On Trend, On Track: Carpet designs for the rail sector inspired by movement

Designing textile flooring for rail applications is always a challenge with the final selections often being a compromise between the train OEMs, operators and the need for compliance. It can be a tricky brief with a decision making process that will invariably lead to a custom solution. That said you often need a starting point for a discussion and that starting point is normally a set of samples which demonstrate capability, setting the parameters of what can and can’t be achieved with the process.

But what if you take a different view? We recently asked in-house designer Karen Shatwell to design a range of train carpets with a bit more creative freedom, our hope being Karen’s inspiration will influence future developments in the sector.

Titled project ‘Project destination’, we asked Karen to focus on the structure of the railway and the interaction of its elements – the only constraint on design being we had to be able to make them!

“The rail network is at centre of our environment and is constantly moving. The more I thought about this the more I became interested in the patterns and shapes made by its infrastructure and the movement of trains upon it. From the passing of trains at night to the complex interconnection of rails and points the key was translating my influences into the product,” Karen explains.


The resulting designs capture this completely with the abstract quality of space and line working together with the texture of the yarn to give a real sense of movement.

project-destination-metal-blogproject destination blog 2.jpg

Although within the collection there are quite diverse patterns Karen is quick to stress that each have a common link and can be coloured to any scheme.

“Throughout the project I tried to remain conscious of the final application and although at the concept stage there was a high level of design freedom I and wanted to develop designs that ultimately are fit for purpose.”

Karen Shatwell is part of our in-house design team and has worked on a number of rail interiors.

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