British home brand Lane is built on the concept of supporting local craftsmen and materials. It’s another example of this movement of homegrown, home-designed furnishings that is taking over. More and more we’re buying conscientiously. With a contemporary and globally-inspired aesthetic, they work with local artisans to make affordable and quality decor that supports lost traditions and processes. Their recent indigo-focused collection with the weavers London Cloth Company caught our eye! We sat down with Lane’s Creative Director Joff Casciani to find out more about it:
How did the collaboration with London Cloth Co come to be?
We’d been looking for a UK weaver to work with for some time as all of our products are made in the UK. When we met Daniel at London Cloth Company he introduced us to natural indigo and unbleached cotton.
London Cloth Company was formed in 2012 by maverick master weaver Daniel Harris. They’re bringing a unique tradition that vanished between the interwar years back to London.
In London’s traditional cloth trading district Hackney, Daniel rescued 7 vintage looms and single handedly rebuilt them by hand over a two year period. These extraordinary machines date from the 1880s up to the 1970s and were left to rot in warehouses and barns throughout Britain and Ireland. These machines capture the real essence of vintage weaving that simply can’t be achieved with modern machines. They are ‘living history’ and every meter woven is another chapter in the story.
That’s incredible that he was able to restore not just the machines but the practice. This collection is focused on indigo. What specifically defines a fabric as indigo cloth?
The fabric used for this collection is a double sided diagonal weave with rope dyed indigo on one side and a natural unbleached cotton reverse. It is rope dyed with natural indigo extracted from plants with the ‘Indigofera Genus’, a range of plants that give the unique deep blue hue that is loved by many cultures. Whilst indigo was once rare and highly prized, it became synonymous with US denim in the 50s and 60s and today it’s associated with Japanese selvage denim. Our new collection uses a soft luxurious indigo cloth as opposed to its tough, denim cousin. It is a soft cotton cloth with the luster of naturally dyed indigo, a color with great history in the home.
London Cloth Company is one of the only British mills weaving true rope-dyed indigo. The sophisticated rich indigo is highly versatile and works with contemporary, vintage and traditional interior styles.
That’s interesting that there’s a difference in types of fabric. Tell us a little more on how this indigo cloth is different than the one we are familiar with, associated with denim?
We’ve always loved indigo in denim but it’s very tough and not really suitable for soft furnishings. We created a cloth that was really soft to the touch but still referenced denim. The diagonal weave and two sided graphic look are partly inspired by our love of the little known mid century cloths produced in the USA in the 1950s that are very rare to find. Lane products have always had a strong graphic look.
What can our readers expect from this collaboration? Is this a one-time capsule collection or will you look to come out with pieces in the future?
This collection represents our values of collaborating with craftspeople like ourselves and looking to the community around us for inspiration. Most designers are working with generic and globally made materials. We only work with materials that are unique in some way.
It’s also about us as designers and makers working with a very special manufacturer to make a cloth that is natural, biodegradable and uses natural and undyed cotton. The cloth is woven in London and made in Nottingham by Ray Pope, our 70-year-old tailor. So we’re connecting people across the community. Almost all cloth sold in the UK is made in the Far East and much of it is synthetic.
The collection consists of two scatter cushions, a large floor cushion and a throw; placemats and a centerpiece mat; and two wash bag designs.
We hope that this is the first of many collaborations with the London Cloth Company. As designers, we love being hands on with the manufacturing process and Daniel’s skill and knowledge of weaving is inspirational. Hopefully, it will be a long partnership!