fbpx Brintons Carpets and Timorous Beasties collaboration

Innovation and expansion in British carpet design and manufacture

The unique collaboration between Timorous Beasties and Brintons Carpets was highlighted last week in a fascinating talk organised as part of the Clerkenwell Design Week festival.

Timorous Beasties by Brintons rug 'Birdbranch Ruby'

Timorous Beasties by Brintons rug Birdbranch Ruby. Photo:PurePR

Founded in 1783, Kidderminster based Brintons Carpets, a worldwide market leader in the supply of high quality Axminster, Wilton, tufted carpets and rugs for both the residential and contract interior sectors, hosted an interesting and entertaining presentation last week at their London Design Centre. The talk centred around their collaboration with iconic Scottish design house Timorous Beasties, producing the innovative British carpet design collections, ‘First Weave’ in 2007 & ‘Timorous Beasties Rugs’ in 2010. The presentation was one of many taking place during the annual Clerkenwell Design Week festival, which showcases some of the best high-end contemporary British interior design products and finishes, as used by the architect and interior design community.

Thistle carpet inset into a tiled floor by Timorous Beasties/Brintons. Photo: Carpet Design Centre

Thistle carpet inset into a tiled floor by Timorous Beasties/Brintons. Photo: Carpet Design Centre

Brintons’ Global Design Director John Bain and Alistair McAuley of Timorous Beasties explained how each collaboration took two years to develop from the first theme ideas through to collection launch. Designer and manufacturer both had to adapt to working with each other, challenging the boundaries of design in relation to scale, repeat and composition of the imagery and battling with the technical problems associated with translating the detailed designs into woven wool carpeting. They produced ‘First Weave’ in 2007, using some of Timorous Beasties’ characteristically surreal prints as innovative large scale, asymmetrical designs. Creative carpet plan layouts were developed for corridors and rooms in hotels, for example, which were an instant success with architects and interior designers worldwide.

Carpet layout plan of a corridor and adjacent room area, using the Tree of Life broadloom carpet design. Photo: Bailey Hills

Carpet layout plan of a corridor and adjacent room area, using the Tree of Life broadloom carpet design by Timorous Beasties for Brintons. Photo: Bailey Hills

In 2010, designer and manufacturer redefined creative and technical possibilities in hand tufted rug production for their second collection ‘Timorous Beasties Rugs’. Seven design themes were developed to produce a unique collection of high quality rugs using wool and silk together to produce varied yarn effects, with some designs also using a technical carving process on the carpet pile, which gives a plush 3D effect to the pattern.

The rug designs were also offered in broadloom Axminster format, so consolidating the worldwide success of the ‘First Weave’ collection and offering unlimited design options for airports, hotels and private residential spaces.

Circles Grey rug by Timorous Beasties/Brintons. Photo: Brintons

Circles Grey rug by Timorous Beasties/Brintons. Photo: Brintons

John Bain and Alistair McAuley agree they have now achieved ‘good synergy’ between the two companies and are planning a third collaboration. This will use Brintons’ new loom which can produce ‘high definition’ weave carpets using up to 32 colours instead of the conventional 8, enabling them to translate Timorous Beasties’ designs into carpets of unrivalled detail and tonal beauty.

Grand Lilac rug showing the carved pile process by Timorous Beasties/Brintons. Photo: Kia Designs

Grand Lilac rug showing the carved pile process by Timorous Beasties/Brintons. Photo: Kia Designs

A £3m investment announced in April this year by Brintons has helped finance continued development of this new ‘high definition’ loom technology at their Kidderminster factory, which offers their customers the most advanced design and technological carpet weaving process available. Brintons’ manufacturing facilities at Kidderminster and Telford are both being expanded and extra staff recruited to add to their current 500-strong workforce, details of which can be found on their website here.

It’s heartening to know then, that Brintons’ new collaboration with Timorous Beasties will maximise the aesthetic output of their new loom technology and that investment will help the British based company to expand its workforce in the UK and hopefully its global product sales.

This Timorous Beasties' design was translated into the Devil Lace Grey rug by Brintons. Photo: Very Designers Block

This Timorous Beasties’ design was translated into the Devil Lace Grey rug by Brintons. Photo: Very Designers Block

See the Brintons Facebook page for photos of Brintons’ John Bain and Timorous Beasties’ Alistair McAuley giving the presentation. Part of this talk also included a fascinating insight by Brintons’ archivist Yvonne Smith, into their extensive carpet design archives, dating from 1783.

This article was written exclusively for Make it British by Jane Walker, founder of Bailey Hills PRINT+WOOL. Before launching her company in 2012 Jane worked for over 20 years as a commercial interior designer for several architects and interior design practices.

Find Jane Walker on Twitter @PrintWool

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