An Interview With Innovative Designer Kate Marr from Titley and Marr

By 21st September 2018Interviews

Tell us about Titley and Marr

We set up in 1984, Ken Titley and Kate Marr. Ken was the sales inspiration and Kate the designer. We started in London but moved out to Liss for space and we both enjoy living in rural Hampshire.

Do you do all of your designs in-house?

Kate designs all the collections. Many are inspired by traditional pieces collected over the years and by her huge collection of antique tribal textiles.

How do you find inspiration for new seasonal collections each year?

Most of the time the inspiration comes from the design archive which has been collected over the last 35 years. The decision as to which ideas to work on generally comes as a process – the intention is always to add fabrics which enhance the companies “look” – there should always be a journey. No new designs can work alone, they should always work with what’s already there.

I know that you design on a range of materials, what fabrics do you find most popular?

I love linen. The soft feel – the way it absorbs colour. Either a lovely rustic heavy linen or a fine delicate one. Often we use a mix of linen, cotton which adds to the performance, especially in terms of upholstery.

Can you tell us about how the printing process works? From initial design phases to the finished fabric.

Are you sure you want to listen to this? My favourite places are factories, I love the process of something raw and often plain ugly arriving at one end of a factory and something spectacular and glamorous leaving the other end. I still draw and paint the designs. I wasn’t trained in CAD, I find it quite alarming and I feel it restricts the main elements of design which are composition, colour and balance.
Originally all our designs were screen printed, although I am now producing about half by the digital print process, I am trying to make the finished fabric still have the look of a screen print.

How many collections do you have?

No idea! Probably eight main print collections

Are your collections stocked anywhere for people to view and purchase?

We have our fabrics in many retail outlets, interior design shops and also at Chelsea Harbour in the showroom of Tissus de Helene

From recent trends are you finding any colours or collections that are becoming more popular?

I think there is still a trend towards patterns derived from wood block prints. I would love to create some designs for this method of printing, hopefully in 2019 I will go to India and learn more about this craft. Colours… take your pick! I think we should all be free of the “trends” in colour – there are just too many wonderful choices. I really believe through magazines and TV there is more confidence in our choices. I was looking through the new M&L Paints Palette and I can see so many wonderful combinations. I might just paint the sitting room in my “soon to be developed” living room in your Light Olive, the kitchen in Snow White and Smoke Blue (or maybe Deep Green Blue Grey). My daughter wants White Lilac and my son will be happy if he gets to choose Lead Grey (I’m not sure he will win this one!)

What do you predict to be on trend in 2019?

I hope more colour. I’m really not a fan of grey, beige or taupe. Sometimes I see images in magazines or on Instagram and I wonder why they photographed in black and white – then I realise they didn’t!
I’m just about to launch a new brand within a brand – Titley and Marr contemporary – loads of pure colour.