Wallace Sewell: The Elizabeth Line, Scarves, Ties, Textiles

Wallace Sewell first caught my attention for their beautiful use of colour and texture in fabrics for furnishings and textiles and I’m lucky enough to own a few scarves (see the image below) and ties in their gorgeous, varied, but highly characteristic designs. 

Wallace & Sewell moquette design for the Elizabeth Line
Wallace Sewell, texture, colour and design – made in the UK

I am reminded of them every time I travel on London’s Underground. Why? The reason is that they are behind the designs of the fabrics used in the seating on several routes including The Overground and Tramlink services. Their ‘Barman’ design, incorporating several London landmarks including the London Eye, is seen on several lines. 

Most recently Wallace Sewell have interpreted the rich purple of the new Elizabeth Line to perfection in their moquette (a thick pile fabric for upholstery or carpets) for the seating of that line. The purples, mauves, greys, beige and splashes of orange and red are carefully designed to hide future wear and tear.

Above two images from Dezeen

Harriet and Emma, co-founders of Wallace Sewell, say about their designs:

“Emma – Our design for the Elizabeth line was a progression from a design we
created for the precursor of Crossrail, the TFL Rail service running from Liverpool
Street to Shenfield. This had been inspired by travelling the route and abstracting
its surroundings into rectangles and linear motifs. For the Elizabeth line design, we
worked into the pattern, adding more pinstripe details, as a nod to the suits of the
City of London and creating a sense of speed, as the line travels from East to

Harriet – The colour palette started with the specific shade of purple that is the line
colour, to which we added other tones of purple, mixed
with warmer and lighter shades to keep the fabric bright in overall effect,
complementing the dark interior. The palette also incorporates flashes of others
line colours that the route interacts with as accents. 

Emma – As with all our designs for TFL, we aim to create a complex pattern that
is bold and dynamic, yet balanced in it’s repeat, and in this design we disguised
this through repetition of simple motifs, so that the eye is drawn along the carriage whilst maintaining a vertical framework.”

Wallace Sewell’s moquette for The Elizabeth Line

Wallace Sewell – working on the artwork

Wallace Sewell’s Elizabeth Line design necessarily lacks the multiple textures of many of their textiles which often use several types of yarn in their construction. However, the clever use and mix of colours and the vertical and horizontal nature of the designs is seen in both the moquette and other products like my scarves. All are recognisably Wallace Sewell. For readers of this blog, the scarves and ties are  must, but there is plenty on their website to tempt the admirer of contemporary British design. These pieces will be collectibles of the future.

For more on Wallace Sewell and their designs, and to purchase, go to Wallace Sewell.

Note: the scarves were gifted.

[email protected] (Grey Fox)

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