Hands up all those who know what moquette is. We’ve all sat on it, and some of us have even dozed off on it. Coming from the French word for carpet, moquette has been used by commuters on trams, buses and the London Underground for more than a century.
To celebrate 160 years, design studio Wallace Sewell have updated the iconic design. The new collection 'Tube 160' still includes all the colours of the Underground lines, intersected with the Overground line, but has the addition of the Tram and DLR lines, and the Elizabeth line.
The design process unites traditional techniques with technology and modern industrial production: we usually begin with sketches or yarn windings.
The design studio already had the basis of the 150th design to work with, and for the 160th, used computers and designed digitally. From there, they used the handlooms in their studios to create swatches to explore woven structures and the interplay of the colours of the warp and weft.
Available only from the London Transport Museum, the exclusive Tube 160 Wallace Sewell Collection features a classic tasselled scarf, woven in soft merino lambswool, alongside a practical tote bag, a zipped purse, and a cross-body bag.
Wallace Sewell were invited by TfL to create a moquette for the Elizabeth Line. The latest London line is best known for its striking colour. “Purple's quite an odd colour,” says Sewell. “It's a colour that a lot of designers have has issues with, but we're happy to work with any colour.”
Taking their original TfL Rail moquette as a starting place the design evolved using the same grid inspired by a building spotted at Stratford station. “We created a design based on that building and incorporated a lot of colours - but in quite simple ways,” says Emma Sewell Co-Founder and Director at Wallace Sewell.