Introducing the woman born in 1886 who inspired our Gawthorpe collaboration
With the world in a state of disarray, we’re finding ourselves looking back to the past a little more often than usual. While many of you will be thinking of pre-Covid holidays, a maskless society and ‘precedented’ times, it’s unlikely you’ve been thinking back as far as 1780.
But for our latest flooring collaboration, that’s exactly where we’ve been drawing inspiration.
Here’s a bite-sized history lesson for you.
Back in the year 1886, when Queen Victoria sat on the throne and the first ever Crufts show was held in London, Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth MBE was born. By the time she died in 1967, she’d lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, dozens of fashion trends, and the birth of rock ‘n’ roll.
Living through such a turbulent period is quite a feat in itself, but Rachel was also a talented maker, teacher, philanthropist and social activist. Throughout her life, she collected over 11,000 samples of fabric, tools and objects.
To put this in perspective, if you spent just a minute looking at each item, it would take you over a week to get through them all. That’s quite the collection!
Rachel’s ultimate dream was to create a craft house that held her entire collection, where she could pass on her wealth of knowledge and craft expertise. The collection, which now stands at more than 30,000 items, is housed at her childhood home – National Trust property Gawthorpe Hall and the collection is looked after by the charity Gawthorpe Textiles.
So, what does that have to do with us?
For the Floor and More has collaborated with Gawthorpe Textiles to bring a fresh collection of vinyl flooring, inspired by fabric samples taken from Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth’s collection.
Each one of the designs is named after a person in Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth’s family, and each one tells a story steeped in history.
The ‘Selina’ design has a striking botanical abstract design and is named after Selina Adine Bridgeman, who married Captain Lawrence Ughtred Kay-Shuttleworth. Lawrence was killed in action in WWI, leaving Selina with a family to bring up. The ‘Selina’ design began life on a silk dress circa 1950, before being adapted into three new colourways for our collaboration.
The grey colourway has a retro feel, while the pink colourway would make an excellent addition to a kids’ playroom. The deep green would work well in any room of the house, but we think it particularly lends itself to a bathroom – paired with forest green towels and yellow bathroom accessories.
Next up is ‘Blanche’, which has been adapted from a silk design circa 1900.
This design is named after Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth’s mother, who married the 1st Baron Shuttleworth – Sir Ughtred Kay-Shuttleworth – in 1871.
The original geometric design was in a light jade green colourway, and the collection mirrors that, with one colourway in a muted sage hue. ‘Blanche’ also comes in a salmon pink which adds a feminine feel to the room, as well as an eye-catching orange which is sure to bring the sunshine indoors on even the dreariest of days, and almost embodies a Moroccan feel.
This design is ‘Janet’, named after Janet Shuttleworth. Janet was the reason the Kay-Shuttleworth name was created: she was the heiress to the Gawthorpe Hall estate, and when she married Dr. James Kay in 1842 the family name became Kay-Shuttleworth.
The ‘Janet’ pattern takes inspiration from a cotton bedspread circa 1780-1820 – when George III was on the throne. ‘Janet’ comes in a navy blue which would be perfect for a kitchen, as well as a subtle purple. The other shades in the pattern can be matched to your interior accessories to create an effortless put-together look for your home.
Last but certainly not least, we have the ‘Eve’ pattern.
‘Eve’ is named after Eve de Hulton, the wife of Henry De Shotilworth. She was the first Shuttleworth to live at Gawthorpe and built the Pele Tower to defend against Scottish attacks all the way back in 1325.
The floral pattern comes in a soft yellow tone with pink and white accents, as well as a rich green with flecks of salmon and fuschia.
So, take another look at your floor. Does it tell a story?
Is it the story of “old flooring we’ve been dreaming of changing for a while”, when it could be, “historical works of art from centuries gone by, modernised for the current era”?
Click here to meander through the Gawthorpe Textile Collection range within our classic flooring designs.
Still looking to feed your history fix? For more on Gawthorpe Hall and the Shuttleworth’s fascinating history, a good starting point as always is the Wikipedia article so pop the kettle on, curl up and prepare to be taken back through time!
If you’re up for more flooring inspiration, click the link for more patterned vinyl flooring ideas.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check back as the collection grows.
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