Home, one of London's flashiest homewares and interior accessories trade shows kicked off the show season this January. It always manages to exhibit an interesting mix of large, international manufacturers and small, home-grown designers. This year, I saw a definite trend towards natural materials and colours, and an interest in craftsmanship. A trend we're loving, and values close to Stitch by Stitch's heart.
Mindful cushions, Waffle
Launching at Home, and deserved winner of the Folklore stand bursary for sustainable design, Ciara McGarrity produces these gorgeous waffle fabric cushions in subtle hues of grey and white, shot through with lines of bright wool. Ciara's passion for hand-woven textiles was ignited whilst travelling in south west India. Back home, Ciara discovered a smart, fair trade, organic cotton waffle fabric, which is hand woven by a small community of weavers in Kerala. She began playing around weaving coloured wools into the fabric, and now makes up the embellished fabrics into perfectly finished cushions in her workshop in east London. There is even a bespoke design service so you can choose from a selection of wool colours and designs. www.waffledesign.co.uk.
Stool One, Another Country
My passion for beautifully made furniture endures, long after my days working in the furniture industry. I love this new stool from British company Another Country. It's simple, pared down, honest, and impeccably made. Stool One comes in red or black lacquered chestnut, or my favourite - solid oak - in which the legs are attached to the seat using a peg system, which is visible on the seat surface. www.anothercountry.com.
Natural Collection rugs, Ella Doran
A complete departure for British designer Ella Doran, a collaboration with rug company Woven Ground has resulted in the Natural Collection of rugs. The rugs are produced from natural, organic, sustainable plant fibres such as okra, rati and hyacinth. They are woven in India using a traditional technique which has its origins in basket weaving. The fibres are plaited into a wide, flat strip, then the strips are sewn together by hand to produce the rugs. Most of the collection's rich colours are naturally dyed. The rugs are made to order. www.elladoran.co.uk.
Silver Birch throws, Wide Eye Design
Fellow Winchester School of Art textile graduate, Jennifer Jones of Wide Eye Design, launched her beautiful new Silver Birch collection of throws. Woven in the UK from Shetland Isle wool, Jennifer takes her inspiration from the colours and patterns of one of our most exotic native British trees. www.wide-eye-design.co.uk.