The launch of the new Autumn collections for many of the designer fabric houses coincides with some awards held by some the interior design publications such as Elle Decor and Homes & Gardens. So we thought we would take a look at some of those designer fabrics and collections that received accolades this year from these two publications.
The Homes & Gardens Fabric Awards is, by all accounts, judged by top industry experts and has been running since 2004. The winners were announced at Kit Kemp's Ham Yard Hotel in central London back in September, and were also on display at the Homes & Gardens stand at Decorex in 2014. Homes & Gardens celebrate all that is good within the design industry. Their alternative Homes & Gardens Designer Awards, focuses on other categories aside from textiles such the as Interior Designer, Young Designer, Product Design etc, and Retailer Of The Year.
We are not aware of when Elle Decor magazines British Design Awards commenced but they too also celebrate, in association and sponsorship with John Lewis, what is good, with British Design.
We are just going to focus on the fabric awards, on this (if you can call it) an interior design blog.
Elle Decor Design Awards
The big announcement for Elle Decor was that the Romo Black Edition label which produces some stunning contemporary fabric collections received the award for "Best British Pattern" with their Jessica Zoob Big Smile fabric.
There is no doubt that the Romo Black Edition label should gain some praise this year because since the launch of the Xanthina collection the label has been going from strength to strength. We think there could have been some other worthy patterns from their collections, but still Big Smile is nice, almost in our opinion like a watered down version of Timorous Beasties bold off beat fabric designs, but that is no disrespect to the artist Jessica Zoob.
Of course Romo Black have not only made this available as a fabric but also have developed it onto a wallpaper and cushions, all to good effect.
Homes & Gardens Fabric Awards
It is though the Homes & Gardens Fabric Awards which gives us a greater in depth look into what is going on, in the world of textile and wallpaper design, and so before the winners get some introductions and coverage in the February edition of Homes and Gardens magazine, we thought we would have a close up of the winning fabrics here.
It seems GP and J Baker
, headed by Anne Grafton had a successful year what with their Mulberry fabrics ranges gaining alot of attention. Such a great set of collections from GP and J Baker this year, that we haven't seen for some time, and with their Baker Lifestyle Echo Indienne and GP and J Baker Langdale
range it is a surprise they did not achieve more.
Best Woven Fabric
Mulberry was the winner with its Bohemian Paisley at well, quite a price, per mete. The Judges noted “There is something so unique and innovative about this fabric. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
We have to agree there is something special to it, it's incredibly soft to touch and the paisley pattern has a slightly blown effect. We think it may be a new technique on fabrics that even Linwood fabrics have used on their Metropolis fabric launched just recently from their collection of the same name.
Paisley fabrics are of course incredibly popular this year and this the bohemian paisley multi FD728-Y101
, is absolutely stunning I am sure you would agree.
A Romo Black Edition fabric
Elasona from the Astratto fabric
collection was shortlisted as a worthy runner up in this category which the judge described as " cheerful, gorgeous and fun." A heavy weight woven Damask you can see featured on this sofa which has a cool almost retro kilim-type effect using multiple coloured yarns for further impact. We did say they go from strength to strength.
Romo fabrics did actually win the top spot last year with their Xilia fabric from the Orvieto collection of designer fabrics, with Nina Campbell for Osborne and Little, and Harlequin listed as runners up. French fabric house Nobilis won it back in 2012. We were suprised to see this year Banyan, a pretty much bog standard weave, from Zoffany 's Jaipur weaves collection was shortlisted as a runner up, as not much to it is there? Anyway the cynic in us says, keep those advertisers happy Homes and Gardens.
BEST EMBROIDERED FABRIC
Lorca fabrics, associated with Osborne and Little, won the best embroidered fabric with their Tobago fabric from their Anopura collection. We personally are not entirely sure with this decision, while it is nice, and of course the coral colour way (hate to use the term) being on trend as it were, there could have been many other potential winners.
The judge described it as "a hugely dramatic design; the texture of the fabric and scale of the pattern is unrivalled" and there is no doubt as it comes from the Osborne and Little stable of designer fabrics the quality and texture is second to none. Previous winners in 2012 were JAB, and Travers for Zimmer and Rohde in 2013.
had another runner up in this category , Jayshree from their excellent Jaipur Prints and Embroideries collection, and we think a very close contender for first place. Harlequin fabrics with their Crochet Stripe fabric from their Artisan Embroideries was also recognised and shortlisted within this category.
BEST PRINTED FABRIC
Lewis and Wood
appear to be on a roll as the Bacchus fabric
from their English Ethnic collection claims number one spot this year.
They won this title last year with their sophisticated take on the Ikat design of Kimono. This year with the help of decorative artist Melissa White who's Verdure design from the Arden collection for Zoffany
, whom she has produced a number of works for, won best printed fabric in 2012, and we even think her latest Peacock Garden fabric from the Jaipur prints collection
was worthy of a runners up spot again this year. Anyway the design has a great pattern and embellishment and is surely influenced by elizabethan designs, as this fabric would not look out of place in a Morris and Co fabric collection. The judge's notes state" different to anything else, Lewis & Wood's fabric is interesting and beautiful, with a stunning soft palette.” Good to see some variety and well done to Lewis and Wood.
BEST FABRIC UNDER £35 A METRE
Well it was £30 last year, but that's probably inflation for you, and with this category, really we can only think of two regular contenders for the top spot. Sanderson Home and Scion fabrics. No surprise then to see Scion with Dash fabric from their Soul Collection ( a dash of soul for under £35) taking top spot the judge referring to is as "contemporary but not intimidating".
It is fair to say if you are on a budget a looking for a contemporary fabrics, Scion fabrics is a really good place to start looking for fabric for curtains or upholstery, as well as Sanderson Home. Spirit from Scion fabrics was also runner up here (not much to choose from then) and if you take a look back over the last couple of years you will see them regularly appearing in this category. Robert Allen also got a mention this year.
BEST FABRIC COLLECTION
having not only won with their Bohemian Paisley in the best woven category, win the best fabric collection with their Bohemian Romance. Have to agree it is a very strong collection with some stunning designer fabrics throughout as the the judge mentioned "“Superb – an extremely innovative collection, with fabulous breadth.”
So taking a closer look the collection it features that muted, almost autumnal, colour palette that they do so well with and it contains a wide variety of printed velvets, informal weaves and some stunning embroidered fabrics.
The Bohemian Paisley is beautiful but then so is the Rococo Embroidery a damask linen floral with embroidery that contains exquisite detail and looks great.
The collection has further embroideries in the form of Mountjoy, also very nice.
Romilly is also superb!