You'll see Fermoie's colourful cotton and linen shades in the bedrooms and club spaces at Soho House Mumbai, Soho House Amsterdam and Soho Farmhouse. They're made in England using a combination of natural dyes, traditional fabrics and cutting-edge printing technology that produces an effect that is timeless, suiting every interior from modern apartment to country cottage. We visited Fermoie's factory and studio in Marlborough where Jamie Shawcross told us more about what goes into making these fabrics.

'Fermoie was founded in 2012 by Martin Ephson and Tom Helme, friends from schooldays who went on to create the modern day Farrow & Ball. Our big mission was to bring back the enjoyment of printing, so that people didn’t just look at the pattern but also at the printing itself saying ‘that is incredibly beautiful, however do they do that?’

Six years after selling Farrow & Ball Tom suggested to Martin that they create Fermoie. Tom trained as an Interior Designer under David Mlinaric, and latterly worked as a decoration advisor to The National Trust. His enormous understanding and sense of colour, as well as his love of early printed textiles from around the world can be seen in all that Fermoie produce, from the launch collection of seven patterns printed on cotton, through to all that the studio create today, printing on cotton, linen and a union of the two.'

'We design in-house, and print using rotary screens in our own factory on the edge of the Savernake Forest in Wiltshire. Tom knew that the printing effect he wanted to create could only be achieved by using rotary screens, giving the ability to print traditionally with a light touch to create a subtle impression but with the depth of a woven fabric. Colours are all created in-house using natural pigments, and the light touch print combined with hand drawn designs and base cloths woven with distinct texture are what we think make us special.

Our printing machine is Austrian; Tom visited Mumbai to see similar machines in action printing shirting material and recognised that whilst we would use the machinery in a very different way, the flexibility and technology available were just what we needed to bring his and Martin’s ideas to life. A year later the installation in Marlborough began and many months of trialling, learning and understanding the capabilities of the machine and the team followed. Our studio led this process, whilst hand drawing each design, creating each new colour and working with our weavers in the North of England to create the cloths that would compliment our print technique.'

Designed by nature

'We now have a range of twenty seven patterns, printed on three cloths and a range of lampshades and cushions too. Our recent collections bring in texture, colour, rhythm and pattern. Our Autumn 2017 launch was inspired by travels in Sicily, by the Art Deco buildings along the waterfront, the striped loungers on the beaches, the mist that hangs in the mountains and the bubbles in the waves on the water. We are trying to create a story, an atmosphere, a sense of place, taking all those elemental textures and translating them in to mark making.'

Paint by numbers

'There is a beauty in the mystery of how we print, and it has taken years of development and innovation, all on a steep learning curve. We print to order, dispensing colour from carefully recorded recipes, which is then checked on a spectrometer. We understand our cloths and the variables in each batch before we print, working with our weavers and finishers to strive for great consistency.'

Put it in print

'Paints are poured into troughs which then tip into screens which are laser engraved with each design having up to three screens used to print. Screens are lowered onto the fabric on our print blanket and rotate, giving full colour and impression only after three rotations, the print then revealed in all it’s entirety, travelling from the print blanket up into the drying ovens above.'

A different cloth

'We present the range by colour rather than by pattern; Reds, Yellows, Greens, Blues and Neutrals laid out online and in our showroom and studio in ‘lay order’, dark reds through to light neutrals making the full collection visible at a glance and showing how well all sit together. It’s a pleasing view from our desks whether in Marlborough or in London, one that makes us smile every day and inspires us to seek new colour and new pattern.'

Soho House Mumbai

You will see Fermoie's printed shades in the bedrooms at Soho House Mumbai.