Textile archives, the libraries of interior fabric companies are one of the most revered and treasured assets in this industry today.
They define the heritage of a company cataloging the styles, adventures and eras within it.
Their revitalisation is as important for both future as well as current generations to enjoy, buy into and understand the value and worth of a brand.
The Blendworth archive is an eclectic mix dating back almost a century, many of its precious cloths were only just recently discovered and lovingly restored.
Among the most notable treasures are an array of the most sumptuous and unusual damasks in an abundance of styles and tones; a myriad of botanicals, small florals, foliage, paisleys, geometrics, toiles and conversationals.
A tapestry license for ‘Buckingham Tapestries’ adds another string to the diverse selection as does the array of beautiful ‘Tree of Life’ designs in differing styles and scales.
The Blendworth studio selected styles most suited to the way they create. Unusual, yet commercial and desirable pieces of hand drawn and painted art work have translated beautifully onto cloth, offering an insight into the Blendworth archive never seen before. As many different styles as possible have been incorporated into the collection whilst still keeping it cohesive but interesting.
All artwork has been created from scratch in-house and most designs have been hand drawn and painted in repeat, a variety of mediums have been used to offer different and inventive designs transferring beautifully onto tinted velvet, bleached and scoured cottons, linens and tapestry cloths.
A select mix of digital and rotary print offer along with base cloth, print method and colour the most beautiful version of each design.
The Blendworth damasks are the most important design source within the archive and contribute to almost every design in the collection in some way or another.
Rodbourn is a stylish re-interpretation of an Arts and Crafts repeat, inspired by one of the many screen proofs housed within the Blendworth archive. The design was hand drawn with marker pen.
Full of reeds and rushes, water iris and helibores which complement magestic kingfishers and bee-eaters. Evoking a wonderful tropical ambience created by its colouration but also by the digital print mark enabling the design to look three dimensional, retaining all the beautiful pen strokes created on the original artwork.
The leaves, blossoms and fruit are taken from the array of foliage depicted in the damasks within the Blendworth archive.
Lambourn is a smaller scale version of Rodbourn repeating three across the width to Lambourn’s two.
Inspired by a silk Indian style ‘Tree of Life’ from the Blendworth archive.
Llewellyn was hand drawn into a full width repeat following the flow of the original design very closely, making the design not only a statement piece but also offering the opportunity for one off placements.
Thickly painted with acrylic the oriental blooms were inspired by various botanical sources including some from the archive.
Blendworth is surrounded by glorious woodland and visited by its own peacock, so this design has added significance for the brand.
Used for centuries within design work peacocks have been adopted by many art movements and have been a favourite ornamental motif for millennia and especially since the 1800s.
The ‘Tree of Life’ originates from from Indian textiles and derives from the 17th century and takes many forms, representing life, protection and knowledge.
Of Persian origin, a symbol of life and eternity and often thought to derive from a cedar tree, paisleys, named after the town in West Scotland where they were heavily produced have always represented luxury.
The paisleys within the Blendworth archive are both classical and psychedelic.
Frederick was first drawn as individual tulips whose petals were filled with paisley detail before being embedded into paisley shapes, then hand drawn and painted in repeat. The Blendworth archive houses many images of tulips used as inspiration. Historically and especially during the mid 17th century tulips were so treasured ‘Tulipomania’ evolved.
Inspired by ‘Buckingham Tapestries’ which later became part of ‘Sixten Home’ and thus part of the Blendworth archive.
The design is laid out in the format of an original tapestry hanging and printed onto a heavy textured linen to create the impression a real tapestry cloth.
Named after the Alder tree which is native to Britain and improves the fertility of the soil where ever it goes.
Folk law states that the green dye from its flowers were used to dye the clothes of Robin Hood.
Hand drawn and then hand painted into repeat from over 15 damasks within the Blendworth archive. All individually sketched in pencil before being drawn into a seamless original repeat. Painted with gouache and pressed with papers to a give a vintage sub pattern amid the detailed damasks,the overall look gives a wonderful effect of both succulents and clay ceramic tiles depending on colouration.
Damasks were first produced in the Syrian capital Damascus. The first European Damasks were woven during the 15th century. The Blendworth archive houses some of the most beautiful damasks and cut velvets woven since
Hand painted in ink, inspired by and drawn from the many foliage designs within the archive, with leaves shaped like the iconic laurel leaf. Circles or round crowns of Laurel adorn the design creating coloured polka dots, giving an unusual twist to a foliage design whose repeat gives a nod to those of the arts and crafts movement. In Greek mythology a laurel leaf denoted the highest status and in Rome symbolised victory.
Inspired and based on the repeat of a Victorian style floral trail within the archive which grows up the fabric in a similar formation to the Mallow or Mauve tree branches.
The Mallow plant is one of the earliest trees cited in recorded literature.
Offering an inflorescence of flora, covering stems and growing up the design in a wonderful dense array of stripe filled petals.
Each flower was individually sketched before being hand drawn in repeat with pencil, rotring pen and finally watercolour pens. Approximately 30 flowers were created for the design from flora and damasks within the Blendworth archive.
A beautuful, unusual and truly botanical graphic ‘Tree of Life’ with a 91cm repeat offering wonderful placement opportunities
A little sister print to Mauve, totally re-drawn with rotring pen and markers to exactly half the scale.
The design offers gorgeous detail with graphic pops of colour and sunshine stripes. Drawing the design from scratch enables the printed line to remain sharp and beautiful. The Ingres quote – ‘Draw lines – draw lots of lines’ reflects perfectly the philosophy behind this design and the ideal that Xanthe is not just a beautiful textile design but also a work of art.
An original modern chintz drawn directly from a medley of botanicals from the Blendworth archive where chintz and florals are represented in adundance.
The design was hand sketched with coloured pencils before being luxuriously painted in gouache onto watercolour paper in a very traditional format.
The final repeat shows this original artwork translated in a more exciting up to date version with tiny flowers floating across the ground like a floral filled sky.
The design represents the more informal European chintz styles formalised after the 1780s when chintz imports were banned and less traditional looks than those originally painted circa 1600 and 1700 were created.
A classic floral co-ordinate taken from the smallest of the floral blooms within design Jessica.
Representing the vast array of different styles of designs of this nature and scale within the Blendworth archive.
Colour was inspired by the array of rich archive resource and spans over a century of interior colouration from 1921 to the present day.
Blending historical colours to create an on-trend interesting but very versatile modern palette . Each colourway has been created with the philosophy of making interiors look as beautiful and personal as they possibly can, spanning as many tastes and desires for colouration as is achievable within a collection.
Coloured with both individuality and harmony in mind, colour looks blend together beautifully offering an array of sumptuous co-ordinating tones within each group but each has its own identity created to suit that particular design and base cloth.
Designs coloured within specific groups cross into others, creating a wonderful palette for customers to play with in a very individual way.
Offering a quirky simplicity and shot within the wonderful ‘Alitex’ glass houses, promoting the beauty of designs on both upholstery and drapery in a myriad of different interior pieces and styles.