reflect that. We love danger, it’s eroticism attracts us like a moth to a flame. The evil ones effect everything they touch so why not their most intimate of rooms. It is also no great shock that this room tends to be their office, their war room as it were. The place they plan and scheme is the one that defines them the most.

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3c17a3b15dd333dad7e4e0f9e0f82c58Seabrook

Seabrook is similar – Pattern ID SBK1 4258. https://www.seabrookwallpaper.com

or

download cole and son woods

Woods by Cole & Son. http://www.cole-and-son.com/

Exclusive interiorsBlack Oval Back Chrome Frame Dining Chair (H93 x W49 x D54cm)

Exclusive interiors Black Oval Back Chrome Frame Dining Chair (H93 x W49 x D54cm). 

www.exclusiveinteriors.co.uk

update-your-office-with-a-new-desk.JPG-550x0A statement-making desk, like this one by Jennifer Pacca interiors, is the centerpiece of any home office

Desk by Jennifer Pacca interiors, jenniferpaccainteriors.com

Looking at the image, the tie backs are manufactured ones. They are made in a similar way that a “scrunchy” hair band is made with a longer tube of fabric than the cord on the inside.

prodzoomimg19714www.lights4living.com600 × 455Search by image

The chandelier is proving to be illusive, the budget was huge for this room so it would not surprise me if the one on set was custom made. The one above is a lovely alternative and more suited to most room sizes. http://www.lights4living.com

leather Casino chair from Global Views

leather Casino chair from Global Views. This is a lovely alternative to the chairs used.

The sofa is aprox $18000 on the set, I have found a great alt easy to customize by Christopher Guy http://www.christopherguy.com/ called Saskia. unfortunately they have protected the image so I am unable to show it on the blog, but you can follow the link.

Alien

gig2H.R. Giger Bar - The Xanadu Group

Giger Bar – The Xanadu Group

HR-Giger-Alien

Not exactly an interior as we know it but I love the film and the artist. Just could not help myself being a huge fan of the man’s unusual work. Obviously, unless you have the cash to hire the great man personally you would be very lucky to re create a room in homage to him and his creation.

The themed bars modelled by the Swiss artist H. R. Giger. There are three Giger Bars: the first, the H.R. Giger Bar in Chur, Switzerland, which opened in 1992, and the second is The Museum HR Giger Bar, located in Château St. Germain, Gruyères, Switzerland, which opened on April 12, 2003. A third Giger bar was located in Shirokanedai, Tokyo in the late 1980s.

Underworld

Selenemansion

This last one is just cos I have a penchant for vampire films in general, and lets face it they always have the best of everything. Their style nearly always has velvets, damasks and lots of carved wood. These immortal beings love the old excesses. Don’t we all. More is definitely more for these creatures of the night, from Interview with a vampire to Dracula himself, old luxury wins out every time.

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Interview With A vampire

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Bram Stokers Dracula

Dracula-Castle-Transylvania-12

The Dracula Castle in Romania

I hope you have enjoyed Curtain Girl’s Halloween blog? It has been a huge challenge but enormous fun.

Happy Halloween and thank you for reading,

E.D.Wolfe

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Pattern Perfect

Hello All,

I recently received a message from a reader concerning pattern matching and curtain headings. This I feel is a valid point and one worth investigating. Thank you in advance to Jane Fiddian of Fiddian Interiors for inspiring this blog http://fiddianinteriors.co.uk/.

Hope you enjoy the read…….

Pattern Perfect

When selecting a fabric many things are taken into consideration.

  • Colour
  • Coordination
  • Texture
  • Drape
  • Suitability
  • Pattern

Pattern is only one of the many choices made when selecting a fabric. Whether that be for curtains, cushions, bedspreads, blinds, pelmets or headboards.

english-curtain-company-web-gallery-1

The English Curtain Company http://www.fiddianinteriors.co.uk

When a pattern is picked THINK!

If working with Goblet Pleats for example will the pattern land on the goblets ?                                   Can the heading be altered so that the pattern will fit on the goblets ?

This needs to be worked out BEFORE the fabric is confirmed.

The pattern spacings need to be measured width ways and married up to the pleats mathematically. It can be fiddly but you should be aware before you proceed, even before fabric is ordered. Most fabric companies are very accommodating in providing the necessary information for you to work this out.

goblet-headingsophiesews

http://www.sophiesews.com

A client should be aware if the pattern cannot be married up with the pleats, pinch, goblet, box, whatever the heading. This will fundamentally effect the look of the end product.

elizabethgerdes18stitchabovetherest

www.stitchabovetherest.com

If a pattern match on a heading is not achievable (as sometimes is the case) there are alternative options available.

Goblet-pleat-with-buttonsdecoist

http://www.decoist.com

Here the button nicely draws your eye away from the fact that, the same part of the pattern cannot land on the goblet every time.

IMG_1249

♦A contrast top border eliminates the problem and can enhance a design. Even though you can’t see it in this photo clearly, I lined the pattern up on the blind with the curtains. These little details are the reasons why people go to interior designers.

♦You or your client can just simply live with the random landing of the pattern or change the fabric.

♦Sometimes you can set the pattern down so that the most distinctive section is below the pleat level,     therefore drawing your eye away from the random section of pattern that lands on the pleat. (In the same way the buttons above does)

short

TEMBOK

This Harlequin fabric is beautiful, but things must be considered before it is selected. It has an off set pattern which needs considering. (The pattern is different on the left selvedge than the right)

♦Can it be lined up ? (By trimming the fabric)

♦Which part of the pattern do you want at the top, or central in the case of a pelmet.

♦Do we centralise the pattern on romans in a bay or does the pattern follow on from blind to blind?

10580161_922334231150883_2620173325494605798_nLJ curtains

www.louisejacksoncurtains.co.uk

This pattern is centralised so therefore is less of an issue.

Pelmets and Blinds can be tricky items

Thimbles and Threads

Excellently executed pelmet to blind pattern by Thimbles & Threads http://www.thimblesandthreads.co.uk

Consider the following with a patterned fabric

  • Position of pattern at top (the section always on view with a blind).
  • How much you see of the pattern on the depth of the pelmet or on the top panel when a blind is open.
  • Where the stitching hits the pattern (on a blind)
  • What section of the pattern hits the sides and is cut off.
  • On a pelmet, bay or row of blinds do you centralise the pattern on the blind, on the width.
  • On a pelmet, bay or row of blinds does the pattern continue from one blind onto the next.
  • Does the continuation of the pattern effect the position of the joins on the blind(s) or pelmet(s).

I know it is mind boggling what a designer thinks of before and whilst designing an item for a client. They are questions that become a natural mental check list after a while.

DSC_0205curtainupsale

http://www.curtainupsale.co.uk

Once you have decided and are happy with the pattern position. You then need to consider how other items may be effected.

I prefer to follow a pattern on from a pelmet. I also like to have continuation on position of pattern as previously shown.

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Harlequin Fabric

When you follow a pattern on from the pelmet to a blind be aware that, depending on how tall you are there is a slight fluctuation of the pattern lining up. Realistically you can only line it up with a direct eye level, then live with the variance. I also do the same with curtains under pelmets where the same pattern is used.

You must remember to factor in the depth of the pelmet, track, spacers etc, when making your calculations on where to start the pattern on the top of the blind or curtains. This way the correct part of the pattern appears at the right point past the base of the pelmet.

qyd176ak01chhearycurtains

http://www.cheerycurtains.com/

Stripes are a lovely, eye-catching defined pattern. Positioning needs to still be considered. Or can you turn the fabric ?

Standard roman with pelmet

Prestigious Fabric

There is also the interesting situation of lining the pattern up on a cascade Roman blind. It is fantastic when a designer / manufacturer, takes the additional time to marry the pattern up when the blind is in the up position. This is the sign of a true crafts person.

Jules Austin-Leppington The English Rooms.

Perfect example of a pattern matched, cascade blind by Jules Austin-Leppington at English Rooms Interiors in Stone, Cheshire, England. http://www.englishrooms.co.uk/

Pattern Run Out

For those that do not know. When a pattern runs out it means it is not positioned squarely on the cloth. Sometimes you can see it straight away and sometimes a run out only becomes apparent when you start to make the item required. Some subtle run outs can be adjusted so you do not notice them. However some cannot be hidden. It is at this point you contact your client, and make them aware of the problem and how this will effect the look of the product. In some cases the manufacturer of the fabric needs contacting to be made aware of the problem. Discussions can then occur on how it can be resolved. New Fabric? Extra Fabric?

When a check pattern runs out it is always obvious! Pre-emption of this fact can be dealt with when selecting a check. I would recommend making the client aware of the potential issues.

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Found on Pintrest

This is a great use of a pattern to create the shape of the pelmet. I have seen and created this effect quite a number of times. It always looks amazing.

JOINS

The final point I would like to make is that all the above is a pointless exercise if your JOINS are bad. This is where a skilled seamstress / upholsterer comes into their own. The idea is to match up the pattern on the edges of the cloth in such a way, that when sewn, the item assembled comes as close as it can be to “SEAMLESS”. 

I will with my lovely friends at BITA Trade Forum on Facebook demonstrate this through a gallery of examples.

httpwww.curtainsbyemmajane.co.uk

httpwww.curtainsbyemmajane.co.uk

httpwww.foxridgeinteriors.com

httpwww.foxridgeinteriors.com

httpwww.gorgeousgingham.co.uk

httpwww.gorgeousgingham.co.uk

httpwww.sarahclarkeinteriors.co.uk

httpwww.sarahclarkeinteriors.co.uk

CharlOberholster

Charl Oberholster on Facebook

Embroideries cause an added problem when pattern matching. Some are hand loomed, therefore the pattern is not a perfect match. With some embroideries the pattern goes into the selvedge, giving you nothing to sew with. At this point you can sometimes move in a repeat on the width, but you can lose a lot of fabric and need to order extra. These designers have done a great job with hard fabrics.

httpwww.englishrooms.co.ukJaneChurchil

httpwww.englishrooms.co.uk Jane Churchil fabric

CurtainsBespokeIpswich

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Curtains Bespoke Ipswich. On Facebook

Upholstery comes with a whole host of issues depending on shape and style. Pulling the fabric over the item and buttoning can distort the pattern making it hard to match up. Then you have all the component parts to marry up. This is before the pattern is right way up at one point then changes direction as it moves across the item!! A good upholsterer takes all this into consideration, before calculating the cloth and starting the job.

upholstery done in Harlyn curtain Fabric in Beige [Curtains & Fabx] --- www.curtainsandfabx.co.uk Email sales@curtainsandfabx.co.uk

Upholstery done in Harlyn curtain Fabric in Beige  www.curtainsandfabx.co.uk Email sales@curtainsandfabx.co.uk

httpwww.smiths-upholstery.co.uk

httpwww.smiths-upholstery.co.uk

www.curtainsandfabx.co.uk

http://www.curtainsandfabx.co.uk

I love it when a designer makes sure this happens in the middle of a curtain on the leading edges.

www.facebook.comwoodrowbespoke

http://www.facebook.comwoodrowbespoke

Pleats and joins looking great here.

IMG_20141006_150814

httpwww.englishrooms.co.uk

Thank you to all who have contributed to this blog edition. Great work by wonderful people, showing the art of pattern matching is alive and well. In some of the photos you struggle to even see the join! 

My hat is off to you all in our trade.

If you want to learn more about “pleating by design” go to wwwclassicalgenesis.wordpress.com where you will find Clive Pennington. Britain’s leading authority on this craft and its process.

Keep up the good work.

Till next time

E.D.Wolfe

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Amazing Apexes

Additions made.

curtaingirldotcom

Hi Elsie here,

I always get people asking me how to dress their apex windows.

Structural-Apex-Frame

 6c6a08a7e18cacf17058638a0f30d871

They look great admittedly but they are a bit of a pain to dress.

You are restricted but it all depends on what you need the dressing for. You may not need one at all.

However if the apex is in a bedroom or bathroom……………

Option 1

Curtains.

Curtains are shaped into the apex so therefore the heading is unable to move. You have to open and close the curtains via Italian stringing at the sides.

P1080266-Italian-Stringing-back-sidehttp://casartcoverings.com/ Italian string from the back.

Surprisingly they do not cut off as much light as you would imagine, but be careful which fabric you pick. Avoid bulky and stiff fabrics and go for something that has a good “drape”.                                The drape…

View original post 529 more words

Get Your Beatwoven

Get Your “Beatwoven®

Hi all, Elsie Wolfe here.

                                                You lot should know by now that I not only have a passion for interior design but I also LOVE Fabric.

There is so much out there. Texture, colour, weave and much more. There is even a magnetic curtain of all things as well as fabric with metal threads in.

Just when I thought I had seen it all. THIS HAPPENED. A very clever woman thought of something that I believe has never been done before; something that I also believe is genius in its simplicity.

Fabric woven to the pattern created by the beat of MUSIC!

download (1)

CoolToneFabric4

Cool Tone Fabric 4

 Nadia-Anne Ricketts professional dancer and weaver, in 2008 discovered an arithmetic connection between the patterns that music make and the architecture of woven fabric.

21c.My+Tribe+Loop

My Tribe Loop

Nadia saw the potential in these patterns and using them to fuse music and pattern creation in fabric together. The fabric woven has a heartbeat of its own much like that of the music used in its creation.

In 2009 a unique piece of software was created to translate sounds and produce those images into woven cloth.

IMG_2896

ChairDarkBackground

Beatwoven A69

“When travelling and living around the world I experienced how music is a universal language and at the core of every culture. When I hear music I want to react, whether it’s dancing, singing, or smiling. It can unite us, unlock special memories, take us on an emotional journey and most of all, it can motivate us to focus, create and endure. To be able to express the intangible of music, through woven textiles is super special, as it creates tactile music with an added narrative to any interior space;  A woven piano concerto wall hanging in a concert hall for instance, or an Arabic prayer upholstery on a super yacht, or your favourite house track woven and tailored into a garment “. – Nadia-Anne Ricketts, Founder.

BreakYa

Amor La Momoposina

 From the depths of our human history unlike any other creature on the planet we have woven cloth and made music. It resonates with us on a deep psychological level. Music and woven cloth is as unique as we are, it defines who we are.

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http://thelinenworks.blogspot.co.uk

Zig-zag and criss-cross patterns, nested curves and parallel lines are the earliest known patterns to have been created separately from the body; their similarity to entopic phenomena (involuntary products of the visual system) suggests a physiological origin. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/)

Music is much the same, it has its deep origins in history and our psyche .When we listen to music our brain releases dopamine (a pleasure drug). http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/ makes a comment “when you listen to Bach, what colour do you see?” Colour, music and fabric elicit an emotional response in us so why not combine all three into one pure form?

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The Oldest Known Melody c.1400BC! See and hear on Youtube

BeatWoven® have developed bespoke software through collaborative projects in London using developers who have expertise with music and coding.  The latest partnership was with The Centre of Digital Music, and The Legal Research Faculty, Queen Mary University.

IMG_7071

Designs are created in the BeatWoven® studio on the edge of London.

Picking+Yarns+and+COlours

Each piece of fabric goes through a journey. A piece of music is selected, a story is told. This creates the digital pattern that is then translated into a woven pattern. The human element is then added back in. The Human Artist decides the scale of the pattern, colour combinations, yarn size and structure. Often a trip back into history is entered into to decide all of this. For example if a piece of Handel music was chosen, the time the composer lived in is looked at to determine the colours and textures. This way the essence of the original piece of music is retained.

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Handel

Clients can even commission a piece of fabric using their favourite song!!

Rachmaninov

Rachmaninov

All Production is based in the UK at one of the last remaining English Silk Weaving Mills, using exclusively sourced materials and the highest quality of craftsmanship. Although innovative, the value of maintaining British heritage and tradition of woven expertise is particularly important to BeatWoven®. (http://www.beatwoven.co.uk/)

Everything is finished by hand.

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Image taken from Decorex

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I hope you have enjoyed looking at Beatwoven®. It is a marvellous concept and beautiful design.   The colour, texture and emotion imbedded into this product is nothing short of astounding. Genius!

Go to  http://www.beatwoven.co.uk to see and hear more?

Thanks for reading,

E.D.Wolfe

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

 

How To Hang Curtains Properly (in my opinion)

Time and time again it is asked how to properly hang a set of curtains. So much of this is about personal aesthetics, how you have been trained and fashion of the time. This blog contains my experiences of the way I do it.

curtaingirldotcom

Hi all. E.D.Wolfe here signing in.

What I have to say next is purely my opinion and I do not want to offend those who do what I consider to be BIG curtain no no’s .

May I also add that personal aesthetics play a big part in this and one persons mess is another persons “pièce de resistance” . So at the risk of offending her we go.

TOP FIVE CURTAIN PEEVES.

1. Pinch pleat pushovers.

Time and time again I see these lovely headed curtains hung disastrously wrong.

Curtains hung incorrectly. Pinch pleat Curtains hung incorrectly.

Pinch pleat curtains hung correctly. Pinch pleat curtains hung correctly.

Swaffer Silk www.swaffer.co.uk

To me it is completely obvious why the first is wrong and the second is correct but let me make it clearer.

The flat section between the pleats is meant to fold under and away so the curtain hangs neatly and pulls off the window well. If the curtain is not…

View original post 880 more words

The Silk Road

E.D Wolfe

                  Hi all. Silk is probably my most favourite of all the furnishing cloths. Unfortunately it is one of the more costly, tricky to work and live with due to its properties (see blog FABRIC FLARE (the basics)  Published on 3/27/2015).

                   From its texture to its luxurious sheen. Even the silk that doesn’t have a sheen has a drape that I go week at the knees for. 

                   This post is going to explore the application of silk in interiors.

Enjoy the read

E.D.Wolfe

THE SILK ROAD

This was the original trade route through regions of Asia.

Silk_route

Extending 6,000 kilometres (4,000 miles), the Silk Road derives its name from the lucrative trade in Chinese silk carried out along its length, during the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE).

han-dynasty-silk

For more than two thousand years the Chinese kept the secret of silk altogether to themselves. It was the most zealously guarded secret in history. Next to the protection of tea cultivation.

According to well-established Chinese legend, Empress Hsi Ling Shi, wife of Emperor Huang Ti (also called the Yellow Emperor), was the first person to accidentally discover silk as weavable fibre.

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One day, when the empress was sipping tea under a mulberry tree, a cocoon fell into her cup and began to unravel. The empress became so enamored with the shimmering threads, she discovered their source, the Bombyx mori silkworm found in the white mulberry. The empress soon developed sericulture, the cultivation of silkworms, and invented the reel and loom. Thus began the history of silk.

Whether or not the legend is accurate, it is certain that the earliest surviving references to silk history and production place it in China; and that for nearly 3 millennia, the Chinese had a global monopoly on silk production.

The major silk producers are still in Asia, accounting for 90 % of mulberry silk and 100 % for non mulberry silk, but also silk is produced in Brazil,Bulgaria, Egypt and Madagascar . The main raw silk producers in the world are China and India, but also Brazil and Thailand have their share of silk production.

If you want to learn more about the history of silk go to http://www.texeresilk.com .


Silk is a wonderful looking fibre it has its ups and downs.

  • Strong filament.
  • Elastic and resilient.
  • Refracts light, lustrous appearance.
  • Insulates.
  • Easy to die.
  • Watermarks easily.
  • Rots in sunlight.
  • Fades in sunlight.
  • Creases.

IMG_1225

This was a raw silk by Swaffer http://www.swaffer.co.uk/ that is sadly now no longer in production.

Curtains By E.D.Wolfe

Interlined and lined, double pleat with contrast leading edge and “pin trim“. (A pin trim is when you insert a piped trim between a leading edge and the main cloth then pull out the cord. Giving you this lovely thin contrast)

IMG_1291

As you can see, great for blinds and curtains. It was wonderful to work with. At first glance it looks like a thin linen, but when you touch it, it is wonderfully soft and supple. My workroom made a comment of how fantastic this fabric was to work with.

HOW TO WORK WITH SILK

When working with silk it is strongly recommended that you hand stitch where possible, it makes for a far neater finish especially the hem. Also with interlining being required you would have to hand slip the sides and hems to stop puckering and tension issues.

Why Interline?

Due to silk being a light weight fabric that is also susceptible to fading, interlining is required to add weight to the curtains and blinds and an extra barrier against the sun damage.

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   Whiteheads Silk 101 http://www.whiteheadshome.co.uk/

Without interlining the silk would appear thin and limp. And to be honest they look awful in my opinion.

I would never personally recommend silk used in an area that got a lot of sun, eg:- south facing room and or window, conservatory and I would never recommend it was used on upholstery, it would not last five mins. I have seen it used on the odd chair for pure decoration though.

When manufactured correctly they look beautiful and can be used to manufacture many styles, modern and traditional.

When making throws with silk I would line and at least lightweight interline. Do make clients aware that it is a decorative item only,it will not stand up to even medium wear and tear.

You have to really watch manufacturing with silk velvets, they can be very slippery. It takes a highly skilled seamstress to handle this type of cloth.

http://www.sweetpeaandwillow.com/

http://www.sweetpeaandwillow.com/

One of these fabrics is a silk,viscose velvet. It has so much movement you cant make it into blinds and the curtains have to be pooled because it relaxes so much. It is however one of my utmost favourites. Intaglio Collection by James Brindley

Intaglio-Cashmere

Intaglio Cashmere. http://www.jamesbrindleyfabrics.com

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Three Designs above by www.darleydesign.co.uk in Stellar by James Brindley

I have even put lining on the back of silk to turn them into cushions for extra strength.

original_lola-silk-cushion-amethyst noton the highstreet

Cushions from http://www.notonthehighstreet.com

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James Hare Silk www.jameshare.com

They also look great with trims.

Amy O'Riely 1

Curtains Manufactured and Designed by http://www.foxridgeinteriors.com/

Unfortunately I would advise against cleaning interlined silk curtains most times the results would be dreadful. They also must be kept out of damp areas such as bathrooms, mould loves silk.

There are several different types of silk and they all vary in appearance, quality and benefits. Some have short filaments and some long strong ones. All are beautiful.

Charmeuse, Chiffon, Crêpe de Chine, Dupion Silk, Fuji Silk, Habotai Silk, Noil Silk (raw silk) and Tussah Silk (or shantung). 

Companies are using silk mixes at the moment to reduce the down sides to silk but keep the luxury. In fact there are quite a few combination fibre fabrics that are very convincing faux silks.

Inedit2

http://www.casamance.com/

Inedit1 INOUI Casamance

 INOUI by Casamance

 73% VISCOSE, 17% SILK, 10% WOOL

The choice of silk these days is amazing. Printed, plain, embroidered, shiny, shot, matt. There is a silk for every occasion.

Gold-Curtains-Designs-1

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Harlequin Fabrics Saphora . Double pleat interlined 3 inch kick onto floor. Master Bedroom

http://www.harlequin.uk.com

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Plain Silk curtains and Pelmet. Designed By Uber Interiors

www.uberinteriors.com

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12106948_177189219286636_5767129035718104487_n

Curtains Manufactured and Designed by http://www.foxridgeinteriors.com/


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Great embroidered Voyage silk. I made some great dining room curtains out of this a year back, they looked wonderful.

www.voyagedecoration.com

You sometimes have to watch the embroidered silks. If there is a lot of embroidery on them they tend to have ripples between the stitching. This will not necessarily disappear during manufacturing. It can be a problem when making curtains with a pelmet. You make the pelmet and due to the pulling of the cloth in manufacturing the ripples are smoothed out, however they will have remained in the curtains, thus the same fabric can take on a different appearance textually. (Something clients need to be aware of).

I designed a pelmet curtain combo a few years back. The pelmet was a gradual bow curve. In this case the ripples came in handy because when you curve a pelmet it ripples the fabric. With the ripples already being there, there was no issue.

GP and J Baker silk embroidered curtains and pelmet fully lined and interlined.

GP and J Baker silk embroidered curtains and pelmet fully lined and interlined.

www.gpandjbaker.com

I hope you have enjoyed our brief romance with silk?

Till next time.

Thank you

E.D.Wolfe

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Size is everything.

curtaingirldotcom

Hi All Elsie here.

OK sizing a curtain or blind.

Straight forward I hear you cry. Well if that is the case why do so many people get it wrong?

I have had clients insist that their measurements were precise only to end up with a useless curtain or blind. Lets focus on curtains.

With a few simple pointers I can help you reduce if no eliminate the possibility for errors.

1. GET YOUR SIZES RIGHT.

Obvious, I know but so many people falter at this first step making everything else you do useless.

Fat Max Tape MeasureFat Max Tape Measure

tape-with-markings-small

Choose a good sturdy tape measure I find Fat Max to be the best it extends the longest before buckling.

Pick a measurement and stick with it.

Inches at top cm’s at bottom. I always went with inches because I measured big windows so inches were easier to read. If…

View original post 636 more words

It’s Child’s Play

Hi Elsie here,

It isn’t something you do every day but when you get involved in designing a child’s bedroom it is so much fun!!!!

Through the years I have been very lucky to design many children’s bedroom soft furnishings. It never ceases to amaze me at the scarcity of choice.  

Read on to see what I found?

E.Wolfe

Roald-Dahl-quote

BOOKS

Children’s books have been a wonderful place to start where interiors have been concerned.

From Beatrix Potter, Winnie The Pooh and more recently some of Roald Dahl’s creations.

Osborne & Little/London

                                                           Osborne & Little . Zagazoo                                                              http://www.osborneandlittle.com

Roald Dahl Collection with John Lewis and CB Interiors

 Roald Dahl Collection with John Lewis and CB Interiors

http://www.johnlewis.com/search?Ntt=roald+dahl&Nty=1&_requestid=6106916

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John Lewis Bedding

I find children’s interior design liberating in ways that other rooms are not. Clients embrace their own inner child when making choices for their offspring. They are not frightened of colour and being brave with it. Nor are they worried about lots of little details, textures and quirks.

Guess Who. Scion

     www.scion.uk.com

Scion‘s (part of the Harlequin Group) latest collection Guess Who? is wonderfully quirky, inventive and colourful. It is a collection of wallpapers, fabrics and other accessories that are fun and liberating to work with.

Guess Who_11_ER

Guess Who_14_ER

Guess Who_02_ER

It is really funny, because even though these are children’s designs I would be quite happy to use some of the fabrics (even the ones like the birds above) in any room in the house. As I have said this book is lots of fun. Quite a hit for SCION‘s FIRST CHILDREN’s COLLECTION!!!

Guess Who_05_ER

This Guess who wallpaper is particularly brave in its choice of depth of colour. But I feel the dark background enhances those wonderful colours of the animals bringing them to life.

Harlequin have always been ahead of the game with their children’s designs. They are equally as good with boys as well as girls rooms. What is also great is the way they make sure there are always colour-ways that are gender neutral which is awesome. I like pink but sometimes you can have too much in your life.

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HQ-What_A_Hoot

What A Hoot . http://www.Harlequin.co.uk

What a Hoot is a fab, fun design with a great mix of colour ways. It makes me smile. I feel this is the essence of a children’s design, it should be fun and make you smile.

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Brighton Beach by Harlequin

Also a big favourite of mine, it is immensely vibrant and boundary pushing as far as children’s design in concerned. To be honest this is yet another that I would quite happily use in other rooms, not only a child’s bedroom. I would definitely use it in a Kitchen.


Designers Guild, have always been renown for there bright colours and unusual colour blends so creating children’s designs was never going to be too much of an issue for them.

14639 Designers Guild

AROUND THE WORLD FABRICS. Designers Guild

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http://www.designersguild.com

This quirky design filled with animals and maps has turquoise as a main colour.  Its pallet is reminiscent of one you often find in French designs, requiring the designer to at times think outside the box when putting it together.


This is true also of  Casadeco a French company. They are very subtle and sophisticated even when it comes to children’s designs.

ambi-list_1442331858 casadeco alice & paul

Alice & Paul. http://www.casadeco.fr/

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ARC EN CIEL FRISE COCCINELLE VERT

I love Casadeco, especially for babies bedrooms. I personally find there muted choice of colour  is generally more suited to a nursery than a toddlers room. With its calming hues and softness of cloth makes it a definite go to for the little bundles first room.


Prestigious Textiles are at the lower end price point but they have some lovely designs that you can play with.

Forest Friends 3

Forest Friends http://www.prestigious.co.uk

006_PLAYTIME PT

Play Time . Prestigious Textiles

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001_BE-HAPPY-BOYS PT

Be Happy

Prestigious Textiles have over the years put some lovely designs out with a sharp price point. Their quality has also gone from strength to strength. Lovely cheerful fabrics. Owls and Pandas are in this year and Prestigious have joined in with these carefree collections.


Harlequin, Designers Guild, Casadeco, Scion, Osborne & Little and Prestigious are just a few of the companies out their making the most of this rarely tapped market. There are others but these are the ones who have mastered this niche particularly well and have caught my eye this year.

I will leave you with another quote from the eternal child Roald Dahl, he can say it so much better than I…………………………………..

original_never-do-anything-by-halves-roald-dahl-typography-print

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

The Harlequin Effect Part 3 (The Future)

The Harlequin Effect Part 3

Interview continued with Luke Birchall . Harlequin’s U.K Sales Manager

Hi Elsie here,

                      Welcome to the final instalment to the Harlequin interview where we will be diving into the future of the company.

                      We are going to look at their environmental goals and achievements, equality in the company and new designs out this month.

Hope you enjoy.

Thank you

E.Wolfe

images

 

E.Wolfe:-                     How does Harlequin intend to carry the “lifestyle” forward?

Luke Birchall: –             Over the last 25 years but especially during the last decade or so we feel we have developed a strong business leading the way in terms of design and lifestyle products. We are always striving to keep abreast of current trends and will always invest in the latest production techniques at our factories to make sure we maintain the ‘edge’. Equally important is establishing and maintaining strong working relationships with our trade customers and the licensing partners previously mentioned. It is only with the right mix of all these elements and more that we will be able to maintain the position we are currently in.

Harlequin-palmetto-wallpaper-dragonfly-silver-wallcovering-2

                       Belvedere wallpaper, Dimoiselle wallpaper and fabric and Palmetto Silk                         All from the NEW Palmetto Collection

E.Wolfe:-                     You have a number of strong women in the company such as Claire Vallis (design director), Louise Draper (senior textile designer) & Caroline Geary (company secretary). In what way do you think having women in equal positions as men in the top of Harlequin will help the company in the future?

Luke Birchall:-               One of our major strengths is that we have strong people in place across the business, irrespective of sex. The likes of Claire Vallis, Alison Gore, Louise Draper and Louise Stovell (to name only a small selection!) have been with the company for significant lengths of time and in many ways embody all that is Harlequin. Without these people at the forefront of the business I honestly feel the company would be a poor reflection of itself and would arguably not have achieved all that it has in recent times. However, the success we have achieved is a real team effort and the blokes definitely deserve a mention as well!!

Harlequin-palmetto-wallpaper-thumbnail

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Cranes In Flight. Palmetto Wallpaper

E.Wolfe:-                     Carbon footprint and sustainable energy is important for our future not only in business but in the world. Harlequin has made moves in making their company cleaner such as sourcing its raw materials from organisations that trade ethically, are bound by environmental controls and, in turn, have their own environmental management systems.

The paper base for the wallpapers is supplied by organisations that source pulp from certified, sustainable forests and are accredited to FSC and/or PEFC forestry certification systems.  What plans does Harlequin have to be a “greener company” in the future?

Luke Birchall: –               We will always endeavour reach the standards set by law in relation to environmental controls; in fact it is our policy to exceed any targets set out. As we operate two large scale factory operations, we are constantly trying to achieve smarter and more efficient ways of working. Our Lancaster print house, Standfast & Barracks, uses water from the River Lune for multiple production techniques. We work closely with agencies such as United Utilities to ensure any water returned to the river is absolutely clean and will do no damage to the local environment. I’m sure you can appreciate the large quantity of base paper required for the large scale production of wallpapers at Anstey. We ensure that all paper supplied to us is FSC or PEFC accredited and we go to great lengths to ensure that any forestry stock is replanted to safeguard future production.

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Dardenella Fabric, Dimoiselle and Lois fabrics. Palmetto collection.

Harlequin-Palmetto-Silks-grey-sofa-orange-cushion-1

 Palmetto Silks

 

E.Wolfe:-                     Harlequin always seem to have something up their sleeves in the way of beautiful cutting edge designs. What direction do you think Harlequin’s designs will go in the future?

Luke Birchall: –              The beauty of the Harlequin Group brands is that they can evolve in any way depending on the way design trends themselves evolve. We have three hugely strong brands in Harlequin, Scion and Anthology which cover the whole market from entry level with Scion, to higher end textural wallcoverings with Anthology. We also cannot rule out the introduction of other brands in future or the acquisition of another existing supplier. Whatever the future has in store we are in a good place to be able to react and develop accordingly.

Harlequin-Palmetto-Amborella-wallpaper-chair-and-table

Amborella wallpaper from the Palmetto Collection

Harlequin-Palmetto-bedroom-mint-Amborella-Silk

Amborella Paterened Silk in the Palmetto Collection

E.Wolfe:-                     Harlequin have always created strong children’s designs, an area that many other companies have either shied away from or been very week in. How do you see this part of the harlequin brand existing in the future?

Luke Birchall: –             Our children’s collections are something we are very proud of at Harlequin and we will always continue to produce these. In many ways, like our coordinating fabrics and wallpapers, we are known for kid’s ranges and we would be very foolish to move away from this kind of collection now. In fact we will in late September be launching our first Scion children’s collection, ‘Guess Who?’ which draws on the success of our Mr Fox and Spike designs and includes more character based designs, such as Felicity Flamingo, Terry Toucan and a gang of Chameleons! It’s a really great collection and will be available to view in full at Scion stockists at the end of September.

Guess Who. Scion

Guess Who. Scion


The collection featured throughout this post is Palmetto, a sophisticated collection of atmospheric designs in evocative shades.

This collection is drawing not only from the wonderfully evocative 1920’s luxe feel but also from the glamour of the Jazz age and the botanical fervour that erupted in the 19th century with the enthusiastic orchid hunters. 

Yet again Harlequin have been forward thinking and inspired in this collection expertly designed by Harlequin Studio’s Becky Brown.

In Becky Brown’s own words regarding the inspiration for this collection she says……………

“Over the last 18 months I have been watching trends evolving both in fashion and in interiors, collating mood boards and experimenting with different techniques, such as mono prints, negative prints, foiling and etching. It seems to me as though the bright spring flowers of previous years have given way to an altogether more mysterious mood. The feel for 2015 is dreamlike and enchanted,
expressed through wild foliage, graphic botanicals and delicate flora and fauna.”

As previously mentioned in this interview, Harlequin and Becky Brown have expertly translated designs from the fashion world, added their own Harlequin magic and yet again created a wonderful, exotic and glamorous masterpiece. The Palmetto collection.

This collection has everything, wallpapers, metallics, weaves, silks and a coordinating velvet selection called  Belvedere velvets. Palmetto is an alluring collection with a high hitting sophistication of pattern, texture and intensity of colour that has you literally watering at the mouth.


The Harlequin Group is a rich and diverse brand that is a heavy weight in the creation of top end wallpapers and fabrics. You just have to look at their two most latest collections coming out at the end of September 2015 to see this. Palmetto Collection with Harlequin and Guess Who? with Scion.

Guess Who. Scio

Guess Who. Scion

 Next post coming out Monday will feature more images from Scion’s “Guess Who?” collection not to mention many others. Come Back MONDAY and take a look?

ALL IMAGES © HARLEQUIN
For more information on designs, collections, stockists & samples go to

www.harlequin.uk.com

&

www.scion.uk.com