October 3, 2023

Housing Designer

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East London Cloth: Purveyors of Household Linens, Made to Last

2 min read
over the past few years, gemma has steadily led the revival of the café cu 9

Gemma Moulton launched East London Cloth in 2020 with her grandmother’s advice in mind: “Make things that people will need.” Since then, the fabric merchant, maker, and designer has become the go-to for handmade, timeless curtains, blinds, and household linens.

over the past few years, gemma has steadily led the revival of the café cu 9
Above: Over the past few years, Gemma has steadily led the revival of the café curtain. Lightweight and plain, café curtains hang straight by a pole, loops, or rings and are used to cover the lower part of a window. Unlike shutters, they provide privacy while allowing light in. The overall effect is softer, more nostalgic, but practical nonetheless.

Gemma’s aesthetic is elegant but unfussy, loose yet quietly luxurious. “I spend a long time thinking about the longevity of our designs,” she explains. “They should sit quietly in the background and last for a really long time.”

This autumn, in response to the increasing demand for her beautifully made, understated household linens, Gemma and her husband, Ben, have opened a shop, showroom, and workroom on Vyner Street, a historic cobbled street on Regent’s Canal, East London.

gemma moulton outside east london cloth on vyner street. east london cloth is o 10
Above: Gemma Moulton outside East London Cloth on Vyner Street. East London Cloth is open by appointment during the week and open to all on Thursdays until late and on Saturday mornings. Visit East London Cloth to book an appointment.

Once the epicenter of London’s rag trade, Vyner Street is now home to a thriving creative community of businesses, shops, studios, and galleries. “In our own unique way, we want to bring back making to the East End,” says Gemma. “We want to ensure it’s celebrated, valued, and, most importantly, continued.”

initially, gemma envisaged the front of the premises as the shop and showroom,  11
Above: Initially, Gemma envisaged the front of the premises as the shop and showroom, with the workroom tucked out of sight. She soon realized that the making of each product was integral to her offering. Hence, the sewing machine and making table now take center stage.

counter curtains designed to fit a standard kitchen unit will soon be available 12
Above: Counter curtains designed to fit a standard kitchen unit will soon be available to buy readymade in store.

Inside, customers will find a traditional shop counter piled high with household linens. Shelves of fabric samples, trims, sundries, and hardware provide the backdrop to the thriving workshop, where Gemma’s team of makers transform fabrics woven in the UK into practical heirlooms. The full range of dinnerware and bedding will be available to purchase off the shelf, as will café curtains and set length poles in brass and steel.

next to launch will be a &#8\2\20;cut and collect’&#8\2\2\1;serv 13
Above: Next to launch will be a “cut and collect’”service, where café poles can be cut to size while you wait.

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