What Curtain Fabric To Choose

16427213_1181795025260903_1906443613162295143_nHello everyone.

This is probably the most common question I have been asked by clients over the last 20+ years. Obviously there are several factors that effect your selection. If you are someone who prefers to look for your own fabric or just simply want an idea of what is out there, then this post is for you.

1.   COLOUR

Colour, the first question. What colour?

There are several ways to tackle this. You can match up with existing item/s in the room. You can choose either a complimentary or a contrasting colour. You can select a colour based on the type of room using colour theory. 

Yellow = A thinking colour, great for offices and places of activity.

Green = A relaxing colour, it is a calming shade. This is why you see it in doctors and dentist waiting rooms and on surgeons gowns. 

Red = A strong, warm colour not fantastic in huge quantities in a room you wish to relax in, can have a tendency to make people feel uncomfortable.

Blue = A cold colour, not advisable to use in north facing rooms or dark rooms, as it can make you feel colder than the room actually is.  

There are so many other parts to colour theory, that involve many factors, one of which is balance. This is largely related to the “Golden Section”. In basic terms the balance of 3, or 3 to 1 ratio. If, however you want to get technical = \varphi ={\frac {1+{\sqrt {5}}}{2}}=1.6180339887\ldots .

Simply put                                                                                                                                        For example if you are painting your walls and you want to use 2 colours, never paint 2 in one colour and 2 in another. It will never look right. I recommend you paint 1 in one colour and 3 in another. Or paint the alcoves in one colour and the rest in another, or paint the fire place one colour and the other walls another and so on. Selection of fabric can control this especially if the window takes up a big space.

Some people like the curtain / blind to blend with the wall, others like them to stand off / contrast with the wall. Some companies specialise is certain colour combinations. This factor is a personal design choice or style.

 Pattern

This is the big one. There is a plethora of choice out there, so what I am about to say only skims the surface. Some companies focus one a particular style and or pattern. Most companies have a mix of patterns across their portfolio.

Here are some of the basics.

Stripes = Great on blinds and windows you want to make look taller. The wider / bigger the blind / cutain the wider the stripe needs to be, please don’t put a pin stripe on a patio window, the chances are it will send your eyes funny.

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www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint Harlequin fabric blind on an Evans Rail

Checks= Checks work on blinds and curtains, please be aware though that if the pattern runs out on the fabric, it always stands out more on a check.

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www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

Florals = These also go in most places, it is a style choice though. Modern florals and traditional ones are available. Closed pattern or open with lots of gaps. It is up to you what you can live with.vvsyqlphsjeahxfo.JPG_640x480_q85
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Designs by Kelly White at www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint 

Plain= This works pretty much anywhere. You can make them more interesting by using contrast leading edges, borders and trims. A designer can go over choices with you.

 

 

Designs by Kelly White at www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

Add In Fabrics= So you already have a pattern in a room?  What to put with what?

Stripe= Never use more than one type of stripe please, it very rarely works. However if you have a floral settee you could use a stripe on the window and cushions.

Check= Same rule applies as above. Checks are great as they go with anything. There are so many out their, modern and traditional. They are a great add in fabric.

Floral= Mixing florals can be tough but there are collections out there that do it for you, this can be very handy. You can find large and small florals in one collection in the same colour way.

Traditional  / Modern = This all boils down to a clients personal preference, existing furniture and type of house. You do not have to have a fussy fabric for a traditional design or a completely plain one for a contemporary design.

 

Designs by Kelly White at  www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

Company

Some companies specialise is a style, pattern, colour combination or even price range. It can be difficult to find the fabric you love only to discover it is out of your range or you feel it is more than you want to spend. These following companies are the tip of the iceberg and what I would class as the most well known of the companies.

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Harlequin fabrics ( www.harlequin.uk.com )= This company do a wide selection of patterns but largely focus on contemporary design. Florals, stripes, checks, you name it, they do it and they do it well. Middle to upper price range.

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Romo Fabrics ( www.romo.com ) = This company do a mix also, however they are the ones I tend to go for if I need a stripe or check. They also have a great range of contemporary linen florals that drape really well. Middle upper price.

 

Sanderson ( www.sanderson-uk.com )= They have some contemporary designs but their strength lies in their traditional William Morris prints and weaves. These are beautiful, they are very good at re colouring them to make the colour pallet more relevant to today, as well as having traditional tones. Middle upper price.

 

Prestigious Clarke and Clarke ( http://www.prestigious.co.uk  & http://www.clarke-clarke.com/ )= These are companies that focus on good price points with crowd pleasing designs. They have a nice mix of patterns but stick largely to a more affordable price range.

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Fibre Naturelle (http://www.fibrenaturelle.com/ )  = This company I would go to for rustic weaves.

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Moon (www.moons.co.uk )= Brilliant for wool checks.

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Voyage (http://www.voyagedecoration.com/ ) = Weaves, embroidery a bit of affordable bling. They also have some great country prints. Middle upper costs.

Evolution

James Hare ( http://james-hare.com/ )= Silk

 

Designers Guild ( www.designersguild.com )= Unusual and vibrant colours and strong patterns. Upper price range.

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Scion Fabrics ( www.scion.uk.com )= Modern, fun almost Scandinavian in style affordable and good quality.

Drape / Fit For Purpose

This area I would recommend you get professional help with. It takes a certain level of experience to understand from a small piece of fabric how it will hang / drape. And if the type of cloth fit for purpose, for the room it is in. There is an earlier blog that goes some way to assist you in this area by listing the properties of some of the most well known fibre types. Only your designer / seamstress can guide you, however,  to how a particular fabric will work for you, the window treatment and how it will hang.

Fabric fit for purpose

Upholstery fabric has a martindale test. The Martindale is a unit for quantifying the abrasion resistance of textiles, especially when used for upholstery.

Soft padding
[Martindale]
Hard padding
[Martindale]
Private use 10,000 15,000
Office use 25,000 35,000
For public transportation 30,000 40,000

This is the official info. I personally would not touch an upholstery fabric less that 20/25000 rubs for domestic. 40+ for contract. The fire certificate is also different for domestic than contract. make sure you get a certificate. Contract is a higher rating and needs to be what is called crib 5.

I would not advise a Backcoated fabric treated for upholstery to be used on blinds or curtains as it has a tendency to be quite stiff, this can ruin the way the fabric hangs. The fabric can struggle to lay flat on a blind and skirts out on a curtain. The treatment also makes it tough to sew. Some people have chosen to use it but in the knowledge of the possible aesthetic results.

Often fabrics have on the back of the sample or book what their use is. There will be a picture of a curtain or settee for example.

There are also different fabrics for using in the gardenYou can also get indoor and outdoor foam.

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Designed by Kelly White at www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint

                                             I hope you have found this blog helpful / informative. If you have any questions with regards to this or any other post, even if it is just what the fabric is that I have used, please do not hesitate to contact me on this site or on www.facebook.com/whitewolfeint .

Thank you for reading.                                                                                                              Best regards

Elsie Wolfe                                                                                                                                   (Kelly White)

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.

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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.

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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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.

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.

70513_frame Brighton

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Play Time . Prestigious Textiles

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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

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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.

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                       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!!

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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.

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 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.

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Amborella wallpaper from the Palmetto Collection

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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  

The Harlequin Effect Part 2

The Harlequin Effect Part 2

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

Hi Elsie here.

Since I began my career in 1995 The magic of Harlequin has never failed to inspire me. They get it right every time because they not only source the best designers but they are also creators of quality, they know what the people need and want from a good up to date design that will also last the test of time.

They do not just tap into the on trend look but put their own personal spin on it.

I have tried to find the secret Harlequin ingredient but it is alluding me, they just get it right every time.

I have been lucky enough to know several fantastic representatives of Harlequin‘s the people who are at the front line of the Harlequin brand . Luke has kindly agreed to chat with me and navigate through Harlequin’s past, present and what may be in their future!

I hope you enjoy part 2 of the Harlequin interview.

Hope you enjoy it and thank you for reading.

E.Wolfe

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E.Wolfe:-            In the present times of Harlequin your customer service is second to none, how has this helped to mould the company and carry you forward?

Luke Birchall:-    Our customer service is something we are so very proud of at not just Harlequin, but all Walker Greenbank brands. In a market that is so competitive and with so much great product out there from various suppliers, we need to offer not just outstanding product but also an outstanding service to our trade customers. I honestly feel that this is a quality that we are known for in the industry and something that keeps our customers coming back to us time and time again.

E.Wolfe:-      Production has always been in England, a fact Harlequin are proud of especially in these economically challenging times; how has this aided the group when so many other companies are seeking cheaper production further afield?

Luke Birchall:- We are extremely proud to have as part of our Group both the Anstey Wallpaper Company based in Loughborough and the Standfast and Barracks fabric printing company based in Lancaster. All the brands wallpapers and printed fabrics are manufactured in these factories and will continue to do so. Both factories are positioned at the higher end of their respective markets and also offer a manufacturing service to many other UK design houses. If you are passionate about interiors, it is easy to see the quality of the products that come from our factories. Just as with the development of our brands over the recent years, we have also invested heavily in our factories and now have the capacity to digitally print fabrics in Lancaster, which I truly believe is the future of printing in the UK. In the same way at Anstey we now have the facility to produce beaded wallpapers which have in a short time, become amongst our best-selling qualities. With this constant cycle of reinvestment into the brands, people and the supporting factories I can see a very healthy future for the Harlequin Group brands.

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Harlequin Momentum Beaded wallpaper

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Momentum Wallpaper Close up

E.Wolfe:-            Harlequin are beginning to use designers at the top of their game such as Clarissa Hulse & Orla Kiely how is this affecting the group brand in the current market and how is it being received by designers and buyers alike?

Luke Birchall:-    We were always unsure about introducing recognisable and known designers into the Harlequin brand as we had always done so well without them! However, the world of interiors is becoming ever more discerning and if we can attract a new customer to the brand by working in conjunction with an established designer this can only be a good thing for both parties and will attract new followers to our collaborator as well. We decide to work with established designers who very much have their own style which will dovetail with the Harlequin brand. For example the recent collection with Clarissa Hulse and our wallpaper collaboration with Orla Kiely have both been hugely successful partly because they are instantly recognisable styles in their own right.

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Clarissa Hulse and The Kallianthi collection with Harlequin

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Orla Kiely In collaboration with Harlequin

E.Wolfe:-             Harlequin like most companies has wallpaper books that have coordinating fabric. In recent times Harlequin made a move to create pure wallpaper books focused on one wall papering, providing a go to focal point for customers. What do you feel is the most innovative decision that has been made in recent years by Harlequin?

Luke Birchall:-    We have always produced coordinating fabrics and wallpapers and these were always presented in the same pattern book. We found through trialling different methods of presentation that sales were encouraged when the books were presented separately and individual focus was given to either the fabrics or the wallpapers. This has enabled us to develop stand alone wallpaper and fabric ranges that have no direct coordinate but will work with other elements of the Harlequin portfolio. Most of our business still comes from the coordinated ranges but it is beneficial and more flexible to be able to produce a stand alone range.

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Boutique Wallpaper collection. Harlequin

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Artisan Embroideries by Harlequin

I feel that our most innovative decision in recent years was the creation and launch of our Scion brand. As most other companies were slowly trying to increase their price points, we decided that there was a huge opportunity for a design-led, funky and price conscious brand to complement the growing Harlequin brand. And so Scion was born only three years ago! We had to ensure that the brand was different enough from Harlequin to be able to stand on its own and to have its own identity so we opted for a fun, Scandinavian approach to designs. This year we have launched Scion‘s fourth main collection, Levande, which I’m glad to say has been well received and is selling through exceptionally well.

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“Lotta” Fabric by Scion, Harlequin

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Scion Levande

E.Wolfe:-             Harlequin have made steps to become a lifestyle brand, creating lamp shades, bedding and other decorative items to coordinate with their beautiful wallpapers and fabrics. How is this working out for the company in today’s market?

Luke Birchall: –   Our decision to produce more lifestyle products was taken around 6/7 years ago and has been a major driver in how and why the brands are more widely recognised. We now have licensing agreements with Brink & Campman (Rugs), Bedeck (Bedding & Towels), Christie (Towels), Make International (Housewares) and Stoneglow (Home Fragrances) amongst others and this is an area of the business we are very keen to expand upon. We select suitable manufacturing partners who are specialists in their fields operating in a similar place of the market to Harlequin or Scion. This is attracting a new customer to our brands who may not have been familiar with the Harlequin or Scion names. The Scion brand for example is only just over three years and already has a whole host of lifestyle products available. We are finding that people know, for example, the famous Mr Fox design, not from the ‘core’ products of fabrics and wallpapers, but from the beautiful rugs produced for us by Brink & Campman or the Mr Fox mugs or eggcups made by Make International. This is then in time generating sales of our fabrics and wallpapers. The whole licensing part of the business is hugely exciting and I can see a significant amount of growth being generated through these activities.

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Kallianthi Lamp shades by Harlequin

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Scion living Mr Fox collection

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Harlequin Bedding and Rugs

Come back Next week for part 3 the final instalment to The Harlequin Effect Interview?

The Harlequin Effect

The Harlequin Effect

Interview with Luke Birchall UK Retail sales Manager for Harlequin

The Harlequin Group (a brief history)

Originally founded as a wallpaper company, Harlequin has embraced its heritage by producing breathtaking designer wallpapers in an all-encompassing selection of designs and textures.    A master of the flamboyant statement wallpaper, Harlequin also specialises in imaginative finishes, visionary techniques and mouth-watering colours guaranteed to make your walls a work of art in their own right!

The Harlequin Group has a rich past full of wonderful designs, designers and mergers.

Founded in 1899, the company originally known as C&W Walker Holdings Ltd was engineering company which manufactured gas containers.

In 1986, the merger with Greenbank Group PLC, another engineering firm, established the current entity Walker Greenbank PLC a public limited company listed on the London Stock Exchange.

In 1987 the Anstey Wallpapers  was acquired which thrust the company forward to become the group we know and love today, creating the marketing brands named Harlequin and Zoffany.

Palmetto Fabrics. Harlequin

Palmetto Fabrics. Harlequin

Constantina Damask Weaves. Zoffany

Constantina Damask Weaves. Zoffany

In the late 80’s the decision was made to concentrate on the wallpaper and home furnishings market, and the various engineering companies that had comprised the group were sold in 1990.

During the early 1990’s the group became one of Europe’s largest commercial wall-covering manufacturers and distributors and one of the UK’s leading domestic wallpaper and fabric companies , thanks in part to its intelligent and innovative acquisition of several companies.

In the late 90’s decisions surrounding the consolidation of the wallpaper companies and their manufacturing bases to one unit helped streamline the manufacturing side of the company. The purchase of Standfast Dyers and Printers and Barracks Fabric Printing Company was also achieved at the turn of the century thus creating a complete in-house of manufacturing.

In August 2003 the group acquired the trade and certain assets of Arthur Sanderson & Sons, which included the prestigious Morris & Co brand.

Papavera Prints & Embroideries Sanderson

Papavera Prints & Embroideries Sanderson

Archive III Morris & Co

Archive III Morris & Co

Many more changes within the group occurred and they have grown to be not only a leader in the financial world but also one of the most prestigious and trend driving company in the world of interior design and soft furnishings.

zoffany WG_logo Scion@2x Sanderson general use logo Morris & Co logo_blue-200 harlequin-logo Anstey

I have been very lucky indeed to know and work with Harlequin fabrics and wallpapers since 1995.

It has been and still is one of my most favourite products / brands. Their designs are an absolute joy to work with not only for artistic reasons but also for reasons of quality. It is such a pleasure when my clients have been overjoyed with them just as much as I, time and time again.

I first met Luke Birchall when he became a representative for Harlequin. He was an instant hit with me and all the other retailers.

His friendly and easy-going manner was a pleasure to work with, as well as his organised, enthusiastic professionalism showing his obvious love for the product and brand he represents. That coupled with the amazing designs and price point that Harlequin always has, created a winning combination that was just always impossible to resist.

So you can imagine how excited I was when Luke and The Harlequin Group agreed to this interview.

Thank you and I hope you enjoy reading it as I have writing it.

E.Wolfe

Luke Birchall. Harlequin’s UK retail Sales Manager.

Luke Birchall. Harlequin’s UK retail Sales Manager.

Harlequin Looking Back

E.Wolfe :-          I have delved into the past of the Harlequin company to its infancy in 1973 with Anstey as just a wallpaper company and the takeover with Walker Greenbank. How do you feel this has contributed to Harlequin’s growth in the past not only economically but also with its designs?

Luke Birchall: – The acquisition of the company by Walker Greenbank was certainly a turning point for the Harlequin brand but it was years later in the 1980’s that the company now known as Harlequin would bear any resemblance to the brand people know today. It was in the 80’s that we started designing and producing coordinated ranges for which we are so well known today and are the foundations on which the business has been built from. Over the past 10 years or so the company has experienced huge levels of growth both in the UK and internationally largely because of an expanded product portfolio and a greater breadth of designs which in turn appeals to a greater number of consumers. With the success we’ve achieved over the years we have been able to successfully create new stand-alone brands such as Scion and Anthology which have helped reach new customers and will hopefully continue our success into the future.

E.Wolfe:-             Have in house designers always been the way for Harlequin?

Luke Birchall: –   Unlike many of our competitors, we are proud to always have had our own design team, and this has been expanded upon and developed over the years. With the Harlequin Group now having three completely different brands in Harlequin, Scion & Anthology, it is essential to have a diverse spread of designers so that each brand maintains its own identity. Each brand has been developed specifically to have its own handwriting and whilst there is a huge amount of cross over between the designers we have also developed design specialists who live and breathe their brand. This has worked extremely well for us in the past and we envisage the same strategy for the immediate future.

Scion Levande collection

Scion Levande collection

Anthology

Anthology

E.Wolfe:-             Harlequin always seems to walk alongside the Fashion world with their designs has this always been the aim?

Luke Birchall:-   The Harlequin Group brands are increasingly driven by the fashion world, but the same can be said for any contemporary brand. The interiors world has always been inspired by the fashion industry in terms of trend colours and textures. In the past trend colours featured in fashion would come through the following season for interiors but now the two go hand in hand and what is hot in fashion is mirrored during the same season in interiors. As our brands have evolved and become more fashion oriented we must make sure that we have the right style of products for our increasingly fashion conscious customer base.

Amazilia Collection by Harlequin

Amazilia Collection by Harlequin

Jean -Paul Gaultier & Deta Von Teese on the catwalk in Paris

Jean -Paul Gaultier & Deta Von Teese on the catwalk in Paris

E.Wolfe:-             What was the most defining moment in Harlequin’s past as far as design direction was concerned?  

Luke Birchall:-   The most defining moment in terms of design was the appointment of our current Design Director, Claire Vallis. Claire’s background was at our sister company Anstey Wallpapers, and she joined the business with a clear vision of how she wanted the brand to evolve. Her different design direction, coupled with substantially increased investment in marketing, showrooms and exhibitions, has directly formed the brand you see today and will continue to do so in the future.

Claire Vallis. Design Director

Claire Vallis. Design Director Harlequin

Sample board from Anstey Wallpaper company.

Sample board from Anstey Wallpaper company.

E.Wolfe:-             What is your favourite past design and Harlequin’s best seller since its birth?

Luke Birchall: –  There’s so many to choose from! My personal favourite design is a true Harlequin modern classic, the digitally printed Paradise, and features in our spring 2015 Amazilia collection.

Paradise, Amazilia.

Paradise, Amazilia.

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This is the 1st of a 3 part interview.

Come back next week and check out Harlequin in the Present??!!

Fringes, Frills and Frosting (The love of trims)

Hi Elsie Wolfe here.

Some people love them and some people loath them. I intend to show you with this blog that a trim, tassel or diamanté do not have to be fussy or overly extravagant if you don’t want them to be. In the contrary they can enhance and define a look or colour within a given scheme.

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This is what frightens people who don’t like trims. This image (or something like it) enter their head.

Don’t get me wrong some people love the fuss, to them more is more (I like it in the right place).

Companies like KRAVET, TROYNORTH, HAYWOOD, BRITISH TRIMMINGS, HANDSOME and HOULES to name but a few specialise in a wide range of trims specifically for soft furnishings of all kinds. Modern, classic and traditional.

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You do not have to go all fussy and frilly to make a statement.

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It doesn’t have to be a tassel, it can be a simple braid.

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Or a more detailed one.

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It doesn’t even have to be a braid, it can be a contrast border or piping (with the pipe removed), or a double border trim, like the ones in these images below.

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A trim can have a practical use to hide a join that is needed. Like in this next image where two plain fabrics have been used the trim makes a feature at the same time as hiding the join.

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But most of the time it just adds a bit of something special to a curtain, pelmet, throw or cushion to enhance a look or make a flat design look more interesting and three dimensional.

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Trimmings are so versatile that fabric companies such as Designers Guild, Harlequin and Zoffany have their own ranges to specifically match the colour pallets in their collections.

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This clever bit of marketing also makes it far easier for a designer to put those little extra details together to create a beautifully coordinated end product for the client.

Most collections also have matching tie backs.

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 amity_wemyss_-houles_twiggy

Other companies such as Haywood will make trims and tie backs to a custom colour.

You can even get diamanté and feather trims for your soft furnishings now.                                    Handy if you like a bit of bling!

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Trims on soft furnishings are just like jewellery on person.                                                                Some people like rich excess and some like classic and understated.                                               One thing is true, we all like to were a little decoration don’t we?

I hope you have enjoyed this blog and will consider the addition of trims to the next design in your home?

Elsie Wolfe

http://www.harlequin.uk.com , www.haywoodstrimmings.com , /www.britishtrimmings.com , /www.zoffany.com , http://troynorth.com/ , www.handsometrimmings.co.uk , www.kravet.com , www.houles.com , www.designersguild.com ,

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.

FABRIC FLARE (The Basics.)

Hi Elsie here.

You would not believe how many people do not know the basic differences and properties of fabric.

This is absolutely vital in knowing which fabric to use in what situation.

Fabrics 101.

COTTON

Is from the cotton Plant.

Feld_mit_reifer_Baumwolle

  • Comfortable Soft hand.
  • Good absorbency.
  • Color retention.
  • Prints well.
  • Machine-washable.
  • Dry-cleanable.
  • Good strength.
  • Drapes well.
  • Creases easily.

Most times it is mixed with man made polymers that make it crease less = Poly cotton for example.

Poly cotton can also some in textured form to look like velvet.

cotton

Sweet Bay Ivory_Green Roomset(3)

Plain died cotton and Sanderson printed poly cotton.

www.sanderson-uk.com

POLYESTER                                                                                                                                       (There are more man made fibres but you will see this mostly)

Man made. Chemical process.

Polyester

  • Polyester fabrics and fibres are extremely strong.
  • Polyester is very durable: resistant to most chemicals, stretching and shrinking, wrinkle resistant, mildew and abrasion resistant.
  • Polyester is hydrophobic in nature and quick drying. It can be used for insulation by manufacturing hollow fibres.
  • Polyester retains its shape and hence is good for making outdoor clothing for harsh climates.
  • It is easily washed and dried.
  • Not easy to die.
  • Liable to pill.
  • Static problems.

In recent years the process for polyester has massively improved to produce very convincing faux silk. With none of the downsides to silk.

Polyester-Shine-Dim-out-Fabric-for-Curtain

WOOL

From Sheep

wool

  • Is dull in colour due to it not reflecting light.
  • Warm.
  • Insulates.
  • Highly absorbent.
  • Returns to shape when crushed.
  • Rubs away so ideal to use with other fibres.
  • Shrinks. Can be modified to combat this.
  • Vulnerable to moths.
  • Absorbs dirt.
  • Easy to die.
  • Inherently fire retardant.

Makes great upholstery fabric and is being used more and more in blinds and curtains.

Harlequin Wool.

harlequin-delphine-wools-and-textures-2 Harlequin wool. Delphine.

http://www.harlequin.uk.com

LINEN

Plant

linen plant

 linen 2

  • Absorbent.
  • Withstands High temps.
  • Lustrous yarn.
  • Very strong.
  • Creases easily.
  • Shrinks.
  • Flammable
  • Blends well with other fibres.

linen-curtains-with-oak-floor1 prod1159311_S14

I love the natural look of linen, the creases  don’t bother me, it is nice feel. Being used more and more in modern designs to soften everything off.

SILK

By product of the silk worm.

mit-3d-print-pavilion-silkworm-1

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

Can be mixed with other fibres  to reduce downsides. Must be interlined to help protect and drape. I would also recommend treating polyester like a silk.

Silk is luxurious and beautiful . Most designers love it.

pure-raw-silk-curtains-754758

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IMG_1263

Embroidered silk GP & J Baker Larkhill collection

http://www.gpandjbaker.com/

These are the basic ones you will encounter. When looking through fabric samples the fibre content is normal on either the back of the sample or in the the back of the book or hanger.

When looking for upholstery fabrics please ask for the “martindale”, this is the rub test that tells you how durable a cloth is. I would personally not use anything under 20 thousand rubs for a domestic item of furniture. Anything over 40 thousand is normally considered to be contract standard. There are also two levels of fire retardancy required for upholstery items. One level for domestic and crib five for contract.

THERE ARE ALSO FABRIC TERMS USED FOR STYLES.

  • Brocade = Figured silk or velvet with silver woven into it to create a design.
  • Chenille = Tufted, velvet yarn. Has a pile.
  • Cisele velvet = Velvet in which some of the loops are left uncut, to form a pattern.
  • Damask = Reversible figured fabric.
  • Jacquard = Figured fabric woven on jacquard loom.
  • Lampas = Figured fabric, with supplementary weft woven over the main warp and ground weft.
  • Moire = Ribbed fabric which is folded in two, then put between two metal rollers, leaving some of the ribs flattened, giving a watermark effect.
  • Ottoman = Silk fabric with broad, flat rib.
  • Panne = Velvet with longer pile and lustrous finish.
  • Shantung = Wild silkworm silk, with uneven finish and poor lustre.
  • Tussah= Silk from oak fed worms.
  • Chintz = Was originally glazed calico textiles, initially specifically those imported from India, printed with designs featuring flowers and other patterns in different colours, typically on a light plain background.

DRAPE

When looking for a fabric. LOOK at how it hangs, or ASK the designer how it drapes.                            A good designer will guide you but if they don’t it is important to ask.                                                 How will this work on short / long curtains, blinds? Does it need specialist lining.                              What are the characteristics of the fabric and are you happy with these?

Ultimately the choice of fabric is THE CLIENTS and not the designer’s. The designer makes SUGGESTIONS only. Too many clients try to push ALL the responsibility onto the designer and likewise some designers do not point out all the pros and cons of a fabric choice.

WORK with your designer to help create a look you are happy with.                                             LISTEN to what they say to help you make the choices that suit you to help create a stylish home that works with you lifestyle and needs.

ENJOY THE PROCESS.

Again there is a lot more to it than above, but here there is enough to get you started.

For a more comprehensive look at fabric types, I strongly recommend looking at Fabric and Curtain History on  www.classicalgenesis.wordpress.com. It is a wonderful guide and jam packed with information.

That is all for now, hope you enjoyed. 

Thanks for reading.

Elsie . D. Wolfe

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