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Blog in 2016

We use this blog to share information about our work for the benefit of customers. You can use our archive below to browse previous blogs.

An awards evening was held on the 13th December to recognise those employees that have achieved 40 years of service.

CEO Duccio Baldi handed the awards and gold watches to the worthy employees. Executive Team members came to support this milestone event held at the Granary Hotel, Kidderminster. 

The recipients, which attended the ceremony, are:

Paul Mills – Finishing Operative                                                                                                                                                     Yvonne Smith – Archive Manager                                                                                                                                               Douglas Vincent – Carding and Spinning Operative                                                                                                                   Nigel Tuck – Telford Dyeing Operative

image top l to r: Paul Mills, Yvonne Smith, Debbie Jackson, Human Resources Advisor, Nigel Tuck, Douglas Vincent, bottom l t r Jane Walker-White, Human Resources Manager,  Andrew Edwards, Chief Financial Officer, Duccio Baldi, CEO, Rob Greenfield, Group Operations Director

Brintons will be exhibiting at the BCFA Open Exhibition in London, located at the famed Old Truman Brewery, right in the heart of the culturally vibrant Brick Lane neighbourhood, an area popular with London's edgy and artistic community.

BCFA Open Exhibition is a two-day event providing a London showcase of the very best UK contract furniture and furnishings. 

If you would like to make an appointment to meet with one of our sales team at the event please contact Denise Beach, Business Development Manager, email dbeach@brintons.co.uk

BCFA OPEN EXHIBITION SPRING 2017

Tuesday 28th & Wednesday 29th March 2017                                                                                                                           The Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London E1 6QL

Interior design duo Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead, the 2 Lovely Gays, commissioned Brintons to create a period inspired carpet for the bedroom, stairs and corridors in their Victorian South London home.

Searching through the Brintons vast carpet archive, which dates back to 1790, the designers worked with Brintons archivist Yvonne Smith to select a design that fitted the Victorian era of the house. Jordan and Russell have always been fans of decorative and patterned carpet and Brintons, with one of the world's largest commercial design and historical pattern libraries in the industry, was their natural starting point.

The carpet chosen was a Victorian floral design from the Brintons archive, recoloured to fit their contemporary colour scheme and manufactured using the High Definition Weave looms that can weave up to 32 colours at any one time. 

Brintons owns one of the world's largest commercial design archives and historical pattern libraries in the industry, restored and preserved by our own dedicated archivist Yvonne Smith. The archive is a unique reference tool and point of true inspiration to our design team and clients.

The Brintons archive includes many hand-painted designs, artworks and sketches from 1790 to the present day, some from noted designers, which have historical as well as inspirational application. The archive library is a facility unique to Brintons and is an invaluable resource to designers, conservators, decorators and contractors worldwide. Take a look at our video on the project:

Brintons | 2 LOVELY GAYS

Image top: Left to right, Jay Ralley-Jones, Senior Designer - Brintons, Yvonne Smith, Archivist - Brintons, Russell Whitehead and Jordan Cluroe.

Image bottom right: © Francesco Guidicini

Design and Manufacturing in the Midlands | November  7 – January  14

Midlands Modern is a showcase of products manufactured by Midlands based companies working with significant designers during the period from 1930 to 1980, highlighting innovative and modernist design. The show celebrates this mid-century period – a period during which the Midlands maintained its reputation as ‘the workshop of the world’.

The showcase contains work from a number of different disciplines, such as lighting, glass, ceramics and furniture, highlighting and showcasing the breadth and depth of manufacturing in the Midlands. 

Featuring in the exhibition is the work of Lady Margaret Casson: an architect, designer and photographer. Margaret Casson had remarkable talent, she studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture University College, London during the 1930s and was one of the few women on the architectural design course at the time. Casson went on to have an accomplished career as an architect and in a number of other design related fields. 

Tibor Reich, one of the 20th century’s most celebrated textile designers – who notably livened up post-war Britain with his taste in bright and vividly coloured textiles will feature in the exhibition. Reich fled from war-torn Hungary in 1937 to study textiles at Leeds University. After the completion of his studies he bought a 19th Century cotton mill in Stratford–upon–Avon and established Tibor Ltd. It is more famously known as the Clifford Mill, and it is where Tibor established his career in producing and designing woven and printed textiles, ceramics, tiles and rugs. 

The Robin Day range of contract carpets 1961 - 62

Robin Day designs from the Brintons Woodward Grosvenor archive have been loaned for the exhibition. 

Robin Day’s range of contract carpets for Woodward Grosvenor was launched in the early 1960s - specifically aimed at the architect/specifier market. The collection was designed to be produced in several colourways reflecting current trends and the surface pattern design was based on a gridded matrix of abstract images. The carpets were produced using the Wilton weave process, a manufacturing method particularly suitable to resisting the heavy use expected of carpets specified for use in the public domain. Brintons Archivist, Yvonne Smith worked with the Parkside Gallery Manager, John Hall to identify key pieces from the archive for the exhibition.

Robin Day made his name in the early 1950 producing innovative designs for Hille Furniture  utilising the new ‘wonder plastic’ – polypropylene. This design work contributing considerably to the establishing of the company’s highly successful Hille Contacts Division. His knowledge of designing for the contract design sector contributed to success in many other areas including projects with - Pye (radio, television and record-player cabinets), BOAC (aircraft interior and refreshment trays including the tableware and cutlery) and for the John Lewis Partnership (interiors and graphic identity).

Amongst a number of other disciplines on display, Midlands Modern highlights the contribution of the Midlands to modernist and contemporary design history, championing the midlands as a creative hub that is still just as relevant today.

Image top right: Midlands Modern Exhibition, Parkside Gallery, Birmingham

Images second right: Yvonne Smith, Brintons Archivist 

Images bottom right: Robin Day carpet designs loaned from Brintons Archive on display

Brintons is excited to introduce our latest axminster design collection,  Altered Gravity by Stacy Garcia, debuting  at Boutique Design New York (BDNY), booth #645!

"Original works of art are translated into expressive Axminster carpet designs using complex color and textural overlays,” states Nadia Burton, Design Director for Brintons Americas. “Wild graphic strokes and frenzied paint splats marry with translucent floral forms to create boldly scaled designs catered to the hospitality market. Altered Gravity, with pattern repeats varying from 6‘ to 48’ is presented as an extremely versatile collection and one to watch in 2017,” adds Burton.


Inspired by the maker's movement, Altered Gravity features 14 patterns pulling influence from the diverse disclipines of the art universe.


Altered Gravity is a fresh approach for the Brintons + Stacy Garcia partnership, with designs derived from Stacy's original paintings. Although the elements have been dissected and rearranged to create new works of art, the viewer can still clearly see the artist's hand in each pattern.  Learn about Stacy's process and inspiration  in this behind the scenes video. 

Behind the Scenes with Stacy Garcia

Altered Gravity will launch November 13-14 at BDNY, at the Design Gallery by Stacy Garcia at booth #645. Not registered for BDNY yet? Click here to register for free! 

Bicester Village partnered with the Campaign for Wool and the British Fashion Council for the first time with a celebration of all things woolly in the new British Wool Collective pop up boutique. The boutique will be open from Thursday 13 October until January 2017 at Bicester Village.

Brintons has long been a champion of the Campaign for Wool and donated several of its favourite collections to showcase throughout the village as part of the wool collective.

Wool Week | Bicester Village | Brintons The British Wool Collective

Brintons will be exhibiting at the first BCFA open exhibition in Manchester where we will be showcasing two new collections from our growing QuickWeave series. Specifically created for installers and hospitality clients who work on assignments with tight deadlines, the QuickWeave collection is a made-to-order woven axminster carpet range offering a turnaround time of just 6 weeks. 

BCFA Open Exhibition is a two-day exhibition providing a northern showcase of the very best UK contract furniture and furnishings.

If you would like to make an appointment to meet with one of our sales team at the event please contact Hannah Morris, Commercial Business Manager, email hmorris@brintons.co.uk

BCFA Open Exhibition                                                                                                                                                               26/10/2016 - 27/10/2016                                                                                                                                                         Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3WS                                                                                   Brintons - booth 5A, floor A

For more information about the event please visit the BCFA website

In association with the Campaign for Wool and the British Fashion Council, Bicester Village will be celebrating all things woolly with a quintessentially British Boutique and hub featuring Brintons' Timorous Beasties carpet.

Visitors will experience the collection first-hand with Platinum Grain Du Bois taking centre stage in the station foyer, whilst the dramatic Ruskin Butterfly will be in the hub. 

Brintons have always worked closely with the world of fashion. In 1993 Brintons teamed up with Vivi­enne Westwood to create a dress made entirely of the Finepoint and Bell Twist carpet ranges and 10 years later, in 2003, Brin­tons launched its 'most luxurious carpets in the world campaign', working with renowned shoe designer Manolo Blahnik featuring Bell Twist.

Further collaborations with iconic design brands such as Laura Ashley and Timorous Beasties have resulted in collections with timeless elegance and outstanding beauty, all entirely exclusive to Brintons.

Design is at the heart of everything we produce and it is the key ingredient to our continued success within the carpet and design industry.

Andrew Wilcock, Group Marketing Manager, Brintons comments "As one of the largest consumers of British Wool, we have long been champions of Campaign for Wool and were delighted to have been asked by Bicester to showcase some of our favourite designs as part of their British Wool Collective. Spanning across our commercial and residential collections, the Quickweave and Timorous Beasties collections demonstrate how versatile this natural material is."

Nicholas Coleridge, Chairman, Campaign for Wool and President of Conde Nast International said "We are so delighted that Bicester Village is getting behind His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales's Campaign for Wool. The ecological of Bicester Village are well known, and it feels absolutely appropriate that they are backing the movement for wool, with all its messages of sustainability and fashionability."

Brintons will launch the Mazij collection at the Dubai Hotel Show later this month (17th -19th September 2016).

Meaning a mix or melange of things, the arabic word Mazij conjures up the beauty and romance of the Middle East’s impressive and rich heritage of art and architecture and the many intricate patterns, motifs and colours that are associated with it.

Our design team sought inspiration in this impressively rich culture, and in the natural beauty of the region’s landscape, to create a wide-ranging and exciting collection of carpet designs that complement the flourishing contemporary architecture of modern hotel and leisure projects in the region’s cities and luxury coastal destinations.

The Mazij collection is composed of five ranges and a collection of Axminster or hand tufted rugs.

EDIFICE

The Middle East is capturing the design world’s attention today because of its ever-booming infrastructure. It has become a travel destination for design enthusiasts all around the world.

This section of the collection focuses on the design trends influenced by modern architecture and includes the works of well-known design houses all-round the globe.

MARRAKECH

When one thinks of Marrakech, images of patterned ceramic tiles, colourful pots, rugs and lamps and busy spice souks come to mind.

This was the inspiration for this segment of the collection; Brintons have blended the authenticity of the patterns from this region with a modern approach by designing with sophisticated shapes.

TERRAIN

The Middle East is not just rich in its history and culture but it also has wonderful geographic beauty. Its mountains, deserts and rivers make it geographically distinct and have influenced the development and maintenance of cultural traditions through much of the history of the region.

Inspired by the beauty of this land, the range very subtly interprets nature into carpet patterns.

PETRA

Petra, also called the Rose City due to the colour of the stone out of which it is carved. Brintons were inspired by has developed designs that reflect these natural effects in carpets.

The idea was to capture the natural effect of the sandstone, its colours and multi layered textural details.

PRAYER ROOMS

Mosque or prayer room carpets are special and unique as they have very distinctive features. They are used not only to enhance the aesthetics of the mosque’s interior but also to provide the marking on the floor to guide worshipers.

The interiors of the mosques today are inspiration for this segment. This ranges from traditional to contemporary, from simple to intricate patterns.

We look forward to showing you the Mazij collection at this year’s Hotel Show Dubai, Hall 7, Booth 7A272

For the second year running The Campaign for Wool and Woolmark collaborated with "Alex James Presents" for "The Big Feastival". The festival was held over the August Bank Holiday weekend on Alex James’s farm in the Cotswolds, offering a family friendly festival packed with music and food.

This year Alex created the "Cheese Hub" a two storey permanent structure for collaborations and events. In the Cheese Hub there was the entire range of the Alex James Presents award winning artisan cheeses to sample and buy, cocktails from The Groucho Club bar and Alex himself, alongside a variety of special guests. We were happy to work with the team to convert some of our Timorous Beasties Ruskin Noir Butterfly carpet into luxury wool-rich rugs for the Cheese Hub's VIP areas. 

The carpets were used to create intimate spaces that continued the natural theme with the brightly coloured butterflies and insects offering a splash of colour to the hub.

Other contributors included Abraham Moon and Sons, AW Hainsworth. Laxtons Specialist yarns, West Yorkshire Spinners and Z.Hinchcliffe.

View the Campaign For Wools Facebook gallery from The Cheese Hub.

Cunard’s flagship liner RMS Queen Mary 2 has recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment that features nearly 20,000 m2 of Axminster carpet from Brintons.

The 2,600-passenger vessel was held in dry dock for 25 days earlier this summer for an extensive renovation, which introduced completely new areas to the ship.

Three principles have been key to the glamorous new interiors, which include ensuring the designs give each area a distinct and confident look and feel, that they are intuitive to use with layouts optimised for guest use and that they harness the heritage of Cunard.

Brintons was appointed by SMC Design and worked closely with Cunard UK to provide luxurious carpets to the 150,000 tonne transatlantic liner that takes inspiration from the original Queen Mary. The refurbishment includes the construction of 15 new single cabins and an additional 30 Britannia Club cabins with Brintons supplying carpets for a number of public areas and suites.

RMS Queen Mary 2 is the flagship vessel of the Cunard Line. Launched in 2004, the ship was named by Queen Elizabeth II after the first 1936 namesake ship RMS Queen Mary. It was designed by a team of British naval architects led by Stephen Payne and was constructed in France by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in 2003.

Angus Struthers, Cunard Director, says: “Cunard is delighted to renew its historic association with Brintons as suppliers of the finest carpets for Queen Mary 2. Between them, our designers and our suppliers have gone to painstaking lengths to pay the closest possible attention to detail in determining how our flagship cruise liner will look - and feel under the feet of our guests - when she re-enters service.”

“Brintons supplied our original Queen Mary 80 years ago, so it is entirely fitting that we call on the company’s experience and expertise to inspire the design and choice of carpets for that great liner’s successor.”

Brintons’ Specialist Marine Division, with crucial input from Brintons Paris office, played an important role in the launch of the largest and most luxurious passenger liner in the world by originally supplying 65,000 m2 of Axminster carpet back in 2004. Working closely with the design agencies, 70 individual schemes were produced all of which contributed towards the weaving of some of the most complex and stunning carpets ever produced by Brintons Electronic Jacquard looms.

Image top right: l to r Tracy Sutherland, EMEA Project Manager and Jane Bradley-Bain, Senior Designer - members of the Brintons team who worked on the Queen Mary 2 project 

Image bottom right: Champagne Bar, Queen Mary 2 

Brintons have collaborated with Birmingham City University (BCU) over the last four years to support their textile degree students with their final year projects.

The BCU textile students showcase is the culmination of three years of study from their graduating students. The work on display is very diverse and highly individual, from concept to actualisation, representing the future career aspirations and developed aesthetic of the students.

Birmingham City University invited Brintons Commercial Marketing Manager, Sarah Draper and Designer's Jodie Hatton and Jay Ralley-Jones to the School of Fashion and Textiles Graduate Show 2016. The Brintons team were asked to award a prize for Design Innovation and selected BA (Hons) Textile Design (Constructed Textiles) Kayleigh Jones work. Her project was titled 'Puff, powder, Gloss' - cosmetic tactility.

Kayleigh created a collection of seductive, evocative and inspiring material concepts, influenced by the materiality of cosmetics. 

This explorative body of sophisticated treated and woven material possibilities, aims to inspire a trend informed audience  and appeal to various, design sectors. Photography of sprinkled make-up powders ignites an inceptive and curious material enquiry into the aesthetics of powder and gloss. The collection develops through treatments of acquired and hand-woven fabrics. Layering, trapping, coating and tufting processes create materials, which evoke atmospheric qualities and have a high tactile appeal. 

Image above centre: Birmingham City University awards ceremony at Parkside Campus.

Image right: Kayleigh Jones, BA (Hons) Textile Design (Constructed Textiles) student

Brintons, showcased the future of design at Clerkenwell Design Week, unveiling our latest QuickWeave collection and hosting a wide range of talks from leading interiors experts.

Across the three days, we invited design savvy visitors to join us at our London Design Centre for a range of drop-in sessions, including talks from design experts from Birmingham City University, Houzz and interior designers the 2 Lovely Gays. 

Throughout the week, Brintons London Design Centre was full capacity with guests attending a range of exclusive drop in sessions and talks as well as a unique view of Brintons historic archive. On the opening day of the festival, We launched our unique QuickWeave range, ideal for installations where timing is of the essence as it is a range of pre-designed carpets designs, which can be sent directly to the loom, reducing the time associated with custom weaves. 

The Trends project talk, hosted on the first day of the festival by Birmingham City University and Colour Hive, explored the importance of trends, delving into why and how trends are used, and the upcoming 2016/2017 trends that audiences should look out for.  

On the second day, Interior designers the 2 Lovely Gays, who found their fame on BBC’s The Great Interior Design Challenge, held a range of one-to-one sessions to help members of the public with any interior design queries ranging from how to customise a room to what colours work well together.

Leading online home renovation and design platform, Houzz, hosted one-to-one drop in profile consultations with their representatives on the final day of the festival alongside a ‘Trends and Tips’ talk. Aimed at design business owners, Houzz offered top tips to businesses to help ensure they are maximising their exposure to homeowners who plan projects through the online platform. 

Throughout the week, Brintons showcased the latest trends and styles, offering bespoke interior design advice from a range of leading industry experts.

Birmingham City University Trends Talk

The National Trust held a Summer Party to celebrate and showcase 10 years of ground-breaking, top quality, award-winning conservation work at Attingham Park, Shropshire.

Attingham Re-discovered began as a long term programme of improvements to the mansion’s interiors but quickly became much more than that. The project started in 2006 after several years of detailed research and consultation. The main aim was to refresh the way that Attingham’s Regency rooms were displayed in order to reveal and enhance the significance of the place, its fabric, contents and human stories. This involved the conservation, restoration and re-creation of the mansion’s historic decorative schemes and collections.

Yvonne Smith, Brintons Archivist, worked closely with the Project Curator Sarah Kay to identify carpet designs  for the Octagonal room which, were authentic to the Regency period. Designs were chosen from Brintons extensive archive, which dates back to 1790. It is one of the world's largest commercial design archives and historical pattern libraries in the industry.

Yvonne was invited to the celebrations at Attingham Park and is pictured with Sarah Kay in the beautiful walled garden. 

Brintons Design Video

19th May 2016

Brintons is recognised as a powerful creative source stretching the way people think about pattern and colour on the floor. Our ability to combine thoughtful design with experience and technical knowledge allows us to deliver high performance floor coverings that will take your breath away.

Learn a little more about our design process in the latest video from our 'Fleece to Floor' series.

Brintons Design Video

Dyeing and Weaving

25th April 2016

We are proud to have manufactured carpets for over 230 years. Every stage of the carpet making process is carefully controlled by our skilled team to ensure premium quality and a luxurious finish. Learn a little more about our dyeing and weaving process in the latest video from our 'Fleece to Floor' series.

Dyeing & Weaving

Brintons will be at the centre of the creative hub during Clerkenwell Design Week, as we unveil our new QuickWeave collection.

QuickWeave is the first project of its kind for Brintons and is perfect for installations where timing is of the essence as it is a range of pre-designed carpets designs, which can be sent directly to the loom, reducing the time associated with custom weaves.

The first QuickWeave collection is Inception, which is a range of 60 ready to go patterns, each style is available in five colourways. There are 16 colours in its palette, which are reflective of today’s current trends. Contemporary designs compliment transitional styles such as plaids, stripes, geometric, abstracts and layered design themes.

Throughout our exciting schedule we are inviting design savvy visitors to join us at our London Design Centre between the 24th to the 26th May to explore our exciting new collection. In addition, we are holding a range of drop-in sessions, including talks from interiors experts from Birmingham City University, Houzz and design duo 2LG. 

This exciting reveal, plus three days of design talks and events taking place at the London Design Centre, makes this Design Festival one not to be missed. Here is your schedule for the week:

Interior learning

Taking centre stage at Brintons’ London Design Hub, Birmingham City University (BCU) will be holding a range of talks and displaying installations based on student’s work to celebrate the future of interior design.

BA Textile Design students from BCU used Brintons’ latest technologies to create two carpet designs for their final year Trend project, which will be on display throughout Clerkenwell Design Week. The students were given the brief of depicting how key interiors trends can be transformed into physical products and designs. The final designs for the project were this year influenced by Colourhive’s Autumn / Winter 2016/17 forecasts, and was inspired by two trends: ‘Strata’ and ‘Play’.

Trends Project Talk, 24th May, 12.00 - 13.00  

On Tuesday 24th May John Hall, Exhibitions Manager at Parkside Gallery, and Jean Ensell, Textiles Lecturer at BCU, will be holding a talk on the Trends project, and how and why they use them. They will also go on to explore how the project works and the importance of industry engagement for its students, who are the new talent pipeline into the wider design industry. 

Expert advice from the 2 Lovely Gays

Design Clinic, 25th May, 13.00 - 16.00

Interior designers the 2 Lovely Gays will hold a range of one-to-one sessions to help members of the public with any interior design queries they may have. Each session will last 20 minutes and take place between 1pm -  4pm.

Ranging from how to customise a room to what colours work well together, those taking part can get one-to-one advice from the interior designers who found their fame on BBC’s The Great Interior Design Challenge.

Anyone wishing to take part can apply on our bookings page to get the chance to join Jordan and Russell at the London Design Centre. For those unable to attend, they will hold a question and answer session on the Brintons social channels and their top tips will be posted throughout the day. 

Houzz 

Drop in clinic, May 26th, 10.30 – 12.00 & 12.30 - 15.00

Leading online home renovation and design platform, Houzz, will be hosting one-to-one drop in profile consultations with their representatives on the 26th May. Aimed at design business owners, the sessions running from 10am – 3pm, will be offering top tips to businesses to help ensure they are maximising their exposure to homeowners who plan projects through the online platform.

Trends and Tips talk, May 26th, 12.30 - 13.00 

Houzz will also be hosting a ‘Trends and Tips’ talk at 12.30pm. The talk will teach visitors what colours, materials and finishing choices are trending on Houzz and the steps they can take to maximise their exposure. 

Through the archives

Brintons’ Archivist Yvonne Smith will be holding an archive exhibition throughout the week, which will explore designs through the ages. The archive holds over 100,000 unique designs dating back to the late 1700s, and Yvonne will be displaying a sample of designs for people to view and discuss the gems of the archive.

Our new 'Crafting the Yarn' video explores the process of blending, carding and drafting the wool on to bobbins before it is spun in to thread ready for the next stage of production.

Crafting the Yarn

Brintons is one of the few carpet manufacturer that still crafts its own yarn. Our unique blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon pioneered in the 1950’s is now the global standard for carpet quality, reflecting Brintons high quality materials, processes and people that are all parts of the production process.

Look out for more videos soon!

Images taken during our video shoot at Brintons manufacturing site in Telford, England

The ‘Where it Begins’ video is the latest in our Fleece to Floor series, outlining the origins of each Brintons carpet.

where it begins

The video explores the process of shearing, washing and drying the wool before it is bailed ready for the next stage of production. Brintons is the UK’s largest consumer of British wool with one in nine British sheep providing wool for our carpets.

The unique ‘Brintons Blend’ of 80% wool and 20% nylon pioneered in the 1950’s is now the global standard for carpet quality, reflecting Brintons high quality materials, processes and people that are all parts of their production process.  

The third video within the series explores how British wool is naturally stain resistant, naturally fire retardant and easy to clean, producing premier carpets that are long lasting and hard wearing. With shearing a necessary process for sheep, it provides the ultimate sustainable product from a renewable source, producing high quality carpets without depleting natural resources.

Oren Sherman has created exclusive artwork for a variety of clients including Steuben Glass, U.S. Postal Service, VISA, Hermés, Disney, Pepsi Co, and many more. Oren’s style is crisp, confident and sophisticated. Alluring color and dynamic compositions draw us in, while the powerfully nostalgic scenes reference our collective American past. Oren’s interest in storytelling and design history has provided over three decades of widely diverse success. It’s no wonder the newest creation, BLOKWERK, circles back to the roots of his identity as a designer-storyteller.


The De Stijl movement was critical to the development of graphic design and for a century inspired artists and architects across the globe. We sat down with Oren Sherman to learn about what his story brings to Axminster, his interest in the De Stijl movement, and the birth of our latest collaboration, BLOKWERK. 

Q: Give us a little background: childhood experiences, family ties, early design memories? 

A: I was born in Boston in1956, which ironically makes me mid-century modern. My mom was a landscape designer and artist, she’s 93 and very definite in her tastes, we’re still disagreeing. It’s my earliest memory, drawing and making patterns in color was my first language. We were visiting museums before I could walk. As a child I remember visiting the Gropius house, Corbusier’s Carpenter Center and the best modern architecture that was the new style in Cambridge at that time. Utopian and very glamorous! 

Q: You’re an alumnus and professor at one of the most prestigious design schools in the United States. Tell us about your experiences being submerged in the thriving creative environment of the Rhode Island School of Design.

A: It was my dream to go there from junior high, when I was accepted I withdrew my applications to other schools, and never told my parents. I returned to teach part-time 15 years after I graduated. Being around the best of the best, of all different disciplines is a continual education. The students and faculty, the RISD Museum, The Fleet library, are a constantly inspiring and humbling experience.

Q: The majority of your work, both the Oren Sherman Limited Edition posters and your commercial commissions have been based in storytelling. There’s been a drastic jump in style from your narrative based illustrations to the cool abstractions of your textile designs. What happened between then and now? Is it the medium or the consumer that changes your design decisions?

A: No one has ever asked me this. I became interested in historical pattern as a student, RISD was originally a textiles college and they have an amazing rare book collection. My name is still on the cards from when the books circulated. The design archive at Brintons has many of the same books, when I visited there it was like seeing my old friends. I was not a textile major; I came to a fascination with pattern from color exploration. There is something so satisfying about systems of organization. I tend to see pattern not as flat repeats but as 3-D space.

Q: With your past work being strongly influenced by various historical narratives, has it been difficult moving away from naturalism into the abstract realm of pattern? Or are your patterns just more elusive stories?

A: Pattern is all about story; it’s just a different deliverable. The arrangement of shapes and colors on the page is to create the illusion of 3-D space. My work in pattern is very similar; it’s just a leap off narrative into design. The first artwork I designed that was not dependent on narrative as a subject was a shock to everyone but me.

Q: What do you find most challenging about the creating for the hospitality industry?

A: As a designer, the first question I ask myself is “what problem is this solving?” I have been working in hospitality for some time; designing wall covering, bedding, and carpet collections so I understand the needs of this world. Along with RISD, I work at the amazing Elkus Manfredi Architects in Boston. I am surrounded by the best designers I have ever worked with. Being there has been hugely helpful in my understanding of how my work integrates into the overall design scheme, and solves needs of the client. Corridors are a challenging design problem; how do we engage a guest to travel down an endless corridor with only a 12’ repeat? That was the ah- ha moment! The transformation from an overlooked space, generally with no natural light, to a dynamic and engaging experience. The next revelation was seeing that patterns could implement as full bleeds that could be cropped and pieced at any juncture. That was the engineering miracle; no waste.

Q: What goes on in the day-to-day throws of the working designer?

A: Fast deadlines, problem solving that requires teamwork. Combining intellectual skills and design sensibility to make innovative work that integrates with and elevates the client’s brand.

Q: Your designs for BLOKWERK are obviously steeped in the philosophies of the De Stijl movement, which has developed the basis for the graphic design movement as well as greatly influenced mid century architects around the world. What is your personal connection with the De Stijl movement? How does that influence your design decisions today?

A: It was the system of organization that moved from textiles, to painting, to furniture, fashion and architecture. I love “movements” that sweep the design world, a historically rare series of events that has everything to do with sociology, politics, production innovations and original thought.

Q: How did your design process for BLOKWERK begin? Develop? End?

A: It was on a visit to Berlin, Hansavietel, a landmarked mid-century neighborhood that has architecture from the best international architects in of the day. It was one of my most inspiring design adventures. Color blocked exteriors, fantastic!

Q: From birth, how has BLOKWERK changed through the creative process of collaboration?

A: I could envision it, see how it would work. I knew Brintons’ Axminister to be the most beautiful woven carpet. It was all there but corridors have very specific engineering challenges. Brintons and I worked together for over a year, I am sure I drove them crazy. I’m not a carpet designer; I simply wanted to transform the floors into woven art.

Q: Do you have a design mantra?

A: “Come from forever and you will go everywhere.” - Arthur Rimbaud

Carpets fit for a Queen

16th February 2016

Brintons, has launched its next video in its current series, which is exploring how our carpets are made from fleece to floor.

Brintons Carpets - The Royal Warrant

The latest video unveiled this week explores how Brintons has been a Royal Warrant Holder since 1958, a prominent appointment which is given to companies who have regularly provided goods or services to The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh or The Prince of Wales.

The video features Richard Peck, from the Royal Warrant Holders Office, who discusses how Brintons was one of the first companies in Queen Elizabeth II’s reign to be given the Royal Warrant and what a wonderful achievement it is to hold one.

Image bottom right: The White Drawing Room, Buckingham Palace, credit - Xinhau / Rex / Shutterstock

Brintons, presented its RIBA accredited CPD at this year’s prestigious Surfaces Design Show.

The three-day show at London’s Business Design Centre, featured over 150 exhibitors showcasing the best in exterior and interior surface design giving visiting architects, designers and specifiers the chance to discover the latest trends for 2016/17

The British Contract Furnishing Association (BCFA) sponsored the CPD Hub at this years show, with 4 of their members including Brintons providing seminars, covering a huge range of topics.

Ian Barton, Brintons UK Regional Business Manager presented Brintons RIBA accredited CPD. The presentation explored the key aspects of designing for Axminster carpet production, featuring everything from the initial brief through the design process to installation. The talk also covered the history of Axminster, changes in technology and followed the full process involved in design and project management within woven Axminster carpet production.

Brintons, has helped the National Trust to recreate history at the iconic manor house, Baddesley Clinton, by supplying 19th Century designs from its extensive design archive.

Baddesley Clinton, with its mixture of stone and half-timbering, is a Grade I moated manor house in Warwickshire, originally dating from the thirteen century. It was owned by the Ferrers up until 1980 when it was passed to the National Trust. The house, which has featured in Granada’s Sherlock Homes series and The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual, boasts a wealth of 16th century carvings and furniture as well as 19th century accessories.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Baddesley Clinton is the presence three secret priest's holes. These hidden chambers were built during the height of religious strife in 17th century England, and afforded visiting Jesuit priests a place to hide from prying eyes. 

As part of a re-furbishment project to replace a worn out wilton runner, Curator for the National Trust, Andrew Barber, approached Brintons’ archivist, Yvonne Smith to find carpet designs that reflected the individuality of the home and its former owners - the Ferrers family,

Having no evidence of original carpet patterns to replicate, Andrew visited Brintons’ archive to find designs from the 1870’s,and 1880’s to evoke a design that would sit comfortably with the historic interiors.

With the help of Yvonne, six potential designs were chosen, featuring different field and border designs constructed of geometric shapes and intricate colour patterns. Speaking of the project, Andrew said: “It was a wonderful experience visiting the archive and working with Yvonne to explore the original point pattern papers in order to really get a feel for the designs and the period that they encompassed.

“As the Ferrers family were well known Roman Catholic converts, we wanted to choose designs that reflected their religious leanings as well as the Victorian taste that features largely in the property. As stained glass windows, rich oak beams and ochre-washed walls appear throughout the house, we wanted to discover designs that did not merely coincide with the interiors but created a perfect balance between them. To judge by the positive comments we have received from visitors this seems to have been achieved.”

Two separate patterns were chosen for the field and border of the carpet to create one cohesive design that reflected the chosen period of 1870 – 1885. These were fitted on two staircases and two main corridors of the property, one of which spans the whole width of the inner courtyard.

Andrew continued: “As the widths of the staircases and corridors differ, we chose to separate the designs of border and field to accommodate this. This resulted in some parts of the corridor featuring just the field design and in other parts featuring both the field and border designs.

A Victorian colour palette consisting of deep maroons, pinks, reds and black were chosen based on original watercolour interiors of the manor house, which helped to induce a rich Catholic feel to the property.

Two intricate, geometric and floral inspired designs were picked for the field and borders to reflect the Victorian period of the interiors and to enhance the spirit of the property.

Andrew continued: “The carpet design perfectly reflects the character and spirit of the Ferrers family and it was a fantastic opportunity gradually and gently to increase the individuality of the house.”

Image top right: ( l to r) Yvonne Smith, Brintons Archivist with Alexa Buffey, National Trust

Image top right: Baddesley Clinton, corridor area

Birmingham City University are showcasing their final year student’s work at The January Furniture Show, which runs between the 24 – 27th January at the NEC Birmingham.

In its 7th year, the Trends project presents the pinnacle of design with students creating a range of new designs inspired by two trends forecast by Colour Hive for Autumn/Winter 2016/17: ‘Strata’ and ‘Play’. The project provides new inspiration and demonstrates how trends can be applied from original design thinking through to end product, it also allows students to create a unique portfolio of ideas from which to convey their employment potential. The trends project doesn’t just give an insight into future talent – it helps mould and support it.

Brintons collaborated with Birmingham City University to create sample rugs based on original designs by Constructed Textile Design students Rosie Williams (Strata) and Chloe Baker (Play); the rugs were manufactured using Brintons revolutionary 32-colour High Definition looms. 

The trends, which Birmingham City University students have interpreted, are STRATA and PLAY:

STRATA

As our natural world continues to surprise and sometimes alarm us, we realise its significance in the everyday. Strata pays particular attention to geology to better understand the unrefined beauty of the earth, exploring man's influence on nature and vice versa. 

PLAY

Brimming with creativity and optimism, play inspires us to do just that. Subverting traditional notions of grown up good taste, this trend responds to our inner child, encouraging a cut and paste attitude, full of fun and energy. 

Brintons will once again share its knowledge with architects at a special CPD presentation held on 11th February, during the Surface Design Show.

The presentation will share our knowledge in the manufacture of great quality Axminster and Wilton carpets so architects can gain a greater understanding of the process involved in designing for Woven Axminster Carpets.

The presentation, held at the Business Design Centre London, has been approved by RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects) for quality of content and relevance, so attendees can be confident that they are learning something both useful and informative. The presentation lasts approximately 40 minutes and includes information on:

Designing for Woven Axminster Carpets

The presentation will explore the key aspects of designing for Axminster carpet production, featuring everything from the initial brief through the design process to installation. Also explored will be designing for Electronic Jacquard and how this can be used to produce complex, multi-part large-scale floorscapes in a variety of interiors.

The talk will also discuss the history of Axminster, changes in technology and will follow the full process involved in design and project management within woven Axminster carpet production

Brintons, has launched a series of videos to explore the journey of our carpets from fleece to floor. 

Brintons Carpets - Fleece to Floor

We’re passionate about the products we make and the quality we insist upon has been central to Brintons since our humble beginnings back in 1783. To achieve the beautiful, durable carpets we’re known for we control every stage of production and source premium quality materials. This video portrays the lifecycle of our carpets from fleece to floor, from the shearing of the sheep, the dying process, to final quality control, inspection and hand finishing.

Carpets manufactured by Brintons contain its unique blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon, which was pioneered in the 1950s and is now the global standard for carpets. The videos explain how Brintons is the single largest user of British wool worldwide with the fleece from one in nine sheep going into a Brintons carpet.

Throughout the first half of the year Brintons will be continuing its video series with a further five short films delving deeper into how the process begins, the design procedure, how the wool is dyed, the crafting of the yarn, and the role of the Warrant Officer.

Brintons, has helped the English Heritage to repeat history at Walmer Castle by supplying 19th century designs from our extensive archive.

Constructed in 1540 by Henry VIII, Walmer Castle is a Tudor castle situated in Walmer, Kent. Housed by the Duke of Wellington from 1829 - 1852 during his position as Lord Warden, the Duke’s bedroom is his final resting place and is a popular tourist attraction maintained by the English Heritage.

As part of a renovation project to restore the Duke of Wellington’s bedroom as it was at the time of his death in 1852, Brintons’ Archivist, Yvonne Smith, was approached by the English Heritage Curator for the South East to explore the archives for a design that reflected the style of the original carpet.

When examining the pattern, English Heritage and Brintons didn’t have any physical carpet to work with, but instead used a watercolour painting of the Duke’s bedroom by painter Thomas Shotter Boys, which still hangs in Walmer Castle. The style of the carpet was identified as a Brussels weave, and a picture of the painting was taken to the archive to find designs that were as close to the original as possible.

Rowena Willard-Wright, Senior Curator for English Heritage South East, said: “When working on the Duke of Wellington’s bedroom restoration project, not only did the carpet design have to be of the right period it also needed to closely approximate the carpet’s design and the colourways represented within the watercolour.”

After examining hand painted design papers from Brintons’ expansive archive, three examples were chosen that were of the era and of similar Brussel’s style to the carpet depicted. 

The English Heritage consulted Linney Carpet Consultants, which specialises in traditional installation methods, regarding the design and the appropriate application methods. To ensure that the period style was completely mirrored, a traditional method of installation was used on the 65sqm of carpet to replicate the original style of the bedroom.

Dewi Hughes, Project Manager at Linney Cooper Carpet Consultants, said: “When we installed the design we used a hem and blued tack method of installation, and all seams were sewed by hand. This method was traditional to the period and would have been used on the original carpets, completely replicating what would have been in the Duke’s bedroom.”

Featuring shades of dull rose pinks, bright terracottas and red fawns, the early Victorian panel designs were transformed into a pattern repeat that reflected the traditional interiors of the 19th Century period.

Rowena, continued: “When working on historical renovations such as Walmer Castle, Brintons’ archive is a national treasure for curators involved in this kind of specialist research and it was fantastic to find a design so close to the original.”


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