St Albans rug company’s royal stamp of approval

A RETRO rug bearing the Queen’s head has been created by a local company.

The Rug Gallery in St Albans came up with the idea of making a rug in the design of the British stamp and has been awarded the global licence from Royal Mail to sell the product which even had to go to Buckingham Palace before it could get the thumbs up.

Richard Mathias, who co-founded the bespoke rug business with Julian Blair more than 21 years ago, said: “We work closely with a very creative lady called Zara Siddiqui who has worked with Royal Mail and had the licence for producing stamp cushions and we thought that could look quite interesting as a rug as well.

“We did a sample to see what it would look like and took some prototypes along to Royal Mail which was very impressed with the product.

“We had to then go through a lot of lawyers and we thought it was only going to be licensed for use as a wall hanging, but it had to go to Buckingham Palace which said we could use it as a floor covering as well.

“We can make them in many different sizes but it has to be in the same proportions as the stamp otherwise the Queen’s head would be distorted and they have to be in the same denominations.”

The rugs, which feature a sculptured Queen’s head and zig-zag edges, are hand-made from 100 per cent New Zealand wool in Nepal and the highly skilled work takes around 12 weeks to complete.

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Next year the Rug Gallery, which has a shop in Verulam Road as well as trading and software arms to the business, is also hoping to add to its Royal collection with a rug in the design of the Penny Black – the first ever adhesive stamp.

Richard said the rugs appealed to a wide range of people: “It attracts a variety of different customers, from the traditional stamp collector at one end of the spectrum to designers of very modern flats that want something very cutting edge and contemporary, and then royalists to ex-pats who want a piece of home, or those who just want something a bit tongue in cheek.”

He added: “It is very much leading the rug industry as something different at the moment, a quirky way of doing things.”

More than 100 of the rugs have already been made and as well as being stocked by the Rug Gallery, they will be sold at a newly-opened Royal Mail shop within Selfridges as well as other prestigious outlets.

The smallest rug which measures 1.2 metres by 1 metre will set buyers back �695. See