After weeks and months of planning, buying and restoring, last week Wheeler Fabrics added a new (100% cotton) string to its bow with a selection of vintage furniture, gifts and interior accessories. Prices start at a couple of pounds for a 1960s or 70s dress pattern. Our favourite finds include a set of counter-height wooden Sanders & Co. cutlery drawers for £50 and a 1970s vinyl pedestal chair for just £30. New additions to the collection will be made on a weekly basis with photos of new stock posted on twitter as it arrives. Follow @wheelerfabrics for regular updates. Pictures and information are also posted on the Wheeler Fabrics Facebook page. Free delivery of all furniture is offered within Machynlleth, with the option of courier delivery for all other areas.
Over the past year or so, Clarke & Clarke have supplied us with an abundance of cute, candy coloured floral prints. You can picture the sort of thing – lots of reds and pinks, set against duck egg, pale blue and light grey backgrounds.
Nancy, a floral motif set against a choice of nine pastel and neutral shades, is particularly reminiscent of Cath Kidston’s now iconic Rose designs. Not that that’s a bad thing – Clarke & Clarke’s Nostalgic Prints collection struck such a cord with us that we ordered a sample hanger in every available design and colour.
The Romance collection is similarly enchanting and despite offering similar colour ways, gives a somewhat more grown-up, perhaps bohemian look. With their unfinished edges, the patterns on Strawberry and the floral designs, Milly and Abigail look almost hand-painted. The Vintage Classics collection offers a more contemporary alternative, while still remaining faithful to the colour scheme. The bold Apples design and fresh looking Deckchair Stripe sit comfortably alongside the whimsical Bird Trail. The collection is still fairly flower-heavy, though.
With the odd stripe, spot, teacup or fruit(!) thrown in to dilute the flowers, these collections have been a cheery addition to our shop floor. They have attracted a great deal of attention, with customers drooling over the dainty designs and daydreaming aloud about how perfect their living room or bedroom would look with English Rose curtains or a couple of cushions in Hetty and Ditsy Rose. This dreamy look, however, usually disappears with a snap, a shake of the head and an “Ooh, but it wouldn’t really be fair on my husband”, or “I’ve got three sons, they hate flowers”. When the order is ultimately placed, it is very often for a safer design, such as one of the stripes or spots, with the downright girly designs favoured by those decorating a downright girly bedroom.
Fair enough. Masculine, or even “gender neutral” don’t exactly spring to mind when describing Daisy, Ella Stripe or, well, a single design in any of the collections above.
Given the popularity of these particular fabrics, it has been easy to slip into thinking that this is what Clarke & Clarke do. It would certainly be forgivable for them to specialise. After all, there’s a huge market for sweet, floral patterns in pastels and brights, just consider the aforementioned Ms Kidston (and her MBE). This certainly isn’t, however, all that Clarke & Clarke do. Their Spring 2012 designs are wonderfully varied. The Maritime Prints have been inspired by the British seaside and feature a Sail Stripe, which can look fresh in ‘Mineral’, laid back in ‘Sand’ and almost Bostonian in ‘Marine’. The colours across all designs, are mainly blue, white and taupe, with the odd touch of red. Most of the collection would look equally at home in a light-filled office and a small guest bedroom. For a more overtly seaside look, we can choose from the self explanatory Seabirds, Seashells or the sailboats and lighthouses of Skipper.
Sticking to the husband/son-friendly nautical theme but moving away from the beach, we find their new 100% cotton Ticking Stripes. Available in five designs and numerous colour ways, a favourite of ours is the Marlow striped print, in the subtle ‘Duckegg’ colour option. Depending on your choice of colour, fabric from this versatile collection could be seen covering an armchair in an elegant Regency apartment, in the form of a Roman blind in a bachelor pad or even as scatter cushions on a comfy sofa in a family home.
In short, if Clarke & Clarke don’t cater to your needs, we’d like to wish you the best of luck in your search for a company that does and inform you – just in case – that we can arrange for samples of any Clarke & Clarke fabric to be posted to you. You know, just in case……..
All Clarke & Clarke collections are available to order from Wheeler Fabrics on 01654 702463 or www.wheeler-fabrics.co.uk. Prices start at £14.95 per metre plus carriage. Free samples available.
With collection names like “Monaco”, “Sandbanks” and “Mauritius”, you get the (accurate) impression that several Fibre Naturelle designs lean towards a rather coastal theme.
Wheeler Fabrics has been a Fibre Naturelle outlet for years. In recent months, though, their laid back, beachy stripes and checks have become very popular indeed with our customers – and us. Looking back through their books and hangers from years gone by, this beach hut chic look has featured heavily. Their designers seem to have taken a “If it ain’t broke….” approach when it comes to the theme, but have made some tiny, very well judged changes to colour combinations and stripe width. The result? Fresh looking furnishing fabrics which are perfect for adding a current, contemporary twist to a room with almost any style of decor.
Based in Dorset, Fibre Naturelle are regular suppliers of cut lengths to our customers – either by the metre, for use in their own projects, or in the form of bespoke curtains or Roman blinds. You will find several of their hangers and books – as well as a few gorgeous sample lengths – dotted around our shop.
We were recently asked by a customer (who, like many before her, had fallen in love with our sample curtain of “Mauritius” in “Calypso”), why we do not stock any rolls of Fibre Naturelle fabric in the shop. Well, a good question. One to which the answer is simple: space. We are lucky enough to have three floors on which to showcase our fabric, as well as a further two for storage of back-up stock. However, each sample hanger can represent several designs. For instance, the three collections mentioned above total 50 fabrics!
Ordering is very simple, but we like to make it even easier for you. If you like the look of any of these fabrics, you can borrow the sample hanger for up to a fortnight, free of charge. Seeing a fabric in the room for which it is intended can be a big help when it comes to making a decision. It can be surprising how different a fabric can look in different lights and against your furniture, walls, carpet etc. Alternatively, we can order a free sample of your chosen fabric(s) to be posted to you.
Fibre Naturelle’s Sandbanks, Mauritius and Monaco Collections are available from Wheeler Fabrics at £26.95 per metre, plus carriage. Minimum order is two metres. For samples or information on our made-to-measure service, please call us on 01654 702463.
Thanks for visiting the brand new Wheeler Fabrics Blog. If you’re reading this, it’s possible that you’re a dressmaker, patch worker, quilter or a knitter. Maybe you make curtains, or cushion covers, blinds or bedding. You might be the crafty type, with a penchant for hand made brooches and bags. Or perhaps, like us, you just appreciate beautiful, good quality fabric.
If you’re the sort of person who has a stack of fabric in assorted colours, designs and textures sitting in your sewing room, not because you needed any of them, but because you fell in love with each and every piece and simply couldn’t leave the shop (or market stall, website, etc) without it, then we’re going to get along very well indeed.
If you’ve visited our shop in Machynlleth, you will know that we have a lot of fabric. Really, a lot. We stock dress, patchwork, PVC, furnishing and ‘fancy’ fabric (the term we use to describe the abundance of sparkly, shiny, sequinned material on our first floor!), as well as craft and haberdashery supplies, buttons, feathers, cushion pads. Our 2011 stocktake was no mean feat!
You may not, however, know that we carry the largest range of organic bamboo and cotton fabric in the UK, or that we can cut upholstery grade foam to your desired size, or get gorgeous, hand made curtains and blinds made to your specifications. You might not realise that you can order venetian and vertical blinds from us, or that we now sell online via eBay and have a Facebook page.
We will be using this blog to keep you up to date with what’s what at Wheeler Fabrics. Please check back for news and to see photos of new designs and existing favourites.