Sanderson is an entry in our Great British Brands 2024 book.
Sanderson: Great British Brand 2024
‘We have a long and proud history to protect, and to do this we embrace the future. No one can live in the past, and that includes the people who buy our fabrics, wallpapers and home accessories. While they may enjoy the memory of their grandparents’ house, or want their home to reflect a sense of nostalgia, they probably won’t want to recreate their granny’s parlour! This is why we constantly renew, reimagine and rework prints from our vast and wonderful archive while pairing hero designs across the century of Sanderson with new collections.
We use our history as a springboard to create work that is entirely contemporary, in the entrepreneurial spirit of our founder, Arthur Sanderson. He began in 1860 by importing Japanese and French wallpapers into the UK, and within six years had built his own wallpaper factory. Since then, Sanderson has grown exponentially, nurturing valuable collaborations. These include Disney, originally commissioned in the late 1920s and revisited so authentically for 2023; interior design studio Salvesen Graham for a Trims Collection enhancing all designs, and Europe’s largest conservation charity, the National Trust.
Making full use of the advances brought by the industrial revolutions across the decades has helped us achieve our aims. Digitalisation has transformed enormously the scale on which we can print. Our nature designs are still drawn by hand by our highly skilled artists, and while we still produce block-printed wallpapers, we also print thousands of metres of fabric and paper in a fraction of the time.
Machinery enables us to manipulate colour to a finer degree, and to experiment more than ever, and we are using technology to work in more environmentally friendly ways: we have invested in water and energy efficient systems at our factory in Lancaster, for example. Our business is all about craft and creativity; the best technology and software enhance this.’
Claire Vallis, Design Director
Five Proudest Moments
- King George V gave us our first Royal Warrant in 1924. Since then, we have held three consecutive Royal Warrants.
- Kenneth Truman launched the Hykenham design – one of most beloved prints – in 1939. It is being reimagined as part of the Sanderson x Giles Deacon collection in 2024.
- Our 2023 campaign celebrated Sanderson’s timeless beauty across the decades. Styled and shot by Damian Foxe, showcasing the timeless beauty of Sanderson with designs dating from 1914 sitting seamlessly with new collections.
- Late 1920s, Walt Disney commissioned a fabric and wallpaper collection from Sanderson. In 2023, we used these designs as inspiration to create the Disney Home x Sanderson collection.
- October 2023 saw collaboration with interior design studio Salvesen Graham to launch the first trimmings collection in over a decade. Made in the UK with recycled yarns.
What I’ve Learnt…
- Embrace change and look ahead. Ensuring the brand remains relevant while preserving its integrity and heritage are not mutually exclusive.
- Invest in talented people and give them the space and support they need to grow. Trainees are your future.
- Go with your gut and intuition. It’s easy to be swayed by trend reports that predict this or that.
SANDERSON DESIGN GROUP
1st Floor, South Dome, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, London SW10 0XE
+44 (0)20 3903 3700