Wellington textile designer Alison Farnworth-Cole has already attracted attention nationally and internationally for her beautiful silk scarves, all featuring intricately worked images of insects, birds and moths. They won praise at this year’s Top Drawer, Olympia, the UK’s leading retail trade event which showcases creative lifestyle products for international buyers. The scarves have also been featured in Country Life.
Now Alison is taking her ideas and products a step further by setting up her own business from her home in Wellington. Farnworth and Cole was launched locally at The Den in Taunton’s The Cosy Club on Thursday 14 June.
Alison, who has a degree in Fine Art, has developed her ideas from needlepoint – using detailed observations worked in thread on very fine canvas or gauze to create elaborate images. Her scarves and pocket squares are developed from those designs before being photographed, edited and translated into pattern and digital print. They are then made and hand-finished in silk in Como, Italy, using traditional expertise and the latest print technology.
“We had a really wonderful response to our scarves at Top Drawer in January and are now stocked in a few outlets with others developing,” Alison said. “I am also in the process of producing pocket squares and we are taking part in the much famed Daylesford Christmas Fair in the Cotswolds this November.”
Wellington’s history is linked very closely with textiles; now Alison – the daughter of John Cole, the town’s much-loved GP and promoter of music who died in 2013 – looks set to put her own branch of textile design in the marketplace.