Ever wondered why the seats on the London Underground, a British bus or a British train all have a similar look and feel? And just where do those crazy patterns come from? Well, the answer is likely to be Holdsworth fabrics.

Holdsworth go back over 190 years to the start of mass public transport. Based in Halifax, England, they have a long history of making what is known as Moquette: that strange, sometimes psychedelic and generally impervious fabric that covers the seats on trains, buses and underground carriages. Holdsworth are British owned and still manufacture in Halifax. A mixture of wool and Nylon, Moquette is made to be resilient, and Holdsworth are the market leaders.

Have a look at their strangely fascinating website - I've never seen such an amazing collection of fabrics. Some are awful, looking more like post-modern rejects from the last '80's, but many are iconic and timeless.

Holdsworth Fabrics

Also of note is the London Transport Museum shop where you can buy items made from Moquette and see where the different patterns have been used.

Routemaster Seat Moquette

 

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