I started to take some photos using the camera on my phone for the research towards assignment 5. The assignment focuses on the use of textiles in everyday contexts and asks us to consider textiles as artwork, upholstery, curtains. For the purposes of the assignment it looked like a place with a range of and varied use/application of textiles would be most beneficial.
I began simply by taking a photo of textiles in use in the IKEA cafe in Coventry. It’s clear from the photograph below how they’ve used their own fabrics to cover giant lamp shades which hang from the ceiling. These are quite a central feature, and add colour, pattern and interest to the area. But they are the only textiles on show in the cafe.
National Trust Houses; Baddersley Clinton & Packwood House
My second place of research involved visiting two local national trust houses, I knew both had a cafe or indoor seating areas and roughly remembered seeing textiles in use there. The first place I visited was Baddersley Clinton.
In the reception area (see photo left), textiles were used in the form of cushions, fabric padded seats, on lamp shades and as display items in the form of rugs for sale. The fabrics used are soft, woven, linen or wool’s, which fit well with the context of an organisation interested in preserving nature. The choice of orange and a soft grey seem to me to be warm, welcoming colours, which create a sense of cosiness and invitation to enter the space beyond.
The choice of orange colours for the fabrics is also a subtle nod to colours used across the site. For example, in the photograph below the direction towards the house is painted orange.
The second house, Packwood House, had a more varied use of textiles in it’s cafe, as well as some in the entrance way.
The fabric covered lampshade (above), has a botanical pattern, the green leaf or fern printed on it. This botanical theme is mirrored across the textiles used in the entrance and cafe areas. The choice of fabric again was a more natural linen or woven material, in keeping with the context of a National trust property.
In the photograph left, the two upholstered chairs, have a tactile, natural wool like fabric covering. Their coloured buttons provide contrast, and the cushions have a botanical themed print, with a rabbit on/plants. These seats in the entrance way, provide a sense of welcoming, places to rest. But also reinforce the idea you are entering a place of nature or even exploration.
Inside the cafe there was a variety of upholstered chairs and sofas. The sofa in the image left had a leather (or leather look) finish but kept in with the colour scheme of grey and green. The cushions, one with a botanical print, the other a textured green keep that theme running.
In the photo left, a sofa seat has been fitted against the window, the leather fabric here also could be seen as a practical choice for easy wiping/cleaning. The cushions are a different shape here, I guess to add variety, but they keep that same green colour for continuity.
The final textile item in the cafe came in the form of rugs or blankets left in a basket by the entrance to an outside patio space. These provide customers with additional warmth outside, but also have an additional value of adding a sense of ‘homeliness’ or welcome to the space. It’s a thoughtful extra.