I am guessing that most of you know where Tooth & Claw are coming from stylistically, but we thought that we would tell you a little bit about why we use the methods and materials that we do. So here is a little bit about our design & make processes and decisions….

Cushions ( or Pillows, as our friends in the USA call them) are an integral part of what we do. I have always been a bit of a cushion obsessive and find that they are a great way to make a quick stylistic change in a room or update a scheme. Here is how I went about developing our own cushions… Andrea.

Choosing Fabrics…

This was my favourite bit.  It was really important to me that our cushions felt soft and luxurious…almost sensuous…. I guess that’s my years of working in Lingerie coming out!

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(look closely at the photo above and you can just see a small black & white furry feline desperately wanting to snuggle on this bed!)

We looked at using silk – but I felt it wasn’t durable enough, especially as a lot of interior designers use our cushions in projects.

People suggested Linen ( nice, but a bit too ‘utility’) or  plain Cotton  ( a bit ‘Flat’ for us).  In the end I decided on matte cotton sateen. The cotton is mercerised so it has a much softer handle than plain cotton.

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Now for the backing …this was like being Goldilocks!

I tried a soft cotton backing – too soft with not enough body.

I tried a cotton canvas – too hard and not luxurious enough.

I tried a cotton velvet – ahhh… just right!

This had exactly the soft, luxurious feel I was seeking and had enough body to partner the cotton sateen front.  I didn’t want to just use black velvet for everything, so I chose a sumptuous burgundy wine velvet to back the lighter coloured cushions. Job done!

 

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Filling….

It had to be feathers. I found great quality duck feather inners at a manufacturer in Manchester…soft, easily plumped up and best of all – made in the UK!

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(Union Jack byVivienne Westwood)

The soft feathers coupled with the cotton sateen and the velvet back created exactly the feel that I wanted from the cushion. I knew I had got it right when I witnessed customers in one of our stockists unable to stop picking them up and holding them. I have to admit – they do feel meltingly yummy…

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 Make & Finish – Modernity married with tradition

All of our cushions are currently cut out and made up by myself at the Tooth & Claw studio at home – so they are genuinely designed and made in London.  I used to machine professionally, almost 20 years ago, when I worked as a Fetish clothing designer’s assistant and maker.

Although making cushion covers is a little easier than making the corsets and leather bondage gear I was sewing up back then, I still need to work on my speed  – I am not as fast as on the machine as I used to be!

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I steam -press all of our seams to give a nice, sharp corner…

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Wot – no piping??

No! A bit too “housewifey” for us – We wanted the cleanness of a plain edge to keep the look unisex and modern..

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 Why no zip??

As we are using the latest technology to create and print our images, I wanted to add an element of tradition and heritage. So we decided to use an envelope style back, which was the traditional way of making cushions until the 1930’s,  when the recently invented “Lightning Zipper” started to be widely used in manufacture.

Using the Envelope method, a generous overlap is required for the inner to be hidden properly and to sit correctly. This is more expensive as it uses more fabric – which is why Zips are always used on mass produced covers.  I toyed with the idea of using buttons, but for me, this interfered with the over-all softness…so a generous velvet fabric overlap is the method we use.

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Because we produce the cushions ourselves, if a client absolutely wants a zip, we can do that no problem….just ask!

 

In the next blog you can get a little insight into our printing and design methods…

Andrea. x

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