The plain fabric you choose to pair with a dramatic print is just as important as the print itself. You can’t cover a whole room in our Parakeets on natural linen, but a brightly coloured and richly detailed print needs thoughtfulness and care when it comes to integrating it into a scheme. As I love texture and anything with a hint of subverted antique, John Boyd’s wonderful horsehair textiles seem to provide a perfect foil to a complex print, or to ground a modern scheme.
The knowledge of the age and complexity of the manufacturing process, which struggles to source sufficient hair locally nowadays, importing it from countries that still routinely use working horses, coupled with the unique texture, and pleasing limitations of width, make this a material that requires thought and skill to use to its fullest potential. It is also, however, tough and resilient, hence its appearance in public places – bar stools, the seats at the Bath Pump Room – it has strength and tremendous utility, as well as taking colour fantastically well, as below in this screen by Ochre.
I very much look forward to pairing these wonderful fabrics with some Tradescant & Son prints in future projects.
John Boyd Textiles Ltd
Weavers of Horsehair Fabrics since 1837
Higher Flax Mills
Telephone: +44 (0) 1963 350451