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The Tartan Fox

My name is Jemima Roberts and I have a small textile design business called The Tartan Fox. The Tartan Fox is a rural business set in the heart of the Shropshire countryside. The rural location of my business is very apparent in my designs, as most feature the animals that surround me in nature. From an elusive fox to a flamboyant pheasant to a bustling hen. A whole array of countryside and coastal characters adorn my work through appliqué. 

Following my degree in Textile Design BA Hons at University College Falmouth, I got a job as a Wardrobe Assistant at Blists Hill Victorian Town Museum. There I made Victorian costumes and learnt the art of dressmaking. It was along side my job here that I came up with the idea for my business. This was 10 years ago and I felt that there was a gap in the market for countryside-inspired home textiles.

I began with just using predominantly tartans, but as time went by I felt the desire to be more creative with my work. This, paired up with the fact that I was getting people giving me fabrics, such as their late grandmothers fabric hoards etc. I felt the need to utilise these fabrics. Fabrics that were otherwise destined for landfill because of being dated or unfashionable. After experimenting, I realised that these dated fabrics, teamed with more luxurious fabrics such as tweed and velvets, could create a unique and more contemporary piece. It was at this point that my business really evolved to what it is today.

My cushions involve choosing and selecting fabrics in a chosen colour scheme. I hand cut each piece of fabric by eye and place them together like a jigsaw puzzle. These pieces are stuck down in place and then stitched over several times creating an interesting and cohesive design. I create both ‘off the peg’ cushions, such as my popular designs of hares and pheasants, my best sellers, as well as commissioned cushions. Offering a bespoke service making personalised cushions if customers pets etc is a popular element to my business. I stock 7 retail outlets, as well as my online Etsy shop.

When I choose the colours for my designs based on the seasons, ie warm jewel-tones in the winter and brighter fresher colours in the summer. I also gain inspiration from interior trends and find certain colours sell better than others. Sometimes, it’s the animal that I’ve chosen for the cushion that dictates the colours that I use and sometimes it’s just a case of whatever takes my fancy. When putting together fabrics, I like to choose a variety of textures as well as a mixture of patterns and tones creating a design that is both aesthetically pleasing, but tactile too.

Many people have said that my cushions are like works of art and they are in a sense. Each cushion is unique and one-off and so, I would like to start producing more stitched pieces of art. Customers can adorn their walls as well as their sofas with my work!

Thank you to Jemima for sharing with us a wonderful insight into her business. We love the colour combinations of her velvet cushions. The attention to detail is fantastic, creating a fun piece of art for your home.

If you would like to find out more about The Tartan Fox. Or would like to purchase one of Jemima’s unique creations. You can find her on Instagram or on her Etsy shop.

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