Martha's Furnishing Fabrics team.
Linda Abbott and the team at Martha's Furnishing Fabrics.

Linda Abbott, director of Martha’s Furnishing Fabrics, first became interested in textiles in high school when a passionate teacher introduced her to textile design.

“I loved fabric construction, fabrics, art and design, so it was a no-brainer to pursue. Textiles at the time was a viable art and design career, be it a glimmer of an industry. You also had the option to go it alone, so I did a textile design degree,” said Abbott.

After graduating, Abbott then spent the greater part of 20 years travelling and living overseas, dabbling in arts, textiles, retail, rural living and motherhood.

“Martha’s is a real coming together of all those things combined for me. A maturity that gives you confidence to back yourself and know a good fabric when you see one and the importance of relationships and having good people around you.”

Abbott bought the business nearly three years ago after the store had been carefully nurtured for ten years to become a treasure trove of beautiful, classic and unique fabrics from around the world.

She believes that at a fundamental level good design is how well it satisfies the brief.

“In the eye of the beholder, it’s what makes you smile and feel comfortable. For others, it’s the challenge a good design may ask of them. At Martha’s it’s about fulfilling a function – practically, aesthetically and increasingly sustainably.”

Many of the most renowned hotel properties across the world feature textiles and Abbott has some favourites that stand out from the crowd.

“In the textile world, it’s hard to go past the Firmdale Hotels with their bold and brave use of colour and pattern in textiles to make a statement and provide a unique user experience.

“My current favourite though; on a recent trip to New York I stayed at the newly opened MADE Hotel. Tactile and sensory, the clever and subtle use of materials was just so organic and comfortable. Combined with simple Japanese influenced design, it was a world away from the predictable grandness and complication that is New York.”

In the USA, where a lot of Martha’s fabrics are sourced, Martha’s are known as ‘jobbers’, meaning they buy and sell import mill ends, overruns, odd lots and special orders direct from top textile mills across the world. They also stock an extensive range of permanent lines from the same mills.

As designers and makers, Abbott and the team at Martha’s can give you a new set of eyes. They see beyond a bolt of fabric and visualise its end use. Not swayed by trends, Martha’s creates collections based on a classic aesthetic defined over years of being in the business.

Martha’s has experience bringing properties to life with its unique fabrics. From iconic New Zealand vineyards, breath-taking lodges and bed and breakfasts, bars and eateries, museums, caravans, retail stores and much more, Martha’s is more than capable of beautifully fitting out a site.

To find out more about how Linda Abbott and the team at Martha’s Furnishing Fabrics can improve your site, call 09 5233655 or email info@marthas.co.nz.