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Meet the designer: Francesca Wardle & our Francesca fabric

Meet the designer: Francesca Wardle & our Francesca fabric

This season, we’ve collaborated with textile designer and artist Francesca Wardle to create the delicate oak tree pattern of our Francesca print. Based in a leafy market town in North Yorkshire, Francesca shares the Neptune ethos of revering the power and beauty of nature, the local flora and fauna she immerses herself in forming the basis of her enchanting, illustrative work.

‘I’m very much someone who gets their energy from being in nature – I’m at home outside whatever the weather and I draw all sorts of inspiration from the outdoors, be it the shapes of trees, leaves and grasses or the beautiful colours of the sky or foliage. A long walk in the countryside always leaves me full of ideas, energy and peace,’ Francesca explains. ‘No matter how many times I might do the same walk or journey, there’s always something new to see, especially when the seasons change. I love all of the seasons but, when it comes to what most prompts me to pick up a paintbrush, autumn usually wins – the beautiful, warm colours and tones that come with the leaves changing and falling bring me endless pleasure.’

With a passion for creativity since early childhood, Francesca studied fine art at college before completing a degree in print and textile design at Leeds Arts University; ‘For as long as I can remember, if I wasn’t running through the garden, I was inside drawing everything and anything,’ she smiles. ‘It was always a given that what I did in the future would be artistic. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.’

The Francesca pattern is a whimsical take on the majestic oak tree, detailing its shapely leaves, twisting branches and budding acorns in intricate, personality-filled brushstrokes. ‘I started by drawing pencil sketches to plan the overall look, before painting loose watercolour motifs which slowly become more and more detailed. I then created precise illustrations with a fine liner pen, which have a very delicate and natural quality when translated onto fabric,’ Francesca explains. ‘After uploading the artwork onto my computer, I arranged each element into a composition that flows naturally, just like an oak branch – digitally composing hand drawn or painted artworks retains the organic look and texture of each piece.’

‘I get so much joy combining nature and art – the two things I’m most passionate about – and sharing the result with others. The idea that people resonate with my designs and want them in their homes is truly humbling,’ says Francesca. ‘I’m so excited to see the Francesca print on products. I think it will work especially well on the Clemmie headboard (which caught my eye last season) – the scalloped shape would pair really well with the large-scale print, and make for the most beautiful statement piece.’

See more of our Francesca designs online and hear from Cassie on our product development team about the collaboration in our Instagram video.