Friday Files – Fermoie – The story behind it all

Friday Files – Fermoie – The story behind it all


Interview with Fermoie Director – Jamie Shawcross

  1. How and when was Fermoie Founded?

Fermoie was founded in August 2012 by Tom Helme and Martin Ephson.  Martin and Tom have been friends since school – in the early 1990’s whilst Martin worked in the City, Tom was a decorator, and colour consultant to The National Trust in their restoration on historic houses.  In his search for colours to match those used in the 18th and 19th centuries in Interior decoration, Tom found a company called Farrow & Ball making high quality paints in excellent colours.  He and Martin bought this company in 1993, growing it over 13 years to an international and hugely respected brand making paints and printing wallpapers before selling in 2006.  Both Tom and Martin have a huge interest and knowledge of early printed textile and often had discussed the potential of expanding the range of papers and paints to include printed fabrics.  In that environment it was not possible, but their passion led to the creation of Fermoie after a short break following the sale of Farrow & Ball.  We are hugely fortunate to have their expertise and investment behind Fermoie, allowing us not only to design the whole range in our own studio, but also to print all of our fabrics ourselves in our own factory, retaining control of the whole process.

  1. The process behind your product is incredibly fascinating and rare these days. Please explain your printing procedure.

We print traditionally, creating a subtle impression but with the depth of a woven fabric.  This is possible only by our decision to print with rotary screens rather than going down the more popular choice today of printing digitally, a brilliant process but one that we feel would not give us the ability to print as texturally as we want to.  All of Fermoie’s colours, as well as our designs are created in house making the whole range unique to Fermoie.

  1. What exactly is it that gives Fermoie its point of difference in the market?

Our designs are hand drawn, created in the Fermoie Studio where there is a huge wealth of knowledge and understanding of printed textile and interior design.  We print our designs ourselves, not having to reply on anyone else to interpret our printing and design desires, and this control over the whole process does allow us to ensure a quality of which we are hugely proud.  Nothing has ever, or will ever leave our factory unless we are proud of it, and unless it is beautiful.  Our high service level also is dependent on our control of all aspects of the process – all fabrics are printed and shipped from the UK within 5 working days of an order being confirmed.

  1. We are aware that there is an incredible variety of ways one can use your product. What was Fermoie’s initial intended use and what is the most common application for your fabrics?

Our fabrics are suited to all Interior use.  They are used by a wide range of designers and private clients worldwide, for projects big and small.  We have seen our fabrics used as walling in huge galleries and exhibitions in London using hundreds of metres, for huge and grand curtains and upholstered furniture in private houses and hotels around the world, but also and importantly for us in the houses of ‘real people’ – people who mind about good design and quality product to make cushions, bedheads, lampshades, blinds and curtains for their own home.