THE MATERIALIST: MARGO SELBY
In this 30th anniversary piece for ELLE Decoration Margo talks with Fiona McCarthy about her love of the production process and some of the things that inspire her work.
Renowned weaver Margo Selby has always been happiest when using her hands. ‘I was a bit of a monkey at school, but if you gave me things to make, I’d concentrate for hours,’ she laughs. So, from crocheting and cross-stitching with her grandmother, she went on to study textiles at both the Chelsea College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art, before creating her first collection in 2003, shortly after graduating.
It is the production of textiles rather than the design work that has always held Selby in its thrall. ‘I love the technical side of building cloths,’ she says. ‘It’s very satisfying to create something intricate but bold.’ From her studio in a former abattoir located just a few streets from the beaches of Whitstable in Kent, Selby creates inimitable handwoven constructions, using industrial machinery to produce fabrics that are not only mathematically precise but also imbued with hidden depths and ingenuity.
Launched in 2016, Selby’s collections with Osborne & Little have just been expanded. The patterns in the first collection, ‘Ragtime’, had names such as ‘Basie’, ‘Ella’ and ‘Coltrane’ in memory of her jazz-mad father who had just passed away. More recently, ‘Memphis’ – a set of six designs whose names herald the great American soul singers – includes ‘Supreme Stripe’, the jacquard ‘Jukebox’, a cut velvet called ‘Smokey’ and the graphic ‘Motown’, which takes its cue from the ‘Johnston’ typeface (best known for its use on the London Underground signage).
‘There is a similarity between music and weaving,’ Selby says of the way she transforms warp and weft into hypnotic symphonies of colour and pattern. She teams historic techniques with modern technology to bring her ideas to life.
For the full article, get the October 2019 issue of ELLE Decoration
Words: Fiona McCarthy
Products featured in this article
Vertical pattern repeat: approx. (V) 200cm/ 78.8″
Horizontal pattern repeat: approx. full width
Fabric composition: 97% Rayon, 3% Nylon
Flammability: Please note that our fabrics are not FR treated as standard.
Abrasion: 50,000 rubs
Please note that due to the integral structure and woven nature of our fabrics subtle imperfections may appear, however this will not affect the overall usage or appearance of the fabric.
Dry Clean Only
Please contact us at email@example.com for:
- - Fabric samples.
- - Ordering high quantities of fabric meterage as there may be a lead-time if not in stock.
- - A bespoke service where we design and weave a one-off fabric for individual projects.
We aim to ship all orders of in stock items within 5 working days. For bespoke orders our team will contact you to confirm delivery.
Approx. 84.5cm (w) x 88cm (h)
Cotton / Silk
If you would like to discuss commissioning artworks or art related projects, please contact the Margo Selby studio at firstname.lastname@example.org
For artwork orders our team will contact you to confirm delivery. Pieces may be on exhibition, our team will advise if there are to be any delays in shipping.
Artworks may not be returned. We invite customers to visit our studio if they would like to see pieces in person.
Carpet sample size: 45cm x 45cm
Available carpet width: 3.66m
Pattern repeat: 10cm
Pile content: 80% Wool, 20% Nylon
Alternative Flooring code: 7201
We aim to ship all orders of in stock items within 5 working days.