Gustav is an attention-grabbing stripe, a vibrant and bold statement for any room. Despite its Swedish heritage, Gustav has an undeniably English character, bringing to mind the smart boating and cricketing blazers worn by dapper chaps mingling on the lawn at summer parties along the banks of the River Thames!
The surface feels tight and canvas-like, and looks very neat; however multiple ‘faults’ have purposefully been woven in, running parallel to the stripes. These subtle ladders, ‘dents’ and weave disturbances pleasingly break up the otherwise extremely uniform appearance, and will add a softening visual effect to the fabric when used over large expanses, such as on big family sofas.
The reverse side offers a completely different look and feel. Shot heavily with the unevenly sized navy blue weft yarns, the bold contrast of the stripes is greatly softened, and a more rustic and bumpy texture evokes a fabric woven on a hand loom.
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: Gustav
- Range: Stripes
- Colour: Mustard / Ruby / Slate
- Composition: 93% cotton, 7% other recycled fibres
- Total fabric width: 140cm
- Useable fabric width: 137cm
- Repeat size: 6.9cm
- Minimum order: 2 metres
- Available in increments of: 10cm