A beautiful pair of made-to-measure curtains can transform a room. These are the British soft furnishing brands you need to know about.

House renovations are, in equal measure, a thrill and a stress – and often both all at once. But, as most people who have weathered the refurb storm will attest, it is the final flourishes that really bring the fun. Choosing paint colours and fabrics is sheer joy after months of work on the bare bones and, we think, curtains are the icing on the decorative cake.

Beautiful and practical, they provide warmth, both literal and aesthetic, blocking out draughts and adding a softness to the scene. There are some excellent off-the-peg bargain curtains from high street retailers to be found – but, should you be in the market for an interlined pair that will fit your house like a glove, made-to-measure, though naturally more expensive, are made to last a lifetime, will always look sumptuous and are seldom regretted

These are the artisans and companies making some of the best made-to-measure curtains in the UK.

Cabbages & Roses

Cabbages & Roses fabric is a romantic dream, a nod to the Platonic ideal of the country house – and yet, amidst the florals, there is a lightness, freshness and lack of fuss to the whole affair that make them perfect for contemporary spaces too. Whether you opt for the sweetest tiny sprig designs, larger blooms or a fresh seaside stripe, these excellent quality linen fabrics will make a softening addition to city or country homes. Need inspiration? Check out Christina Strutt’s latest tome, A Life In Fabric. Explore the collection here.

Chloe Jonason Interiors

A soft furnishing business based in the Lincolnshire countryside, Jonason’s onus is on creating handmade and sustainable homeware using ‘slow’ textiles. Chloe’s background is in History of Art – a discipline that no doubt informed her attention to detail and love of intense, exquisite colour. And, in addition to her collection of suzanis, rugs, lampshades and kantha quilts, we love her bespoke, handmade curtains, such as this vibrant blue striped pair. Explore the collection here.

Daughters Of Gaea

A luxury ethical homeware brand, Daughters of Gaea sells fabrics that are ‘lovingly handcrafted by female-led artisan groups.’ The inspiration for their work, meanwhile, which is designed in London, comes from prints and artworks from around the globe. Using low-impact dyes, the company has its eye not only on looks but ethics – supporting and empowering female handwork economies – and also on environmental factors, too. Supporting its aim to become carbon negative, it works with a reputable carbon off-setter, which assesses the ecological impact of the supply chain in detail. Great aesthetics and a conscience. Double win. Explore the collection here.

Vanessa Arbuthnott

Like many businesses we love, former nurse Vanessa Arbuthnott’s came to life around her kitchen table two decades ago. Unable to afford curtains for her Cotswolds home, she decided to make them herself. She recalls, ‘I found screen printing and block printing liberating and enriching and to my surprise, friends started using the designs in their own homes. My enthusiasm for designing fabric burns stronger than ever and I just hope that people continue to humour and fund my passion!’ While her children slept, she got busy with her pinking shears – and, soon enough, her hard work was rewarded with some rave coverage in Country Living magazine and the Saturday Telegraph. There is a huge range to choose from and, once you’ve made your choice, your curtains will be made in Arbuthnott’s traditional workshop. Expect exceptional quality and service. Explore the collection here.

Molly Mahon

Molly Mahon’s Sussex-based hand block printing brand is much trumpeted in the pages of glossy magazines – and with good reason. Fresh, sweet and vibrant, her fabrics pep up every room they adorn, redolent of the countryside yet somehow just as at home in city settings. If you’re into a maximalist aesthetic, there are few people who do it so well – and for those who want to go the whole hog, why not choose matching (or indeed clashing) prints for the wallpaper, rugs and cushions too? We have a particular soft spot for the Marigold Oyster print in yellow. Explore the collection here.

Kate Forman

In 2004, after many years as an antiques dealer and interior designer, Kate Forman established her own eponymous textiles brand. It was always going to be a hit. Her well-trained eye stood her in immaculate stead as she launched her business, initially focusing on French-inspired designs and slowly working to expand the range into traditional British and more contemporary sensibilities alongside. If they look familiar, they should be: Forman’s designs grace boutique hotels galore, from Kit Kemp’s Firmdale Hotels, and Soho House Oxfordshire to The Pig, Dorset and Hound Lodge, Goodwood. Explore the collection here.


For anyone looking for the last word in traditional curtains, there is no more comprehensive place to find everything you need than at Sanderson. A collective of seven quintessentially British luxury interior brands and two manufacturing brands, Archive, Clarke & Clarke, Harlequin, Morris & Co., Sanderson, Scion, Zoffany, Anstey Wallpaper Company and Standfast & Barracks all come under its luxury umbrella. We challenge you not to spend hours trawling through the website imagining its lavish textiles adorning your room. Explore the collection here.

Charleston Farmhouse

For sheer romance, the fabric designs sold at Charleston Farmhouse, the beautifully preserved Sussex retreat of the Bloomsbury Group, are unbeatable. We love them all, but are especially enamoured with the Duncan Grant-designed ‘Clouds’, seen here on an armchair but equally exquisite as curtains. Explore the collection here.

By Nancy Alsop
August 2022

Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.