Cole & Son

Colours – Pattern - Exceptional Wallpaper & Fabrics

Cole & Son, founded in 1875, stands for authentic and distinguished wallpapers based on British design heritage, but also for a number of amazing art collaborations. Cole & Son is widely perceived as a leader in the global wallpaper industry.

The brand stands for quirky, innovative and conversational design. It is the wallpaper supplier by Royal Warrants of Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen. Cole & Son has a long history of patterns that have furnished many stately homes, palaces, castles and theatres throughout Britain and overseas, including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the White House.

Our story

Cole & Son was founded in 1875 by John Perry, son of a Cambridgeshire merchant. In those days the company was situated in Islington, north London, an area famous for the 190 hand block printing companies working there in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Throughout the 19th century Cole & Son printed for many well-known companies of the time. In addition to high quality block printing, the company was renowned for supplying beautiful stripes and jaspes.
In the early days, the company developed machines that allowed for the re-introduction of the process of pan coating and revived the process of flocking which, invented in Holland in 1680, imitated cut velvet.
In 1941 the company was bought by A P Cole, proprietor of the company Cole & Son (Wallpapers) Ltd, with showrooms and offices at Mortimer Street in central London.

The Archive

The Cole & Son block archive includes designs to furnish many stately homes, palaces, castles and theatres throughout Britain and overseas, including the wallpaper designs of A W Pugin for the Palace of Westminster. The amalgamation of the two businesses[Office1] in 1938 meant that Cole & Son became the custodians of the most significant collection of wooden printing blocks in Britain.

Today, the Cole & Son archive consists of approximately 1,800 block print designs, 350 screen print designs and a huge quantity of original drawings and wallpapers, representing all the styles from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.
Amongst these are some of the most important historic wallpaper designs in the world. Cole & Son has provided wallpapers for many historic buildings including Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. Our magnificent archive is on occasion the source of new designs within our collections. Designs are carefully selected, adapted and coloured by our designers and printed by craftsmen to produce wallpapers which are faithful to the character of the original work, yet contemporary in feel.