“Of the rugs which I have seen, only yours have got enough character as a background for my new designs of furniture to be exhibited at ‘La Triennale di Milano’, please can you weave for this exhibition a rug of approximately nine by seven feet”. Taken from a letter by Robin Day to Gerd Hay-Edie, 1951.
Mourne Textiles has reissued the 1951 La Triennale di Milano rug designed by Gerd Hay-Edie, founder of Mourne Textiles. The Milano rug is included in the Mourne Textiles collection available at Margaret Howell. Hand woven on the original loom, using the same materials and techniques Gerd used over sixty years ago, each rug takes 3 weeks to complete. The reissue design is produced on a linen warp, combining looped wool yarns and hand twisted unspun fleece to create a rich surface effect.
In 1950 Gerd showed her first collection of rugs to The Design Council in London, her designs were accepted by the Council and photographs sent to leading designers, including Robin Day, for consideration in future commissions and collaborations. Robin Day first presented Gerd’s designs in 1951 at La Triennale di Milano and The Festival of Britain, the new rug was shown in an exhibition room set alongside Robin Day’s furniture, etched panels by Geoffrey Clarke and ceramics by Hans Coper and Lucie Rie.
100% Wool/Linen/Unspun Hand Twisted Fleece. 175 x 117cms
Available to order at our 34 Wigmore Street, London shop.
Mourne Textiles has been weaving for over half a century from their workshop at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland. The family business was established by Gerd Hay-Edie, a Norwegian design pioneer who became a noted creative force in the mid-century design movement, working on collaborations with Robin Day for Hille, Terence Conran and Liberty to produce bespoke upholstery fabrics and rugs. Gerd’s interpretations of traditional Irish tweeds were admired by the fashion industry and used to produce innovative clothing fabrics for Irish designer Sybil Connolly in the mid 1950’s.
Today Mourne continues to source yarns from Donegal, custom dying the wool and linen to match the heritage pieces originally created by Gerd, thereby ensuring modern production remains true to the history and traditions of the workshop. The yarns are intrinsic to Mourne’s Irish-Scandinavian roots, providing a warm, rich and textured quality to contemporary designs, each a testament to Gerd’s classic and timeless style.
View more items from Mourne Textiles here.
‘This year we needed to move our women’s London Fashion Week show to accommodate the growing number of guests. I knew I wanted something with the working space and spirit of our Wigmore Street shop and that’s hard to find. So my thanks go to the team at Open House London Weekend for suggesting Rambert. This recently opened building is a functional space with strong associations of movement, energy and style. After all, I design my clothes with just that kind of freedom, life and natural grace in mind. What better place to show them than where dance is made?’
— Margaret Howell
The Rambert building, designed by Allies and Morrison Architects and completed in December 2013, will be open to the public on Saturday 20 September during this year’s Open House London Weekend. Rambert is Britain’s national dance company.
Open House London is the capital’s largest annual architectural festival, buildings and public spaces of all types and periods are accessible, free of charge, to encourage greater public appreciation of urban spaces and the built environment. Open House London Weekend 20–21 September 2014.
‘Ideal’ fish and chip shop, London, 1958
‘Ideal’ fish and chip shop, London, 1958
In support of RIBA’s (Royal Institute of British Architects) new exhibition that opens today, Ordinary Beauty: The Photography of Edwin Smith, Margaret has curated an online gallery of her favourite images from the exhibition.
‘You can’t fault Edwin Smith’s eye. There’s not a single photograph in the RIBA’s extensive collection that is not beautifully composed. The way he captures the spirit of place takes me right there. I love that he chose subjects that seem modest, even unpromising, then transformed them with technical assurance and vision. His images of Britain have a truth I recognise and feel at one with.’
- Margaret Howell
View the online gallery here.
Margaret Howell has produced a 2015 calendar in conjunction with the exhibition. The calendar is available to buy on our website.
Ordinary Beauty: The Photography of Edwin Smith. RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1
10 September – 6 December 2014
More information here
The first book from ARCA, Archive for Rural Contemporary Architecture, SLACKLANDS by Corinna Dean challenges conventional aesthetics by inviting the reader to take a journey to uncompromising rural structures, to contemplate their uneasy existence and reflect on how these buildings have impacted on the surrounding natural environment.
‘Parts of East Anglia are rich in bunkers, pillboxes and observation posts, as well as airfields and coastal defences. Some might scorn the word ‘rich’, dismiss them as concrete eyesores and wish they’d go away. Should we care if they disappear? I think we should and for at least two reasons; cultural and aesthetic.
First, these relics and the many similar ones to be found around the country, tell us directly about our history. Second, they often weather to take on a mysterious beauty of their own and become an intrinsic part of our land and seascapes, which are all the richer for them’ – Margaret Howell
ARCA, seeks to build awareness around an alternative rural idyll by drawing into the public consciousness crucial buildings of the twentieth century in rural contexts. arca-projects.com
Exhibition designed by Ben Mclaughlin and Corinna Dean, featuring selected images from the book at our Wigmore Street shop from 9 May – 1 June