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Coffee with... Diane from Gainsborough

6th December 2021
Diane From Gainsborough

With more than a 100 years experience of producing silk here in the UK, Gainsborough are one of the industry leaders for creating damask, toile and stripe silk fabrics that have been awarded a Royal Warrant for their use in Royal palaces, stately buildings and grand residences all over the world. Join us as we learn a bit more about this British treasure...

Gainsborough, established in 1903 is one of the oldest working commercial mills in England, what are the biggest changes you have seen in recent years?

The introduction and development of electronic jacquards and design systems has allowed the company to evolve and become more flexible in the type of fabrics we are able to offer. The internet has also played a huge part in the ability to market our product/services with websites and social media etc.

In some cases looms are up to 100 years old, and despite their age still produce the beautiful cloth for which you are best known, how important is preserving and using traditional techniques to you?

It is very important, it keeps the history of the company alive and also allows continuation of the production of the some of the finest quality furnishing fabrics in the world (that sounds like a big statement, but one which we believe to be true).


Gainsborough has helped furnish some of the most influential and important buildings around the world, producing many fabrics for the British Royal Family which include amongst others; Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Winsor Castle and The Houses of Parliament, what has been your standout location?

 It is so difficult to choose just one, as we have so many influential and interesting projects that we are and have been involved with, the one’s that we can’t speak about are the one’s that probably standout the most. The weaving of the new St Paul’s Cathedral vestments was something to be proud of as was the refurbishment of the Goring Hotel Royal Suite in readiness for the wedding of Kate and William.


You also work with individual designers and commission weaves, commended for approaching projects with an ethos of bespoke design and creating unique fabric solutions, how important is this service today?

 The Bespoke service that we offer has increasingly become the main stay of our business over recent years due to our small order quantity together with our flexibility.


What can we expect for the future from the Gainsborough brand?

 We are aiming to produce a range of eye catching, as well as contemporary fabrics. A mix of traditional damask design with the colours of the modern interior.

Do you follow any style rules in your home?

 I prefer to have a mix of the old and new……. eclectic and contemporary work well, I find.


Who do you think is the current most influential designer?

 It’s impossible to choose just one designer, we take inspiration from so many.


Which is your favourite town/city, and why?

 Bath and York have got to be my favourites….. I just love their wealth of history.


Do you shop online? What are your favourite online stores?

 It’s got to be the App Store!


What do like best about

 There’s a great choice available with an interesting mix of styles. There’s some very helpful information and informative links.


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