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nature trail carpet

Nature Trail by stoddard.
100% pure new wool with 8 colourways and 2 textures

Naturals have come full circle. It's where textured floorcoverings started. There was nothing like dried rushes over the floor. Tastes and expertise developed through woven fabrics and hand knotted pile rugs until the loop pile of Wilton and Brussels weave - remember those hard-up years when all we could get were jute or even paper cord carpets? In the early '50's Christopher Boyle, an enterprising importer from Leeds, brought us cord carpets made with sisal, from Czechoslovakia. Soon, a number of manufacturers were in the market but it took Tintawn to create a look which is still remembered. This Irish factory produced fabulous colours in wider widths ideal for wall-to-wall fitting. Tintawn sisal carpets made a fashion statement. Along with Heals, Habitat, Biba, Hille, The Design Centre, those stacking polypropylene chairs, David Hicks and oversized bean bags, Tintawn was up there with the style icons.

Before this, sisal had little going for it. It was rough, uncomfortable, water absorbent, difficult to clean and dull. And that was it's biggest failing, it was dull. The Tintawn look however, caught the imagination. Inspiring shades, exciting photography and best of all, inexpensive to buy, it took off.

In turn, the austerity which propagated the sales of sisal gave way to a growing wealth which inspired fibre and machinery development. The public began to demand soft, wall-to-wall carpets with plenty of choice at all price points and in all fibres. To use the phrase of the day, sisal, for a few years at least, was "Non-U".

Tintawn however, with it's growing expertise in producing textures, was ahead of the game. Turning to 100% wool the company started to make loop pile Wilton rugs in beautiful textures and neutral colours. Then, in the early 1970's, the berber look took hold. Berbers, based on the cloth originally made by the North African tribes of the same name with traditional undyed yarns from the sheep and goats which accompanied these nomads, were copied by the West. First of all Switzerland and Germany and Holland where they favoured natural flooring, and still do, look up the Berber style. Eventually Berbers swept the UK and we couldn't get enough. At one time, over 10 million square metres were being snapped up here and we spent over £100 million.


Natural Harvest by Ryalux Carpets.
32 permutations of shade and design

The Berber look spread from traditional loop pile to velvet pile and twist but it wasn't long before they were dragged down-market with low pile weights, then lower wool content and inevitably, like shag pile before it, the Berber was degraded and soon it too was fashionably passè. By sticking to quality fibres and construction, only the very best survived, the rest were abandoned.

The swing to textures however brought with it a variation and an exciting new look call Wooltweed. Pioneered by West Riding woollen spinners, Thomas Carr Ltd, Wooltweed was an entirely British phenomenon. Using thinner yarns, with subtle flecks and slubs, the wooltweed look in carpets went global. Every country, from the USA to Australia, took up the Wooltweed style.

Now, incorporating the sophistication of the latest yarns, with the proven performance of wool, the textured trend has moved once again to naturals. This time, the natural shades are brought together in high and low loop pile as well as level loop, which gives a hardwearing plain surface and also tight twist, the perennial favourite of the British interior scheme. Today, as you might expect, Tintawn are once more at the forefront of the new style with Simply Natural, a 100% pure new wool pile woven quality manufacturers are also adding to the trend.


Lysander by Brockway Carpets made with a blend of British wool, nylon and polyester. Available in 14 colourways.

country cable

Country Cable by Cormar Carpets.
A tonal texture in 100% pure new wool.

Ryalux carpets, known for their amazing pastel colours and textures, have recently introduced Natural Harvest in mix 'n' match permutations of eight colourways and four superb textures. This is a unique range in-so-far as it is available in absolutely any width to 5 metres in multiples of only one centimetre. This will reduce waste carpet, save money and eliminate ugly seams.

Stoddard offer two textures: Weave, a Wilton carpet and Boucle, a loop pile both made with 100% wool and both available in four shades.

Brockway Carpets have a very unusual slant in the natural look. They have found natural colours so popular they have introduced a carpet collection which is entirely comprised of neutrals. Lysander contains 14 shades based on natural weaves such as Hopsack, Twill and Hessian and the range was considered so exceptional it took first place in the British Wool Quality Awards. Made with a resilient blend of 80% British Wool, 10% Nylon and 10% bonded Polyester for lasting good looks, it is recommended for heavy wear.

Cormar Carpets have a complete collection of natural textures in The Plainly Good Collection. Herringbone is a quiet twill effect and Homely Loop a tight level loop but their new quality, Country Cable, is just what the name suggests, a weave of two different coloured yarns cabled into a soft tonal texture.

The current trend is definitely towards styles and textures designed to create a peaceful environment at harmony with nature. The simplicity of this new look also incorporates a sophistication that is at once more modern than the early Berbers and more comfortable than their sisal and coir counterparts.