Established in 1988, Christopher Farr has been at the spearhead of contemporary rug design for over twenty five years. Together with his business partner Matthew Bourne, they were the catalyst that revolutionised contemporary rug design.
With backgrounds that are firmly rooted in antique Oriental carpets and textiles, Farr and Bourne share a passionate knowledge of contemporary art and design that informs the work that is produced to this day. Furthermore Farr trained at the Slade School of art In London and has allied this to an intimate understanding of the medium of weaving.
In 1991, a collaboration with Royal College of Art for an exhibition entitled ‘Brave New Rugs’ became a breakthrough event in the world of design and was the year that the company purchased its last antique rug. From then on the focus has been exclusively on producing contemporary rugs.
The attention the exhibition received led to a further collaboration with Romeo Gigli the acclaimed Italian fashion designer. Gigli’s collection launched at the Milan furniture Fair in 1993 and brought immediate international attention to the rugs of Christopher Farr.
Since then the world of rugs has never been the same , “Up to that point, new rugs were a dirty word. People laughed at us,” Farr says now. “Nobody else was doing it at the time.”
Amongst those who have collaborated with the company is Kate Blee, a London based textile artist whose work Farr came upon in 1987 at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Moved by the exhibit, he asked her if she would design a collection for his newly opened shop. Thus began a twenty year relationship that continues to this day.
One of the most personally rewarding projects for Farr and Bourne came in 1997, which brought them together with the family of Gunta Stölzl, the late Bauhaus designer who was ultimately forced out of the school in 1931 due to the festering right wing sentiments in Germany at that time. With the Stölzl family’s blessing, Christopher Farr produced rugs from her original designs from the 1920’s and thus ensured belated wider recognition of a genuine design pioneer.
That same year they opened a new gallery in Notting Hill, a fashionable London neighbourhood, with other galleries, boutiques and restaurants following in its wake.
Farr and Bourne continued to push the boundaries and established relationships with a diverse community of designers and artists with such luminaries as Gary Hume, Sarah Morris, Georgina Von Etzdorf, Andrée Putman, John Pawson and Claudio Silvestrin. With each collaboration a new challenge was presented and pushing the medium to its limits. Bourne’s broad experience in production and attention to detail led to the innovation of new techniques ” we have always been interested in finding new and better ways to make things whilst always respecting the traditions of the craft ” comments Bourne.
In 2003 these same principles were brought to bear on a new venture named Christopher Farr CLOTH, the companies first venture into the world of fabrics, now a thriving and established part of our activities.
The company continues this path of innovation though recent collaborations with the Josef and Anni Albers foundation in the USA and The Courtauld Institute in London, as well as artists Jorge Pardo and Gary Hume.
The company has prided itself on only using the very best available yarn, dyes and weavers to produce the finest rugs and textiles. Always using the very best available yarn, dyes and weavers and scrupulously avoiding the use of exploitive labour.
The name of Christopher Farr today stands for the utmost in quality and integrity.
Christopher Farr also actively support Care & Fair an organisation based in India dedicated to the elimination of child labour in the rug industry and the education of children in weaving areas.
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