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The Alternative Blog


Woven Textile Designer and Creative Director of Margo Selby Ltd.

Margo’s Background

Margo Selby is a woven fabric designer who produces contemporary textile products which take weaving to a new level with innovative mixtures of yarn, graphic pattern and colour.

Margo trained at Chelsea College of Art and Design and The Royal College of Art. Responding to the overwhelming demand for her fabrics following her graduation, Margo began to develop relationships with weaving mills to explore the possibilities of production and launched her first collection in 2003. It was at this point that she united her innovative hand-woven structures with industrial machinery to create the first collection of fabrics sold under the Margo Selby brand.

Today, Margo’s weaving expertise is central to all the product development. Connecting with the materials in a hands-on way whilst weaving on a hand-loom enables a greater understanding of the construction and behaviour of the final product.  The textile ideas begin on a 24-shaft dobby loom and are then developed into production with specialist mills. Margo unites the very best weavers with high quality fibres and innovative constructions to produce beautifully crafted, striking textile products.

The hand loom and the craft of weaving is central to all product development and this is clearly seen in the Margo Selby for Alternative Flooring carpet collection – inspired by deflected double weave handwoven cloths that Margo has been developing on her hand loom in the studio over the past 7 years.

The Margo Selby for Alternative Flooring collection is inspired by a collection of deflected double weave hand-woven cloths that I have been developing on my hand loom in the studio. I am excited with my first flooring collaboration and see both carpet and colour coming back into fashion. I am proud to be part of a booming craft scene in the UK. Making on a hand loom was an integral part of the design process for my first carpets, the designs were originally produced as soft silk and wool fabrics and have been blown up and re-coloured to make them suitable for flooring. The graphic colour combinations with contrasting light and dark shades give a deep textural feel to this new patterned carpets and runners.’

Shuttle Silas, Margo Selby for Alternative Flooring

Margo Selby Textile Directions :

 Using pattern in the home

Colour and pattern can be used to give a rich textural quality to a room. I love travelling and have been looking at lots of indigenous textiles over the past two years. I currently love to combine inspiration from Japanese textiles which are sophisticated and delicate with pattern from African tribal designs which are bold and rhythmic. I am constantly gathering images and ideas and collating these into cohesive groups, which can then be translated into fabric collections.

Attention to detail

I also like to explore technical constructions on my hand loom, combining fibres and structure to innovate new fabrics and patterns.  To give our fabrics depth we pay close attention to all the details. Our latest collections are woven on tiny striped warps to add texture to solid colours.

Slow Textiles

Our design philosophy is focused on careful development, taking into consideration the materials and processes used. I am always interested in exploring new techniques, both traditional and new, working closely with specialist suppliers to develop a strong understanding of these in order to generate great design that is long lasting.

Alternative Flooring are a unique British carpet manufacturer who have a similar design philosophy to us, in that they believe creating a carpet or textile is both a craft and an art. The way they make carpets is part of a time-honoured tradition and employs the expertise of skilled craftsmen at every stage.  The designs for Alternative Flooring are inspired by our woven fabrics. ‘Shuttle’ is derived from our handwoven deflected double cloth weaves, whilst ‘Fair Isle’ takes inspiration from our silk jaquard collection. Like many of our designs the patterns are inspired by the process of weaving and the uniformed geometric shapes reflect the structured nature of the craft.

Hand weaving is still at the heart of the designs we produce with many ideas starting on the looms in the studio. Currently I have been working on a series of designs using a Lampas weave which I learned at ANAT (Atelier National D’ Art Textile) in Paris. In keeping with my ongoing fascination with colours and how they relate to each other, I am focusing on soft, tonal shades applied in simple geometric shapes.

Alternative Flooring Quirky B Collection 

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The Edit - home style by Alternative