The fabric retailer Ian Mankin opened his London shop in 1983 to sell quality British fabrics such as calico and ticking at affordable prices. He sold his business in 2009, but the brand lives on and retains his original vision for traditional manufacturing methods.
Today, 90 per cent of Ian Mankin fabrics are still woven on antique looms in a traditional Lancashire cotton mill that has been run by the same family for six generations. This is the place to shop for classic striped "ticking" fabric in myriad colours and designs.
The word ticking comes from the Latin Theca, which means "case". It was originally a tightly woven utility fabric dipped in starch so that feathers couldn't pierce it, and used to cover mattresses, but Mankin developed much softer and more usable types for upholstery, soft furnishings and accessories.
The selection at Ian Mankin's online shop is mind-boggling: linens sit alongside cotton fabrics, deckchair canvas and oilcloths for tables. The latest addition to the range is a stylish collection of indigo-dyed denim that will wash, wear and fade just like a pair of jeans. It comes in plain, striped or checked designs and is suitable for curtains, upholstery or clothing.
As well as fabrics, you'll find ready-made home accessories such as cushion covers, doorstops, bean bags and oven gloves, which is great news if you're not keen on sewing your own. I like the Linen 25 cushion best. Inspired by vintage Hungarian grain sacks, it has a simple red and blue stripe that is timelessly chic.
Recently, this fabric brand has branched out in to wallcoverings, too, launching a range of elegant Oxford Stripe and ticking patterned wallpapers.
There's also a small collection of reclaimed timber furniture tucked away on the website. Although it's hard to miss and slightly incongruous with the rest of the offerings, it's well worth a peep for the chunky weaver's table, a rustic bench/table that was used for many years in the original Ian Mankin weaving shed.
For shipping rates to the UAE, visit www.ianmankin.co.uk or call 44 (0) 207 722 2159