The London-based design studio Wallace Sewell was established by Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell after graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1990. Both women trained as weavers, and all of their products are designed by hand on the loom. The fabrics are then woven on power looms, with careful attention given to maintaining the qualities of a hand-weave. All of their yarns are sourced from British companies, and are woven at a mill in Lancashire. The studio also works with a finisher in Yorkshire. In addition to their line of fashion and home accessories, Wallace Sewell has created fabrics for the London Underground, Overground trains, Croydon trams and the East London Transit.
Both the aesthetic and the working methods of the Bauhaus weavers have strongly influenced Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell. They keep traditional dobby looms in their London studio, and use them to work out their ideas, but all of their products are woven on power looms. They are inspired by the capabilities and the limitations of traditional weaving, and have a broad range of skills for translating their hand-woven ideas into industrial techniques, and to maximize efficiency at the mill. Combining a fascination for woven structure, intuitive understanding of yarn properties, and a masterful color sense, Wallace and Sewell create such a variety of colors and textures within each fabric that each one feels bespoke.
Employing a simple double-cloth structure, like a traditional coverlet, and twisting together single ply yarns to develop a sophisticated palette of browns, greens and blue-grays, this lambswool blanket has an abstract composition that calls to mind the early tapestry work of Anni Albers and Gunta Stolzl. The use of color mixing and the overall columnar aspect of the design also relate beautifully to the Asante strip-woven cloths of Ghana.