Skandium with Bute

Skandium were delighted when facing the challenge of bringing forward a fabric which would compliment  20th Century furniture, such as chairs by Finnish architect and design maverick, Alvar Aalto. We wanted to create something which would give warmth to the modernist furniture, maintaining a timeless feel but adding a contemporary twist with a carefully selected colour range.

Skandium value quality craftsmanship and high end ethical production above all and so when faced with this challenge we looked no further than Bute Fabrics ( Bute Fabrics is a contemporary fabric manufacturer based on the Isle of Bute, off the West coast of Scotland. The landscape, colours and textures of the island provide a rich seam of inspiration for their design team. Far from being isolated, Bute Fabrics enjoys an international profile, working with designers and manufacturers across the globe.

The company and the island share a unique family history. The 5th Marquess of Bute set up company in 1947 to provide employment for returning servicemen and servicewomen and the Bute family has been inextricably linked with the island and its development ever since. John Bute, 7th Marquess of Bute and other family members are shareholders and owners of the business.

Cloth weaving in Scotland is not just about the cloth, it is about weaving history into it. We wanted to be part of that great tradition and reputable weaving culture.

Skandium joined forces with Sarah Long, Bute’s long standing sales representative and Catherine Murray, Bute’s fabric designer and technician. Together we developed our concept of a fabric that has a classic feel with a personal touch.  We aspired to create a fabric which would  reflect the craft that Bute and their weavers are so very well known for.

Above, Sarah Long from Bute cutting colour swatches at the Skandium office. Here you see 10 meters of fabric samples, woven in hundreds of different patches in a variety of shades and combinations.


The result of our project is a fabric we call Pebble. Pebble Fabric has a three dimensional texture and it’s warm feel and aesthetic almost resembles sheepskin.  We chose the Artek 401 chair and Artek Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto as the perfect pieces for upholstering in the new fabric. We feel that the Pebble fabric compliments the furniture perfectly.


The pieces will be presented during London Design Festival 2013 in an exhibition called ARTEK TODAY, at our Marylebone store, inspiring contemporary living with classic pieces.

To celebrate the Iconic Stool 60’s 80th anniversary we’re also offering you a chance to win a Stool 60. To be in with a chance all you need to do is pick up an Artek postcard in store and design your ideal Stool. Get creative in store at our entries station or post your design back to us. Entries will be judged by Artek and Skandium’s creative teams. There are 3 beautiful stools up for grabs.

Visit us in Marylebone during LDF (14th – 22nd of September) for the Artek Today exhibition.