Thanks to Fameed Khalique’s extensive experience in the world of luxury leathers, his business is now a leading supplier of fine leather for upholstery, wall coverings, soft furnishings and a plethora of other applications. Working with 20 tanneries, he has provided the leather for large-scale projects such as The Ned, Soho House’s hotel and restaurant destination in the heart of The City, Shoreditch’s Ace Hotel, and the newly refurbished Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.
“As well as offering everyday leather solutions, we pride ourselves on innovation, creating ground-breaking effects like the moulded leather wall panels used in hotels, which are also suitable for use on jets. Our expertise in leather is such that we are constantly striving to take things a bit further and push technical boundaries.”
In addition to collections that include embossed leather, leather panelling, leather rugs and more, Fameed Khalique has also pioneered the use of woven leathers – nubuck woven with copper filament, velvet with leather chord and linen woven with buffalo hides, hand-embossed and gilded cordovan leather, foamed, padded and stitched leathers – as well as providing the highest quality traditional leather finishes for upholstery and walls.
Design Insider have the opportunity to ask Fameed Khalique questions in regards to the trends and design of leather.
How has the process of creating and designing leather developed over time?
I have always had a love of leather, and the development of techniques we offer has been inspired by my love of fashion and in particular couture design. It might be a detailing on a gown or the woven handle of a handbag that inspires a new product, I enjoy taking this noble and ancient material and seeing where creativity and innovation can lead us. One of our most recent leather surfaces was inspired by a discovery of the softest, pure white lamb nappa at one of the tanneries we work with. Knowing that it was unlikely anyone would buy white nappa I set to find a way to use it. We supply fibrous plaster, the traditional floral and foliage designs used on cornicing and ceilings and we took this as inspiration and recreated it using the white nappa. The flowers are created by water moulding techniques yet maintain the delicate nature of the foliage. This means a room could feature traditional plaster decoration at celling height, but that this intricate moulding, perhaps featuring grapes or flowers can tumble down the all into a the room, but in a butter soft nappa leather finish. It is the development of unique surface finishes such as this, which inspires and delights us.
The history of leather dates back to primitive man, who discovered a rudimental process for preserving leather, since then leather has found a place in fashion and interiors with British tanneries, and businesses making bags, belts, clothing and furnishings. Leather in interiors has long been a British favourite, perhaps best known for button back sofa upholstery, traditional desk tops or restaurant banquets, leather has now found its way into far more creative and unique applications, from walls and ceiling finishes, to unusual and specialist techniques across all areas of the interior.
What environmental issues need to be considered when using leather?
The partners we work with all recognise the importance of considering the environment, and interior designers are requesting information on environmental factors more and more. There are a variety of options for designers to consider, from faux leather which we offer in an incredible array of finishes, to vegetable or greener chrome tanned products. Leather can also be recycled creating re-generated leather which due to its manufacturing process offers a smoother and more consistent finish.Have you seen any new applications of leather being used?
We are lucky enough to work with highly creative designers who have embraced leather, incorporating leather into all interior elements, from leather macramé curtains, to embellished headboards, woven wall panels, to embroidered and moulded finishes. What is very recent is the use of leather outdoors, extreme leather is able to withstand water and freezing temperatures and light exposure so is perfect for yachts or outdoor settings.
What is your bestseller? Why do you think this is?
Our most popular leathers are the plain leathers simply because they are used on large commercial project where we can be competitive. But what we are known for is the more unique and unusual surfaces we create. Whereas designers come to us for a more specialised or unique finish, this includes leather surfaces that incorporate 3D moulding, carved leather, cut and stitched leather, macramé, formed leather panels, embroidered leather or woven leather that could encompass leather woven with silk, wood veneer, velvet or cashmere.
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