Kare Johannesburg 2021
St Leger & Viney: Elitis, wallpaper

The fabric and wallpaper report 2.0

The industry’s latest balances alluring design with notable green credentials.

What’s new and exciting in the fabric and wallpaper landscape? We asked a few top brands to let us in. We’re seeing a definite rise in block printed fabrics and those inspired by exotic lands as well as a focus on sustainably produced textiles and wallpapers. But fear not, their eco-friendliness takes nothing away from their good looks. By using recycled materials, lower water usage, sustainably grown cotton and linen, FSC certified paper and non-toxic dyes, these brands are serving both the environment and the stylishly attuned eye.

St Leger & Viney

With some of the biggest brands in the textile industry (think Cole & Son, GP & J Baker or Thibaut) under their stable, St Leger & Viney is celebrated for supplying high-end fabrics and wallpapers to the trade. One of the globe’s finest wallpaper and fabric brands – Elitis – is just launching nine new wallpaper collections here in SA. 

The first of two of these collections, Galerie, is a 3D series of architecturally inspired designs on either chenille or linen featuring columns, arches and mouldings with a distinctly neoclassical undercurrent. It’s ultra-plush, acoustically absorbent, richly textured and – wait for it – washable too. Soie Changeante, their second new release is just as luxe, with a staggering 50 options to choose from in a heavily textured silk but is a more understated and versatile collection with plains and subtle patterning tying it all together. 

Ripe with the allure and exoticism of North Africa and Southern Europe, St Leger & Viney’s new Granada collection is inspired by archival prints and is manufactured right here in SA. The slubby hopsack base cloth onto which ikat stripes, pomegranates and flowers are hand printed has also been made locally and lends the collection it’s wonderful, understated aesthetic. 

Also new to St Leger & Viney is Iliv’s Imprint range of artisan-inspired block printed fabrics. A generous selection of classic prints from uneven stripes and sweet polka dots to oak trees and leaves marks this as a future perennial fave in our book. We love that all of these fabrics have been printed onto sustainably sourced cotton base cloth.  

www.stleger.co.za

Eshanima Fabrics

With nearly 40 years behind them, this family-owned Woodstock based textile house is best known for their range of high-quality curtaining, upholstery fabrics and wallcovering and brands such as Antonio Ferre, Vescom and Toptextil among others. What we really love is their commitment to a sustainable textile future. A case in point is their brand new, locally produced Future Threads range. The new collection of upcycled and recycled fabrics is made from rPet (plastic bottles) which would otherwise take 700 years to decompose. 

Another of their eco-friendly brands is UK based Missprint who produce PEFC and FSC certified wallpapers, which means they’re made from wood from well-managed forests. They’re also printed using non-toxic, water-based inks. And if that doesn’t sound sexy, a glance at their designs will surely convince you. Their hand-illustrated motifs have a decidedly Scandi simplicity, with our current pick of the bunch being their Coral wallpaper in striking Lapis.

www.eshanimafabrics.co.za

Robin Sprong

They’re frontrunners when it comes to bespoke, digitally printed wallpaper and have a vast offering that hits all the right notes. They also work with some of the globe’s top artists and designers to produce collections, think Franco Moz, Avalana and Este MacLeod. 

What we really appreciate about the brand is their diverse and ever-expanding offering, you could cover your wall in a Vladimir Tretchikoff print or a photographed dense forest scene, hang a printed drop of fabric or even convert your 6-year-old’s artworks into a series of wall tile stickers. 

The latest from the award-winning Cape Town company is their new Decals collection. If you aren’t ready to commit to a fully wallpapered wall, these circles and squares of scuff-resistant, matt self-adhesive vinyl are akin to an artwork. They come in sizes of 600mm or 1000mm widths and diameters and are really light on the pocket. 

One of our favourites is the Envy & Co collab which features this local brand’s abstract yet contemporary jewel-toned geometric designs for a splash of colour. The best part is they’re removable up to 12 months – renters take note.

www.robinsprong.com

Botanica Trading

Debby Tenquist is no stranger to the halls of media fame. A landscape designer whose work graced glossies in both this country and abroad, Debby turned her attention to textile design. With her focus up till now being on international trade, Botanica Trading is just releasing its first ever local collection of Indian, Ottoman and Chinoiserie inspired fabrics to South Africans. 

The name Botanica Trading gives a clue as to what inspires her collections, but her fabrics are also high on sustainability credentials. We’re talking non-toxic pigment inks, little to no water usage in manufacture, 100% sustainably grown linen base cloths and life-long quality. Inspired by the Near and Far East, her South African collection is an edited selection of favourites laden with references to florals, fruits and classic ikat patterns, all of which stir a sense of nostalgia and romanticism, and each design is available on a natural or white linen base cloth. 

www.botanicatrading.com

Words: Mila Crewe-Brown
Production: J-P de la Chaumette
Images: Supplied
Hero image: Elitis from St Leger & Viney