Why bobble fringes are the new tinsel this Christmas

Bobbles offer an opportunity to create a discreetly decorative look which is bang on trend this Christmas.

At this time of year, the windows of London stores are a bellwether of things to come in the design world; at both Harrods and Harvey Nichols, a heady cocktail of neon, mirrorballs and spangly stars are promising followers of fashion an 1980s revival inspired by the Dynasty reboot (now that they’ve extracted all the fun they can from the sets of Mad Men).

Meanwhile, in the more sedate climes of Marylebone, the shopfront at VV Rouleaux is covered with a rash of red pom poms, suggesting that coloured bobbles are set to be the frivolous finishing touch for this Christmas and beyond.


Paperchase’s pom-pom wreath.

For almost 30 years, VV Rouleaux has supplied a riotous mix of ribbons, tie-backs, tassels and
trimmings to a disparate, creative clientele. The company was the brainchild of florist-turned-haberdasher Annabel Lewis, who opened her first store on the New King’s Road in 1990 (she recently opened a second in Bath).

Initially, her galvanised steel racks crammed with decorative details were a godsend to milliners and interior designers, as well as the fashion brigade, keen to add their own distinctive touch to clothing. The influence of the shop permeated far beyond its front door, encouraging a growing number of creative souls to customise everything from hats and upholstery to clothes and curtains.

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Rigby and Mac’s light-up garland.

VV Rouleaux isn’t the only one to be pushing the look; this Christmas, Paperchase has a vividly coloured wreath made from felt pom poms (£15, www.paperchase.co.uk), Habitat has pom-pom garlands by the metre (£15, www.habitat.co.uk) and Rigby and Mac has illuminated garlands (£26.95, www.rigbyandmac.com).

However, bobble fringes aren’t just for Christmas – they’re also fast finding renewed popularity as a key ingredient in the design of cushions, curtain pelmets and blinds.


Habitat’s Daffey.

Like so much haberdashery, bobbles offer an opportunity to create a discreetly decorative look without pushing the boat out – as indulgences go, bobbles don’t require deep pockets. At John Lewis, prices start at about £3 a metre.