BEATRICE LARKIN

This Lon­don-based tex­tile de­signer works closely with Lan­cashire mills to cre­ate strik­ingly pat­terned weaves in the finest merino lamb­swool. We find out more

Homes & Gardens - - NEWS -

Can you tell us a bit about your back­ground? I grew up sur­rounded by fab­rics. My fa­ther has an in­te­rior de­sign busi­ness in Can­ter­bury and my mother is a free­lance tex­tile de­signer. Study­ing wo­ven tex­tiles at the Royal Col­lege of Art al­lowed me to find my own direc­tion and aes­thetic. Af­ter fin­ish­ing my MA in 2013, I joined the Crafts Coun­cil’s Hot­house pro­gramme for emerg­ing mak­ers and be­gan to build my busi­ness from there.

How would you de­scribe your style? There is a def­i­nite mid-cen­tury look to my fab­rics but there are also soft­ened, or­ganic el­e­ments, cre­at­ing a live­able and con­tem­po­rary feel. I con­sider ev­ery part of the process, from yarn to struc­ture, de­sign and colour. For my most re­cent col­lec­tion I have used a pared-down mono­chrome palette to com­ple­ment the bold, graphic mo­tifs. Achiev­ing depth and bal­ance is key.

What in­flu­ences your de­signs? When I’m in need of in­spi­ra­tion, I like to wan­der around the Bar­bican soak­ing up some bru­tal­ism. Along­side th­ese harsher lines, I love geo­met­rics with a hu­man touch, such as the hand-painted build­ings of Tiébélé in West Africa. An­other con­stant in­spi­ra­tion is the tra­di­tion of weav­ing. There is a bi­ble of struc­tures to re­fer to and ma­nip­u­late, which I will never tire of.

How did your col­lab­o­ra­tion with Heal’s

come about? A buyer at Heal’s saw my fab­rics on­line and got in touch. It was a dream come true when I saw my throws and cush­ions in the win­dow of the Tot­ten­ham Court Road store and on the cover of its cat­a­logue. Its ethos of “good de­sign, well made” res­onates with me.

Can you talk us through the process of cre­at­ing

your wool throws? I start a new col­lec­tion by draw­ing and mark mak­ing, then re­fine and de­velop th­ese into a se­ries of de­signs. I work closely with my mill in Lan­cashire to sam­ple fab­rics, work­ing on re­peat, scale and dif­fer­ent weave struc­tures. once the fab­ric is wo­ven, it is sent for wash­ing and fin­ish­ing in York­shire and then on to Lon­don to be hemmed, la­belled and pack­aged.

What are you work­ing on next? I’m de­sign­ing a col­lec­tion for spring/sum­mer 2018. I’ve been work­ing in mono­chrome for a while now, so it will be re­fresh­ing to use colour again. I’m also hop­ing to spend some time de­vel­op­ing my de­signs into rugs, so I need to source a man­u­fac­turer for this.

Mono­chrome jac­quard throws in merino lamb­swool and cot­ton, 140x195cm, £260 each.

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