Design Centre Stories

A 21st-Century Jacquard

Heritage weaving company Gainsborough (available at McKinney & Co) has brought the art of jacquard weaving up to date with a collaboration with young Singaporean maker Tiffany Loy. The Weaverly Way is an installation at CitizenM Bankside (above), with a further version on show in McKinney & Co’s showroom window at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. Dyed and woven at Gainsborough’s Suffolk mill, it presents a new take on the craftsmanship that the company has safeguarded since 1903.

Loy, a recent MA graduate from the Royal College of Art, often explores new takes on traditional techniques. “It was through the Royal College that I got introduced to Gainsborough and I was really fascinated with its heritage and the materials its working with – mainly silks,” she says. In this case she has pushed the limits of jacquard weaving to create a textile with a cellular structure, its three dimensionality emphasised by the contrasting pink, green and blue yarns, all dyed in-house.

“What I find interesting about this approach to weaving is that it produces quite a 3D effect,” continues Loy. “Fabrics have structure; they have the potential to be three dimensional. If we break out if this frame of doing something practical, if we try to do something a bit experimental, we’ll discover a lot of potential for weaving to be be more than just technique for making fabrics, but for sculptural pieces.”

While the CitizenM installation is lent a further sculptural quality with its columnar shape, rising up a staircase in the hotel’s lobby, with the colours changing as viewers climb the stairs, the version in McKinney & Co’s window (above right) emphasises the textile’s more ethereal qualities, with the light shining through the loosely woven structure.

Watch the film below:

McKinney & Co, Second Floor, South Dome