Stitch by Stitch - Contemporary handmade textiles from India & Nepal

Contemporary handmade soft furnishings from India & Nepal

London Design Festival: Textiles for furniture.

Karen Sear ShimaliComment

London is once again in a state of excitement as it hosts another series of international events scattered around the capital, under the umbrella of the London Design Festival.

There's so much to see, from new furniture launches, site specific design installations, exhibitions and trade fairs, that I've resigned myself to picking a few choice shows to see, and writing about my personal highlights here over the next few days.

In the spirit of Stitch by Stitch, I love to see contemporary designers coming at old ideas afresh.  I'm also pretty obsessed with textiles and furniture - especially any combination of the two - so my first highlight is a chair at Danish textile company Kvadrat's impressive London showroom.

Raw Edges were one of a number of designers selected to reinterpret one of Kvadrat's iconic woollen fabrics. Hallingdal 65 was first designed in 1965 by Nanna Ditzel, and remains one of Kvadrat's best-selling products due to it's superior durability and extensive colour palette.  Raw Edges deconstructed the fabric by unravelling and releasing threads from within the weave, creating a hollow sleeve inside its surface. Two layers in different colours were then placed on top of each other and re-stitched together using a transparent plastic strip. A colourful rim then appeared from the other layer, reminiscent of the selvedge on raw fabrics.

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Just around the corner, furniture company Established & Sons have opened the doors of their HQ with an exhibition of their furniture collections, including new pieces launched at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan earlier this year.  Two upholstered seating ranges particularly caught my textile designer's eye.  Quilt is an inviting, padded, super-sized armchair, designed by Rowan and Erwan Bouroullec.  It's upholstered in what could be described as a quilt on steroids, made from a high-tech stretch fabric with padded inserts, fitted over a fibreglass frame.  The most recent version, called Quilt, The Thing, is delightfully mad, inspired by its comic book namesake.

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Cape, designed by Konstantin Grcic, takes its inspiration from the way loose fabric covers are informally draped over furniture out of season in hotels and country estates.  Cape's loose covers can easily be changed to suit the season or a new decorating scheme.

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The London Design Festival runs until 23 September.  Kvadrat, Celebrating Hallingdal 65, is open during the festival from 10-7pm until Fri, Sat-Sun by appointment only.  Established & Sons showroom is open during the festival Weds and Thurs 10-6pm, Fri-Sun 9.30-5.30pm.