21 November 2011

A Fabric Adventure: Charlotte Moss, for Fabricut

Caroline, Lady Canning in India

Charlotte Moss has just introduced her new fabric collection with FABRICUT.
I had the chance to finger the cuttings last month in her offices.

 photo by Jason Rothenberg
 Charlotte with friends at the beach- breaking all the rules-
while looking super chic wearing her fabric, CAROLINE
Her Mercedes is upholstered in the fabric-FANNY.


FANNY, at left, is one of my favorite fabrics in the collection. It was inspired by a pair of pantaloons Charlotte found in Asia. Fanny is a faux grain pattern double cloth that gives it a great hand-something that is always key in my own selection of fabrics. 
Consider this for a Dining Room- why not cover chair seats and add a couple of odd antique tall back chairs, curtains with a big double border trim like Berlin,Charlotte's fretwork tape,and lots of polished wood. 
How about on the walls with the same trim along the top and bottom?

APHRA is a denim twill. By exposing more of the weft, Aphra makes more of an impact than a typical denim. I searched for good colors in a denim twill this summer and came up empty. I think this fabric will meet the needs of many rooms- Kitchen banquettes, Dorm room sofas (my search),  top stitched and monogrammed spreads for twin beds, game room sofas- and slipcovers-of course.

This to the trade collection is stellar. It is a breath of fresh air & an ode to the traditions of the great English fabric houses of the past . The collection is inspired by Charlotte's antiques, her many varied collections, including her vintage fabric documents. Her raison d'etre for the collection's fabric names is her admiration for women travelers and explorers that crossed barriers to pursue excitement and discover-new territory and perhaps themselves. They followed their dreams, in spite of physical and societal limitations, and that is what inspires me today and into the future. CM

As with everything Charlotte touches-there must be a story-an Inspiration.

The palette of Charlotte's Collection is clear.
Her Blues are Delft. Bluebell, Forget Me Not & Blueberry.


AMELIA, above & below

Collage is Charlotte's own version of "patchwork, "so including  AMELIA was natural. Amelia was derived from an antique patchwork fragment and colored to suit the collection. Wouldn't Amelia be perfect in a guest room-again wall to wall! I can not imagine tiring of this fabric. Add old starched linens, some yellows-with this Bluebell colorway and a timeless room begins to take shape. In its Rose colorway Amelia is perfect for a young girl's bedroom-and will grow with her.

One of Charlotte's beautiful collages from her book- Charlotte Moss Decorates.

Charlotte's idea of  the perfect collection is one that is fresh- of the moment-but not one that follows trends. 

HARRIET, below, is perhaps the most formal fabric in the collection & by far the most luxe of them all. I fell for this fabric in all the colorways. It plays as an expensive European cut velvet and I thought immediately of using it for a pair of chairs in a Master Bedroom project I am working on in the color Currant.

HARRIET, in Currant 

 patterns from Owen Jones, The Grammar of Ornament-Elizabethan

Harriet- below, in Midnight

Another favorite in this Collection is CHARLOTTE. An embroidery, Charlotte comes in eight fresh colors- all with white embroidery. This design is taken from an antique garden gate from Charlotte's archives.  The hand of Charlotte is rich and strong-reminiscent of an embroidery cloth itself- this one of linen and cotton.

CHARLOTTE in Delft, above & below in Peony

Charlotte is named for Countess Canning, the first Vicereine of India. Charlotte, Lady Canning, was born to the daughter of British Ambassador, Charles Stuart, but nothing prepared her for her India Adventure. She found it hard going and wrote in detail about her life in India to friend and Queen-Victoria.  The V& A houses over 300 of her drawings-the result of her years of observations in India.

Elizabeth Stuart,Lady Stuart de Rothesay, and Her Daughters, Charlotte (Later Countess Canning),& Louisa (Later Marchioness of Waterford)by George Hayter

Lady Canning's Watercolours of India, from the V&A

CAROLINE is a beautifully scaled cotton print. A collector of  American baskets, Charlotte wanted Caroline to have a modern graphic appeal.

 see more here

The ground of CAROLINE is a basket weave. Charlotte is wearing a skirted version of Caroline, but I can see Caroline in a bright Sunroom-full out- on everything. Walls, Curtains, furniture. As the focus of a room it takes on a decidedly European feel-or used in a monochromatic room of white as pillows, (oversize please)  it is a very graphic jolt. Either way, Caroline will make an impact.

Caroline in Rattan

Charlotte's Greening of a Collection-

fabrics from the Collection in Grass, Clover, Kiwi & Granny Smith to be exact.

as a Slipper above-& on the chair covered in THALIEN, below

A spicy version of THALIEN in melons and oranges. This colorway is my favorite. Thalien is a linen and cotton interpretation of the Indienne paisleys the French were mad for in the late 18th century. Thalein would be beautiful anywhere-in a den or even a formal Living Room. Use it like the French would- again on everything- Walls, Windows, every single chair and sofa in the room.
Oh- and don't forget the slippers!

a shadow box with sculpted botanical by artist Carmen Almon
photograph by Charlotte Moss

& Thalien's namesake, Madame Thalien, painted by Jean-Bernard Duvivier in a high-waisted dress she made famous perched in velvet cushions & draperies along with a paisley cashmere shawl.

 Madame Thalien

This is a Collection that will Inspire you!
-make you think about your rooms and what they might be a little differently.
It will give you a taste for being more adventurous when you are imagining your rooms.

photograph by Pieter Estersohn from Charlotte Moss Decorates

Charlotte's Collection for Fabricut has been in the making for some time-it takes time to create.
She writes, "I have designed this collection not as a group of fabrics that just seem to nicely go together, but rather as rooms, because that is what I have been doing my entire career."

This Collection tells a story-
and you are the author.

there are many other fabrics in Charlotte's Collection- for a glimpse go to Fabricut here
& to Charlotte Moss here
other fabrics mentioned in this article are named for - Fanny Kemble, Aphra Behn, Queen Caroline, Amelia Edwards, Harriet Martineau.

all photographs and color quotations provided by Charlotte Moss & used with permission.



  1. Adore Charlotte Moss! Adored this post!! Thank you. :)

  2. A lovely collection, that signboard should have a header 'No Fun Allowed' !!

  3. O, what delight to look through! Will be back later for a more complete read!

  4. I love those fabrics! They have a bit of adventurous Kipling in them. My own daughter Charlotte will surely follow in the footsteps of such good taste.

  5. I would like to see additional colorways, but I predict great success for Fanny and Aphra, especially.
    __ The Devoted Classicist

  6. Gaye, my copy of Rooms arrived yesterday, you are right, this book is to die for!! I've been in the mood for sumptuous, old world interiors and this more than fills the bill. Apropos your post, I noticed that Nureyev wears an ikat jacket in one of the photos in Rooms. Charlotte Moss's fabrics capture so many moods from breezy to formal, and wonderful colors! The slippers are divine. Thanks for sharing your taste and expertise!

  7. Gaye, I forgot to say, Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

  8. Oh, this is lovely. I'll have to come back as I'm rushing to the market. I saw the word "fabric" & had to stop in. Posts like this one make me wish my mother would learn how to look at things on the web. Nothing else,just look & read. Just lovely, Gaye. Thanks. And yes, happy Thanksgiving!


  9. Wow - what a beautiful collection!! I love it all but Thalien might just be my favorite - it reminds me of those classic vintage Braquenié patterns I love so much!! And of course just adore the names!!



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