It’s a curious thing, Moquette, that hard wearing fabric in bold designs that seems to spark strong passions in people. Is it the design, the familiarity, the heritage, the links with London Transport?
To find out, a new book dedicated to the fabric that cushions our bums on daily commutes has been commissioned.
Researched and written by Andrew Martin, the new book tells the story of London’s Moquette fabric from its debut on the B-Type bus that eclipsed London’s horse-drawn buses, all the way to the complex colour-co-ordinated patterns for the Elizabeth Line, and the new colour variants for priority seats.
It reveals how, since the 1930s, London Transport’s reputation for hiring the most illustrious designers for its architecture and its graphic media extended to its Moquette patterns, with early designs coming from the likes of Enid Marx and Paul Nash, and today’s from studios like Wallace Sewell.
Along the way, learn that there is in fact a preferred breed of sheep for providing the wool for London’s Moquette, and that cats have expressed a preference for a particular design.
It also turns out that the best selling Moquette pattern in the London Transport museum shop is — probably not unsurprisingly due to its bold colours — the old District line design, which had originally been created by Sir Misha Black.
The book, Seats of London, A Field Guide to London Transport Moquette Patterns by Andrew Martin goes on sale at the end of next month.
And finally, wouldn’t it be marvellous to ride in a tube train like the one on the front cover of the book?