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Selvedge Talks To... Bleu Anglais

Selvedge

In the lead up to this year's fairs Selvedge talks to some of the Artisans that will be joining us... First up - Noel Chapman, owner and founder of Bleu Anglais, Noel collects antique indigo paste resist fabrics from China. What made you start collecting? I’ve always loved and been fascinated by textiles, by the skills, the techniques, history, the social significance and all manner of aspects and connotations. I’d known about the Indigo Chinese fabrics I now collect, for almost 30 years – when I stumbled across a stash of them I was so excited I had to buy as many of them as possible and try to learn more about them. The more I studied them the more interested I have become. FullSizeRender What is it about textiles that captured your attention? It is the craft, the skill as well as the aesthetics – I’ve long recognised and believed we have an intimate relationship with fabrics from the day we are born and first wrapped in a blanket until the day we are dispatched at the end our our lives. The significant dates in our lives are often marked or remembered via the clothes and textiles we wore. What inspires you? Colour, Beauty, Art, Culture, History, Technique, Skill and Craftsmanship. Who inspires you? Many, many people and things from Cecil Beaton to Bruce Chatwin and Edmund de Waal, Virginia Wolf and Duncan Grant to Mantegna, Philip Glass to Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits and Cole Porter, Christian Dior to Dries Van Noten, John Keats to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sylvia Plath, The Festival of Britain to Chelsea Flower Show . . . and more . . . Mixed Patterns Bleu Anglais What is your favourite part of the process of sourcing what you sell? The unexpected finds, and sharing the discoveries. And What’s the hardest part? What do you dislike? Parting with my finds . How long does it take to make one product? I don’t know, but finding beautiful textiles can take a while. Where do you live? And why have you chosen to be here? What do you like about it? I live in Walthamstow, I moved here in 2000 – the money went further , I wanted space and a little garden. It’s still quite real, ‘up and coming’ – there are lots of new independent shops and restaurants but the multiples haven’t yet moved in and it’s not too chichi – yet! IMG_9656 Your ideal Sunday? Paint a picture… A trip to Columbia Road Flower Market, a cup of tea with my great friend Angela Flanders in her lovely perfume shop, staggering home with arms full of flowers. An old movie (preferably black and white) on the TV watched on the sofa and later supper with friends. Your favourite colour? It has to be blue doesn’t it! If you could fly anywhere in the world tomorrow where would you go and why? Japan – because I’ve been only twice, loved every moment and there’s so much more to see. What are your 3 favourite songs at the moment? Or what do you typically listen to whilst working? At the moment - The soundtrack from Pennies From Heaven, an album of Georgian folk songs that I find haunting and David Bowies last Black Star album. What are you reading at the moment? I’m alternating between ‘Landmarks’ by Robert MacFarlane and a collection of WB Yeats poems. Tickets are now available for The Spring Selvedge Artisan Fair Here. 21 May, London


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