Artefact Facts

Craft is universally admired, respected and appreciated. Handmade is now high-value. But it’s not just the making process which inspires, it is also the “back story” of the object.

What happened after its creation? Re-discovered, unearthed and uncovered, these objects reveal clues to the past, our rituals and daily life.

Our design team love to research antique textiles and objects. We want to capture the broken threads, the nuanced colours and their time-worn handwriting for the new patterns in our “Artefact” story; one of the four inspirations for our product developments.

The Newhey designers recently made a visit to our local Whitworth Gallery, here in Manchester. The gallery’s textile archive is acknowledged as internationally important. Their catalogue reflects both Manchester’s significance in the history of world textiles and the gallery’s early industrial links. Today, as evidence of the global trade in textiles that built the city’s wealth and reputation during the Industrial Revolution, the Whitworth is home to around 20,000 dress and textile objects from across the world. They span from the third century AD to the present. What a fantastic resource, right on our doorstep!

Our Industrial heritage is also all around us here on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border. A visit to our yarn spinners and dyers will uncover all kinds of treasure. Objects from another time but still in daily use also give up their human story. This Industrial archaeology, its burnished and rusted metals, is great inspiration for carpets in even the most contemporary of interiors.

A simple object is so much more beautiful and interesting when it shows a time-worn uniqueness or eccentricity. Artefacts have a strong sense of “place”. The symbolism adds further meaning to the feeling of a space.

The handwriting of a treasured object gives us a way to add something precious to the more commonplace. If we capture what is unique from our inspiration, the outcome will be richer.

Not all artefacts are old! Everyday objects inlaid with brass, copper or gold become treasure. For carpet, we can use velvet and twist yarn combinations to give a burnished look within a design.

By their nature, historical objects are mellow in colour but with a natural depth. Colours in our “Artefact” palette are inspired by woods, stone, clay and metal inlays. Brown is definitely a key player in the palette. It adds a richness; a feeling of heritage and revival.

Wool also adds a visual and historical depth to the story. Its natural low-lustre and texture maintain a link with a very traditional industry.

The next visit for the design team will be to Liverpool Museums and Galleries. More about that soon!