Or sporty, describes textiles with sport motifs, scenes or pageants of fishing, golfing, horse racing, cricket, hunting, skiing, football, etc. In the relevant environment, these are fun, much more interesting and suitable than plains and most other patterns. Some sporting designs are so beautifully executed that it’s a shame to pleat or gather them, so instead use as walling, on screens or backing shutters, and if appropriate as backing for coat racks and mirror frames.
It’s always a slightly awkward decision – where and how to use a fabric that has such definite motif and particular story – they look a bit odd out of their environment, but they might depict your first love, or at least a hobby; but does more of the same really work- do we went skiers in our alpine chalet?
We’ve come across the question many times and my conclusion, for what it’s worth is, simply not to ‘ throw the baby out with the bathwater’. If a design is really well drawn and coloured it can work anywhere, but it needs to be appropriate. So, if fishing is your hobby and you live in the city then line the doors of the cupboard that stores the fishing tackle, or cover storage boxes, or line a baskets boxes, or line a gilet- use it and enjoy it where it best fits. If you live right next to your river perhaps the cloakroom curtains, or all of the walls, or one wall – more, but not too much of it.
In this vein, we’ve covered several boards with hooks fitted to them that we’ve fitted to the walls of cloakrooms or coat rooms or along a corridor with such hobby fabrics on, or some good dog drawings – the pieces that we see between are enough to enjoy it. My boot room curtains have hens and hen houses all over them, quite a dense overall design. I really like the pattern but the mud proof colours were the real winner. Because I didn’t want anything plain, or striped, or checks or floral.
And it is for just these situations, where we don’t want plain, or geometric, or floral pattern, or stripe, or check that sporting prints come into the own. They can be fun and uplifting in studies, back rooms, halls and corridors, children’s areas particularly; yachts in children’s room, hens in the kitchen, golf in the study, fishing in the boot room -all fine. At the window and for cushions, bench seats and for slip covers in any of these areas. Just the one wall might be enough for wallpaper.
We’ve used skiing weaves and prints on the beds of ski chalets, with woollen plaids and properly chunky knitted bedding, but not at home in the city or green countryside. One of the prettiest restaurants I’ve seen in the middle of a ski resort, had a charming old fashioned ski print at the windows, above with cowskin upholstered bench seats and if you were sitting outside, a basket of grey army blankets to wrap around when it got cold. Perfect.
Sporting prints are fun, offer a bit of light relief so treat them as such, but seriously !