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Homes and Gardens: Archive designs – Karen Beauchamp and Gainsborough

September 2016  |  Press

by h&glivingbeautifully • September 15, 2016

The wallpaper designer and artist has reinterpreted the most memorable designs from this iconic British fabric producer’s vast archive.

Tell us about your collaboration with Gainsborough.

Creative director and interior designer Russell Sage gave me a free hand with the archive for two new collections – one focuses on bringing the best-loved designs into the 21st century, while the other creates new designs using the archive as a starting point.

What kind of material do the archives contain?

There are pieces from all periods, including Georgian, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, Art Deco and 20th century. Gainsborough’s founder, Reginald Warner, collected many during his Grand Tour of Europe in the 19th century.

How are you using the archives to create new designs?

I’ve been updating the most interesting designs by recolouring and in some cases simplifying. I’ve also added elements such as stripes and checks to make the collection more contemporary. My aim is to show the skill of the weavers and the beauty of weaving on the old machines.

How has the technology used to produce these fabrics changed?

Many designs are woven on 1920s manual looms with the original jacquards, but there are also three computerised looms that are wonderful in a different way for creating highly complex new designs.

Karen Beauchamp, Gainsborough

Original Article on the Homes and Gardens website

Words Emma J Page, photographs Alun Callender