Cara Saven Wall Design - wallpapers

What’s new in fabric and wallpaper land

We introduce you to a few of our favourite brands and get the low down on the latest in this industry.

Where would we be without fabric and wallcoverings for our interiors? As wonderful as a natural piece of burlap can be, particularly if you’re in the Axel Vervoordt camp, the look is limited. Prior to the development of printed textiles and chemical dyes, homes would typically feature plain fabrics in a limited range of colours or leather and needle work as upholstery. Likewise, pattern repeats only came about in the wallpaper industry around 1800, bringing with them the ability to introduce a continuation of wide span graphics across an entire wall – a game changer. The capacity of wallpaper and furnishing textiles to transform space (according to your individual preferences) is incredible. 

Herewith, some of the best names in the game to get acquainted with.


Mention Cara Saven Wall Design* and the image called to mind will typically be of vintage botanical and zoological prints whose presence brings an air of history to any space. The brand has installed its products (which reach beyond wallpapers to prints, canvas and fabrics too) into some of the coolest, and most style-sussed of bars, hotels, restaurants and cafes, as well as countless homes and offices. Recently, they launched their maiden collab collection called CS & Co. That this virgin partnership features work by luminous talents Michael Chandler, Lucie De Moyencourt and Joh Del (Johan De Lange) is not lost on us.

Lockdown has been good to them, says founder Cara, with a roused interest in home improvements spurring record wallpaper sales. Notably, she says, the local market is becoming bolder and braver with their use of scale, as well as the full-throttle use of wallpapers to wrap an entire room. Currently you can buy their products here, in the US and Holland, but 2021 will add Australia and Dubai to that list.

*hero image above


The fact that any one of Cara Saven’s wallpapers can be printed as a textile onto poly-cotton with a lovely linen slub. Add to that the fact that the brand’s local print invention – VividTex, a dye sublimated wallpaper – rivals even the best of international wallcoverings for its incredible textile finish and economical price point.


A boutique wallpaper and fabric house backed by decades of experience in the industry, Dreamweaver distributes some of our best-loved international brands liked Eijffinger, Armani Casa, Marimekko, Alhambra and Missoni Home among others. According to owner Haidee Kramer (a household name in fabric circles) the current trends all revolve around nature and escapism, in the literal and abstract sense, a trend that has only increased with the impact of COVID-19 on our wellbeing.

A case in point is Dutch wallpaper house Eijffinger’s new Waterfront collection with painterly scenes that evoke watercolours, dried grasses and wildflowers. To sum up her latest additions at Dreamweaver Studios, Haidee references the zeitgeist of our global needs using the Dutch term niksen which calls for winding down, valuing health and wellbeing and doing… well… nothing.


Italian wallpaper brand Sirpi’s new release – Muralto Komi – which channels the natural world via forests, grasslands and a watery lakeside scene with the added texture of subtly embossed vinyl.


A 38-year-old independent fabric house with a growing reach, Stuart Graham Fabrics stocks a wide range of local and international fabric and wallpaper brands. One of them, Dutch wallpaper company Esta, has a couple of fresh releases for this season.

Very much in keeping with the nature trend, Greenhouse gives a clue as to this collection’s designs. Think cacti, foliage, logs, butterflies, feathers and the like in gentle greens and blues. Possibly our favourite from Esta is their Jungle Fever range, which brings a fecund tropical feel into the home by way of luscious banana leaves, ferns and philodendrons at an impressive scale. 

Finally, College is a fun tribute to the academic life and features sports scenes, collegiate monograms, classic plaids and stripes, which (apart from in a kid’s room) would finish off a well-styled, moody bar coupled with wooden rackets and a pommel horse.


The design Large Leaves from Esta’s Jungle Fever, whose scaled up leaves in punchy (and very much on-trend) emerald are dramatic but not overwhelming.


Synonymous with (though by no means restricted to) upholstery plains and sumptuous linens in a kaleidoscopic array of shades, Warwick began in Australia as a small family-run textile business. The question is not whether you can find a green upholstery fabric for your armchair, but whether you’d prefer sage, moss, bottle green, olive, emerald, sea foam, khaki, pine, juniper, chartreuse, mint…you get the drift. 

Their latest offering – Sundec Canvas – is one we welcome in our robust indoor-outdoor lifestyle here in SA. A collection of outdoor upholstery fabrics with all the specs you need to weather the elements: high UV ratings, solution dyeing (so the colours run into the very core of the yarn), mildew resistance, water repellency and bleach friendliness, this tough-as-nails range is not so tough on texture. Its handle is remarkably soft, with the appearance of a linen blend or cotton canvas to boot. And it wouldn’t be Warwick if Sundec Canvas didn’t come in 45 delectable shades and two plain versions to choose from.


Would you be surprised if we said their outstanding colour offering? It makes harmonious and dynamic design schemes a joy.


Dynamic duo Philip Pikus and Vera McKenzie are passionate about supporting the local industry and as such, Urban Fabrics stocks an ever-growing range of locally manufactured and sustainable lines. Supporters of the latter should keep an eye out for their recycled polyester print collection launching in 2021. Meanwhile, the brand’s current new stock includes a glut of covetable fabrics like quilted and pleated velvets (yes, pleated), wipeable boucle and new faux leathers from their local and international ranges. 

Have you seen the new Urban Fabrics premises in Paarden Eiland? This breezy industrial space, with light that pours in through generous windows, is a balm for fabric fans. You can now shop the brand’s much-loved ranges of curtaining and upholstery fabrics and meet with clients under one roof.


That their ever-growing velvet offering meets our love for this plush and decadent textile. We also really appreciate the fact that they hold stock of all of their fabrics, which means: you like it, you get it on the spot.

Words: Mila Crewe-Brown
Production: J-P de la Chaumette
Images: Micky Hoyle (for Urban Fabrics) and supplied.
Hero image: Cara Saven Wall Design