Behind the scenes of our fluffy new installation
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that everyone loves a pom-pom. Not only are they playful, but their soft, tactile exterior is just what we’re craving when it comes to cosying up for autumn. So, while we throw on our warmest jumper, the Village is dressing up with a collection of bold woollen pom-poms. With some standing over a metre tall, in a rainbow of colours (think teal, burgundy, orange and pink), these vibrant decorations are hard to miss.
The company behind our autumnal makeover is Lehner Wool – who handcrafted the installation out of wire frames and pure wool. Despite starting out as a carpet manufacturer, the Austria-based brand has since expanded into all manner of woollen products, including floristry displays, wall hangings and pom-poms. “We want to transform the world into a brighter place,” says Miriam Lehner, whose grandfather launched the company in 1969 and who now – together with her parents Felicitas and Ing. Alexander Lehner – manages its day-to-day running.
We want to transform the world into a brighter place.
Taking inspiration from Miriam’s grandma – who used the company’s carpet waste materials in her floristry displays – Lehner Wool shifted focus away from solely carpets to discover new product lines. “She told my mum to sell the offcuts at floristry fairs – they flew out of her hands,” says Miriam. This smart idea later evolved into the STYLIT line, where wool is used by florists, in garden centres and by craftspeople in a display’s base or to wrap the flower stems. Today, the brand’s Silentum, Isolena and Felice lines complement the range.
“No matter the product, it’s always 100% wool. That’s our DNA. Everything is all natural too – no synthetics or adhesives, and even the dye is natural according to REACH standards. We buy all raw produce as locally as possible, from farms in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the like, so there’s no long transportation time.”
Sustainability is key creative driver for the Lehner family and its team. “Our designs aren’t something that you throw away after one season, instead you can recycle, reuse or repurpose.
“And we’re always looking for new ways to use sheep wool, an amazing raw material. We have annual workshops where we work with floral artists on new designs and consider the latest trending colours or needs. Or someone in our team will just have an idea for a creative new use and that’s that!”
For Lehner Wool, it’s important that every piece is functional, but also beautiful. This is where the brand’s vibrant colours come into play. The team names Barcelona as top of its inspiration list. “Antoni Gaudí and the Sagrada Família – the different materials, the colours, the mirroring in coloured glass – it’s all about the values that come across through art,” says Miriam. “I think travel opens up your creativity.”
So, this autumn, open up yours with a visit to one of the Villages in The Bicester Village Shopping Collection. You’ll find an army of fluffy pom-poms waiting for you.