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Crazy about Criss Cross


Collaborating with Christopher Farr Cloth is always a joy and developing my Criss Cross design was no exception. Criss Cross is a highly versatile, textured weave made up into four unique colourways, all of which have established themselves as firm favourites for upholstery and cushions at the Kit Kemp Design Studio.

We wanted to create a vibrant weave that incorporated a small repetitive motif. We explored different shapes, squares, dots, but settled with a simple ‘X’ shape. It looks so striking repeated in neat rows between a multitude of stripes. This motif is representative of a fabric stitch, in particular the uneven cross-stitch that joins together old South American blankets which I’m so fond of. Their hand looms only allowed a narrow width so fragments were later hand stitched together to form large patchwork blankets.

With all weaves, getting the texture right is key and here we wanted to carry through the blanket inspiration to the feel as well as the look. It needed to retain a soft blanket-like quality but durability was essential. We were led by the expertise of the family run weaving mill we work with in Belgium and we are so happy with the result.

Colour, as always, was a vital element. Each of the four colourways has a distinct vibe, covering a wide spectrum of design aesthetics.

In the vibrant Library at Number Sixteen we have used the green colourway on the sofa. We often railroad striped fabrics on upholstery but here the horizontal stripes are a perfect contrast against the vertical lines of the walling fabric.

In room 510 at Crosby Street Hotel, we have used the same green colourway on one of our oversized headboards. It sits in perfect harmony against my Travelling Light fabric on the walls, again used horizontally to draw your eye across, adding width to the room.

In room 211 at Covent Garden Hotel, we have upholstered a pair of West Timber Tub Chairs piped with a sharp yellow leather pipe. I love how the lines of the fabric hug the curves of the chair so elegantly. The subtle addition of yellow and aqua tones in this colourway adds depth and makes it so original and versatile.

In this Suite at Ham Yard Hotel, we have used the Aqua colourway on the sofa, here railroaded so the lines run vertically. This powerful yet neutral colourway has grey undertones but the aqua and terracotta criss crosses pull it away from feeling cold.

In the Meadow Suite at Crosby Street Hotel in New York, we have upholstered a sofa and our Whitby Chair in the same Aqua colourway.

It feels fresh whilst adding interest with its subtle pattern and texture.

The Indigo colourway is brave and bold, here used on a pair of armchairs and again as sofa cushions in Haymarket Hotel’s Suffolk Suite.

The indigo base, blue and red ‘X’s and the flashes of white make it so striking and easy to use within a scheme. In this scheme the blue criss cross ties in seamlessly with the antique Swedish Chest and blue mirror above the mantle.

We love using our fabrics in a multitude of ways so came up with a fun Perspex tray design to showcase some of our favourites. Here we have encased ‘Criss Cross’ Indigo, perfect for afternoon tea.

As we start to feel festive (despite lockdown!), why not pick up your very own Criss Cross stocking, available at Shop Kit Kemp!

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