Axel is a robust heavy-weight cloth, with a tight herringbone weave. The dyed cotton warp yarns provide the colour and stripe pattern, while an undyed, naturally coloured, and purposefully uneven linen weft adds a great deal of texture, speckling and slightly ‘hairy’ character! This fabric has a memorable quality, feeling just the right side of rustic to still suit a smart interior.
The front face has a mellow appearance, with the slubby textured linen weft breaking through. The reverse side is smarter and sharper and bears and even texture, with less visible signs of the paler linen, so the stripes are more defined. The indigo, putty and white colour way is bold and packs a punch, yet somehow also manages to be an unobtrusive palette, a real classic and easy to pair with other colours and patterns in a scheme.
Boasting a superb rub test result of 40,000 on the front face and an even higher 50,000 on the reverse side, this fabric is ready to prove itself in commercial settings, or on huge family sofas and foot stools. An interesting choice for curtains, the heavy weight would give a fantastically gutsy feel and would certainly block out a cold winters draft.
Until fairly recently in southern Sweden and Denmark there was a strong tradition amongst women and girls of weaving colourful striped textiles for use in the home. The existence of an abundance of these domestic textiles is first clearly recorded at the beginning of the 19th century in surviving written inventories of the assets and estates of the deceased by a firm of Swedish undertakers. However it is thought to have been a tradition with its roots stretching back earlier than this time.
200 years ago these rural places had no commercial industry producing textiles or furniture, so items required for the home simply had to be made yourself! Fathers would teach their sons woodworking so they could build houses and furniture, and mothers would teach daughters to spin and weave and stitch, amongst many other skills for near-self sufficiency.
Techniques, skills and decorative styles were passed directly and continuously on from one generation to the next. Handicraft was a way of life and immense pride was found in producing something exceptional for yourself and your family. There is no time schedule to rush the process if you yourself are the customer; and we must imagine this to be all the more true in a time when resources were harder to come by and so were more valuable.
It is due to these circumstances that so many extraordinary and uniquely hand-woven striped pillows and textiles, amongst other exceptional domestic items, have been found in these regions. We have collected a huge archive of these fabrics over the years, and began an ongoing project in 2018 to recreate our favourites from our collection.
We chose to create these new fabrics in a mill in Burnley in Lancashire, in the north west of England. A town in a region with the most fascinating history; 250 years ago being the place which saw the birth of the industrial revolution, becoming the epicentre of the worldwide industrialised cotton spinning and weaving industry, and marking Great Britain as the leading commercial and trading nation of the age.
Textile production in this area is a now just a tiny fraction of what it once was at its peak 100 years ago, but thankfully one or two weaving ‘sheds’ and teams with the skills do still remain. Proudly woven in Great Britain!
- Name: Axel
- Range: Stripes
- Colour: Indigo / Putty
- Composition: 55% cotton, 45% linen
- Total fabric width: 154cm
- Useable fabric width: 154cm
- Repeat size: 3.2cm
- Minimum order: 2 metres
- Available in increments of: 10cm