An interview with textiles designer Margo Selby

I first came across Margo Selby's work through her collaboration with People Will Always Need Plates and have been hooked ever since. She was also at this year's Origin. I was lucky enough to steal a little bit of her time to ask a few questions... What’s the most important thing to know about you?

Weaving is my passion and is still at the heart of my brand. I believe I am a craftsman first and a business person second. I think hand woven qualities are too special to let die out and I am eager to keep the tradition alive, and passed down to future generations.

Margo Selby Hope Slant Fabric

Describe a really good day and a really bad day in the life of Margo Selby.

I have a baby daughter who I have been enjoying spending time with, and since I am working from home a lot more I find I have a lot more time to focus on designing. My perfect day is playing with my daughter and then working on the many design projects I have on at the moment.

At the moment, I am not sure I have any bad days! Is that very boring?

What inspires your ideas?

I have always adored putting colours together from a very young age. And I realised that weaving was all about just that. I respond to colour. It’s an emotional thing for me. I have been particularly inspired by my travels, especially to India where I also worked at a mill years ago. You can see in my designs the influence of all the vibrant and magnificent colours and textures synonymous with the intricate saris found in Varanasi, India for example.

Margo Selby Iceni 22 cushion

Describe the process you go though to turn your ideas into products.

I am still very much a weaver and love nothing more than to get on the loom and experiment with combining colours. All of my fabrics have started this way and are then developed further in specialty mills to produce the fabrics used for my products. We still make most of the finished products in the London studio which gives me a lot of flexibility to try new things all the time.

What advice would you give to an aspiring textiles designer?

I always encourage students to think independently and do something that isn’t already out there. I also think it is important that students consider the business side of things and how to market themselves, because it can be the difference between getting your designs out there or not!

Margo Selby Brook scarf

Which three items could you not live without?

I have recently redone my home in London pretty much all in Margo Selby! I am really enjoying living with my designs and experiencing how the different products work together. So I would say I am very happily living with my upholstery fabrics, blinds made from the silk / lycra fabrics and the wallpaper in all 10 colours! It sounds pretty mad, but I am really loving it!

What are you most proud of?

I am very proud of the interior fabric rand wallpaper range and launch of my first pattern book this year. It has taken years to develop the fabrics for this first collection and I am very excited about how well this already been received by interior designers and architects, as well as customers coming to my shop. There will be a lot of developments here and it is where I am focusing a lot of my designing energy!

Margo Selby Wallpaper

What’s next for you?

I am very excited about developing my interiors range. I am thinking about new upholstery fabrics, as well as developing the range of wallpapers to incorporate different designs. There are already some new patterns in the silk / lycra fabrics which will be launched in the new year and I’m constantly inspired to move in new directions with the fabrics. There are also a few future collaborations brewing, which will all be revealed soon!

And, finally, what’s your favourite colour?!

I love all colours but find I am particularly partial to bright earthy sage and lime tones, they seem to complement and ground other colour palettes.