We’re counting down the last few days until Decorex opens. Europe’s premier interior design event is one of favourite places to exhibit, and we’re delighted to reveal the eleven impressive design talents who will show with us next. Today we talk to textile artist and weave designer Beatrice Larkin.
Design-Nation: What are you showing at Decorex?
Beatrice Larkin: I’ll be showing my new recycled cotton upholstery collection in my signature inky drawn style.
DN: Is this a new range? Tell us about the development and the ideas behind it.
BL: This collection includes five monochrome designs, jacquard-woven in Lancashire from Italian spun recycled cotton: pre-dyed fabric scraps which have been rejected from the clothing industry and re-spun into new cones, cleverly re-using garments and cutting out the dyeing process.
My fabrics are suitable for general domestic upholstery and soft furnishings. The collection includes two new designs called Crescent and News alongside my popular Line, Step and Type designs. These range from small to large scale and can be reversed to be used on both light and dark sides. As with most of my designs the new patterns originate from an inky doodle which is manipulated and turned into a repeat pattern. The Crescent design introduces a curve to the collection, but within this still features my signature hand drawn line.
The News design is taken from my love of stationery and graph paper. Here I have drawn a broken graph pattern on newsprint paper. When photographed and taken through to the Jacquard loom, the pulpy quality of the newsprint is still visible in the finished fabric. I decided to expand my collection this year from merino wool to recycled cotton as I had requests to use my fabrics for upholstery and merino doesn’t meet the standard required, being softer, more open weave and far more suitable for throws and cushions. In my research I came across this amazing recycled cotton yarn which lends itself so well to my designs, creating a more robust and hardwearing fabric, as well as trying to address an environmental angle in production weaving.
DN: Walpole Magazine said that Decorex “continues a legacy of excellence” – what does this mean to you?
BL: To me it means a constant drive for quality in design and material. I can talk about my fabrics on a surface level and they can also be appreciated in this way, or I can talk at length about the design, weave, manufacturing etc. There is a depth in design and a constant desire for the highest standard which I think Decorex represents and why I am so grateful to be showing there. Having trained as a hand weaver, the fact I am now working with British mills and jacquard looms to produce my fabrics means that ‘legacy’ is also important to me. I am very aware of the rich history of weaving in the UK and whilst I am constantly trying to produce something new, I am always conscious of the importance of this heritage.
DN: Do you have a dream interior location or interior design client in mind for your work?
BL: I would love to see my work upholstered on pieces by Pinch or Sedilia, or seen in places like Soho Home.
DN: Where do you imagine this collection being used?
BL: These fabrics can be used for upholstery, blinds and soft furnishings so there are endless possibilities. An interior designer recently used my fabrics for an incredible padded cupboard and headboard. I love to see what designers come up with!