A Wonderful Week of Q&As: Tasha Textiles, Ottoline and Cloth & Clover

Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting Q&As with three of our Fabric Collective fabric and wallpaper designers: Natasha James (Tasha Textiles), Tania McIvor (Cloth & Clover) and Ottoline de Vries (Ottoline).

Over the course of three days, we were given a privileged peek behind the stunning designs and treated to fascinating talks about where these designers find their inspiration, how they approach the design process, what they consider when producing their fabrics and wallpapers and the joys (and challenges) of bringing their designs to life and to the market. 

The event was a huge success and we are so grateful to the designers and to everyone who attended and contributed with such thoughtful questions. Having the designers in the showroom speaking about their talent and their work was a powerful reminder of the love, passion and painstaking hard work that goes into each and every one of the designs in the collections. 

If you were unable to attend the Q&As (or simply want to relive some of the days' best moments) keep reading for some highlights. 


Natasha James of Tasha Textiles

The Power of Simplicity  

One of the key takeaways from Natasha’s talk was the power of simplicity. She told us how her first-ever design, Circles, was created from a Lino print. The repeated circular pattern was produced from a Lino cut, a process she likened to a ‘potato print’ due to its simplicity. Her second design, Polperro, came from painting brush strokes directly onto cloth. Both designs showcase just how impactful and mesmerising simplicity can be. 

Breathing New Life Into Old Designs   

Discussing one of the new designs in Natasha’s wallpaper collection, French Trellis, Natasha described her process of taking a historic textile and manipulating, editing and transforming it into a pattern that feels both timeless and contemporary. She told us: “I had a bit of chintz that I bought in a textile fair about ten years ago that featured big blousy pink flowers – very pretty but quite blousy – and it had these tiny, almost punctuation dots in between the flowers and so I traced one, enlarged it and then designed around it.” 

The Magic of the Printers

One thing that was very evident during Natasha’s visit was her love and admiration for the printing process. She spoke about how she always looks forward to her visits to the printers and how, while she sees the benefits of using digital printing, her first love will always be the screen printing process because of the texture and depth that it brings to her designs. 


Tania McIvor of Cloth & Clover

From Past to Present 

Tania didn’t only tell us where her inspirations came from – she showed us. Armed with a folder of clips and cuttings, Tania was generous enough to share with us some of the original, historical textiles that planted the seeds for some of her incredible designs. From the embroidered cuff of a Chinese shirt that inspired the Caldecote fabric and wallpaper design to a cutting from a Georgian dress that provided the basis for Cleeve, it was truly enlightening to see these textiles from Tania’s personal collection alongside the designs that they gave life to. 

The Charm of Imperfections

From her talk, it was clear that Tania is a designer who appreciates the more complex, messier and less prescriptive elements of the design and production process. She spoke about how happy accidents and errors can often lead to more interesting, appealing designs and how keeping the inconsistencies from her sources of inspiration is a way of keeping the magic of the original textile alive.

The Question of Colours

When it comes to colours and hues, Cloth & Clover is known and loved for its more subtle, muted approach. Tania talked about her love for these softer tones and how, while others may look to make colours more vivid, she finds that she is always looking to knock colours back further. It's a soft, "lived-in" feeling that she wants to achieve for her collections, a look to reflect the historical inspirations behind the designs. While Tania has her go-to colour combinations that she loves (greens, pinks and blues), she noted the importance of pushing past her comfort zone. For her Netherton design, she wanted to create a more masculine palette and was delighted with the outcome of Celadon which has proved a popular colourway for the design.

Ottoline de Vries of Ottoline

An Unexpected Journey 

With Ottoline's collections bursting with creativity, many of us were surprised to learn that the designer didn't always pursue a creative career path. Instead, she followed in her parents’ footsteps and became a lawyer. It wasn't until she had children and began decorating their rooms that her passion for colour and design truly came alive. Ottoline's house soon became filled with vibrant wallpapers, furniture, and fabrics, which she skillfully brought together to refresh old pieces. As her upcycled designs sold quickly in a friend's shop, Ottoline realised that she had discovered a new path. She continued upcycling furniture but before long, realised that this had its limitations in terms of scaling her business. And besides this, she started to have the desire to create something original, something that no one but her could produce. She enrolled in a graphic design course to learn how to draw on a computer and began designing her own wallpapers and fabrics. Hundreds of designs later, Ottoline honed her skills through trial and error, perfecting her craft until she finally produced designs that satisfied her.


Anyone familiar with Ottoline's designs will know that tulips feature heavily in her work. Being Dutch, the flower holds a special place in Ottoline's heart and she confesses to being drawn not only to the flower's beautiful simplicity but also to the story behind it and its significance in Dutch culture and history. In fact, to accompany her Tulipmania collection, Ottoline wrote a story that details the fascinating Turkish origins of the flower and how the craze for tulips in the Netherlands became so extreme that at one point, bulbs could cost the same as a canal house. 

Wallpaper Borders

During the talk, Ottoline showed us some of her wallpaper borders and explained her reasoning behind adding these to her collection. She noted that many designers, especially independent ones, are recognising the versatility of adding borders and how they can be used to transform a scheme by adding a pop of another colour. For Ottoline, one of the joys of being a designer is watching how people take her designs and style them in ways she could never have imagined. These borders offer more opportunities for playfulness and creativity, whether they are matched with other wallpapers or along the edge of a painted wall.