With the new year comes an exciting new development here at Silver Cross – our very own range of premium muslin swaddles. These luxury products encompass everything Silver Cross stands for – quality, care and love.
Each muslin in the collection features a beautiful all-over print. Jennifer Rivers, owner at Paper & Cloth – a team of artists commissioned to hand-draw the beautiful designs exclusively for Silver Cross, talks us through the inspiration behind the muslins – and what makes them unique.
What is Paper & Cloth?
After ten years of working as a product developer and buyer in the childrenswear industry, I decided it was time to embrace my passion for art colour, trend research and illustration and set up Paper & Cloth – a print and illustration studio. Our studio has grown steadily over the past decade, and we now have an incredibly skilled team of in-house designers whose talents and insights blow me away pretty much on a daily basis. We have the pleasure of designing for some amazing clients like Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, M&S, Hallmark, Petit Collage and now Silver Cross – who we’re so excited to be working alongside on its range of muslins.
Tell us more about the muslins.
It was extremely important for the muslins to reflect Silver Cross’ ethos of Crafted, Trusted, Loved and the Silver Cross design team developed the perfect fabric to do this. Crafted from OSC-certified organic cotton and naturally anti-bacterial bamboo fibres, the Silver Cross muslins are the softest of their kind. The hand-illustrated prints use non-toxic dyes and processes and they’re pre-washed too – which means they’re ready to use straight from the box and are plumped up to their most absorbent and softest state.
They are designed for mum as much as they are for baby – this was key. As a mother myself I love how they are more of an oversized fit – it’s such a revelation! Their large size means they’re the perfect blanket, scarf or a lightweight bath towel as your child gets older.
When you become a parent, your identity is challenged. You are so busy recovering physically and emotionally and a lot of the landscape around you is filled with paraphernalia just for baby. What drove this development was the idea that an everyday useable object could still be something attached to your sense of self-affirmation and bring a little sophistication and joy to everyday life.
And what about the hand-illustrated prints?
There are three muslin boxes in the collection, with three different prints in each. The names of the collections are Pretty Wild, Pretty Nature and Great Scott. Every print has been delicately hand-drawn by our team to achieve a fresh, natural and premium product that fits seamlessly into the Silver Cross family.
Whilst each set in the collection is totally different, the underlying message is the same – with a nod to their quality, our natural surroundings and the unconditional love felt between parent and baby.
Bright and vibrant animal and leopard prints – a celebration of wildness and conservation.
Modern florals in neutral, calming colours filled with love, nurture, and beauty.
Expedition and adventure combined in beautiful blues and greens.
What’s the process behind the design?
As shoppers, there are so many things that are happening in our conscious and subconscious that we’re unaware of. For example, why you suddenly love a certain colour or why you’re drawn to a certain print over another. It’s my job to really tap into what’s most appealing to different audiences throughout different seasons, so we can develop a print or a collection that’s the perfect combination of thought and care, wrapped into something that looks lovely and brings a little joy to the receiver too.
There were a few things that influenced the product development of the muslins for me and the amazing design team at Silver Cross. We dug deep into the trends, thoughts and feelings that would appeal and resonate with the target customer – new parents.
We explored the things in a consumer’s consciousness. At the time it was March 2021 – a period when the climate crisis and conservation of our epic planet was at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Not only did we want to create a series of prints to reflect this, but the product itself needed to have that sustainable and organic message too.
Another huge driver was to focus on how I felt as a mother and what I found to be useful, so we knew exactly what new parents were looking for – or what they didn’t know they needed!
Did you look at any trends in particular?
Trend is a difficult word. Some people imagine trend is a fad – something transient and disposable. The truth is we don’t have a good word to explain how our thoughts and feelings affect the way we behave and the things we buy.
During the pandemic we found ourselves shut away indoors, kept at a distance from friends and families. It was only natural that we craved comfort and trends such as cocooning and connecting with nature became prevalent. We saw lots of landscape scenes popping up across knitwear and interiors.
Seeing the world in crisis and mixed with the rising concern over the planet and a nostalgic yearning for simpler times erupted. From this a cottage core trend evolved and people became more modest in their consumption – we saw the world hurting and we didn’t want to add to the unnecessary excess.