Brintons Carpets/Wool Fusion- Craft and Commercial Design

In 2017 I collaborated with Brintons Carpets to create an Axminster Stair carpet for Wool Fusion; the project by Campaign for Wool for Wool Week.

If you prefer to watch rather than read, there’s a video about this collaboration here,  from the fab team at Cube Video.

The stair carpet was commissioned for Wool Fusion, a showcase of UK products which best represents the beauty and versatility of British wool. This is the second year I’ve been involved in this Campaign for Wool initiative, spearheaded by HRH The Prince of Wales’ and this year curated by Arabella McNie.

A unanimous decision to use design elements from my handwoven Fryklos rug came out of a productive initial meeting with the Brintons team.

Fryklos Handwoven Krokbargd Rug. Photo by Yeshen Venema
The original Fryktlos rug was hand woven by myself,  in my Bristol studio. The traditional Scandinavian rug weaving technique, Krokbragd, was used for it’s versatility and scope for playing with colour.

In initial meetings I gleaned as much information as I could from the Brintons team. The processes, potential and limitations of using custom Axeminster QuickWeave were explored and I’m thankful to Jodie Hatton for generously importing so much of her experience and knowledge in a carpet masterclass. We didn’t have long to turn this project around, so the Quickweave option was fantastic as we could meet the deadline and adapt the design to fit the process accordingly.

There were certain restrictions as a result of working to such a tight schedule, especially with the colour palette available. However, it didn’t do me any harm to reign in my typical gaudy colour clashes and am quite proud that I’ve designed something without a burst of acid yellow.

It was also a refreshing experience for me to be more disciplined when drawing up the designs, as I usually prefer to design at the loom rather than a desk.

Initial sketches on graph paper were quickly converted onto the software by Jodie with a small selection of the designs then sent off for sampling on the Quickweave looms.

I wanted to ensure that the carpet design retained the niche qualities of my handwoven rugs, and by using a pattern that made each step of the staircase slightly different, I think we succeeded in this.

A selection of sketches were woven into samples which helped to inform the final decision.

The finished carpet was installed at Wool Fusion by Arabella McNie and the team and the event was open to the public for Wool Week from the 7th-14th October.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Bridgette Kelly and Campaign for Wool for facilitating this collaborative opportunity, and especially all the Brintons team for making the whole process a joy.

To see more images of the Frytklos Stair Carpet check out my Instagram 


Brintons Carpets

Campaign for Wool

Cube Video

Yeshen Venema Photography