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Brintons: From fleece to floor

November 27, 2020

A British institution since 1783, Brintons launches the Agnella Collection

There’s no single reason Brintons is a very special British company. It isn’t just because they were founded in 1783. It isn’t only in recognition of their Royal Warrant to supply carpets to British royal residences (granted 1958). And it doesn’t rest on the results of their innovations like company-designed looms and fibre inventions (in 1950 they pioneered the now industry standard 80/20 wool/nylon blend). The uniqueness of Brintons is all these qualities plus its ability to build on tradition while responding to evolving consumer desires. 

Rhythm, Brintons

The launch of Brintons new Agnella Collection reflects increased consumer interest in area rugs, plus accelerating demand for the beauty and sustainability of natural wool rugs and carpets. The Agnella Collection is two-fold: 100% undyed British wool rugs (Platinum, Diamond, Splendour, Angus, Isfahan, Natural) and blended 80/20 wool nylon rugs (Magic, Galaxy, Basic). The collection was inspired by Brintons’ appreciation of the natural beauty of the varied hues and ‘true colours’ of undyed wools and for the reduced environmental impact of undyed fleece. Designed in-house, the collection is noteworthy too because the focus is rugs not carpets, and because the collection is woven by F. D. Agnella—a weaving manufacturer acquired by Brintons in 2015. The acquisition merged Agnella’s expertise in woven area rugs with Brintons heritage knowledge and in-house design expertise. 

Platinum, Brintons

In times of global Covid-19, we thought we’d also offer our readers a quick look into another innovation that underscores why Brintons has thrived for 237 years, and why it will continue to thrive after the crisis of coronavirus is over. We’ve touched on Brintons loom and fibre innovations, but Brintons should also be recognised for highly original collaborations with fashion designers that created advertising campaigns that enabled the company to reach new markets and create consumer awareness in the days before pervasive social media. 

Galaxy, Brintons

One of these innovative ad campaigns was in the early 1990s when Brintons collaborated with British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood to create the 1783 Collection. Inspired by the 18th century, Westwood designed gowns made from Brintons’ Bell Twist carpet. Her delightful carpet confections featured in Brintons’ 1993-1995 advertising campaign. One of the collection gowns is on loan to London’s Science Museum. It weighs 15kg (approximately the same as a mid-sized microwave oven) a fact that contributed to the need to ‘relax’ the carpet’s stiff backing so the fibres would flex and the pattern pieces could be sewed together using Brintons’ carpet joining machinery. 

Nude, Brintons

‘A carpet is never just a carpet,’ says Brintons, ‘it’s a way to bring your home to life, and help you to express yourself in ways that you never thought possible.’ Whether it’s the ‘non-carpet’ area rugs in the new Agnella Collection or the carpet-as-couture created by Brintons and Vivienne Westwood, exemplary innovation remains a constant feature of Britain’s Brintons.

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