Vehicle parts

Moquette sample; as used on the RM- type bus, circa 1961
Sample of cut and loop pile wool moquette with graduated horizontal lines of maroon, brown and light green in a cut pile, interspersed with vertical lines of yellow in a loop pile, in a tartan style pattern. This design and colourway was standard for Routemaster type buses and dates from 1961. The maroon, yellow and grey/green colouring reflected the colouring used elsewhere in the interior of the bus.
Simple name : Moquette sample
Date : circa 1961
Collection : Vehicle parts
Object location : Covent Garden
Reference number : 1997/2993/103
Size : H 220mm, W 300mm
Associated company :
  • London Transport
  • Chiswick Laboratory
Commissioner : London Transport : circa 1961
Designer : Douglas Scott : circa 1961
Manufacturer : Unknown : circa 1961
Content text : WOOL MOQUETTE
Additional information : Moquette is the durable upholstery fabric used on public transport across the world. This tartan pattern has graduated horizontal lines of maroon, brown and light green combined with vertical lines of yellow. The design was standard for seating in the Routemaster buses throughout the 1960s. The industrial designer Douglas Scott was commissioned to help with the styling of the vehicle and its interior scheme. The lower sides were maroon, the ceilings yellow and the seat backs green. His moquette design reflects all these colours. The prominent vertical yellow lines helped to maintain the pattern of the tartan even after wear.
Material : Wool
Colour : Maroon,Brown,Light green,Yellow
Pattern name : Untitled design
Pattern repeat : 25mm
Pile : Cut and loop
Record completeness :
Record 75% complete

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Visitor comments

During the seventies I was a bus conductor at Upton Park and can remember being impressed by this moquette. It is indicative of the minute attention to detail that went into producing the famous Routemaster bus. Although it is not apparent in the photo the yellow stripe is actually recessed into the material and lies 2-3mm below the dark coloured face. Seats on London buses get a terrific battering during the day and what this means is that the dark top absorbs all the dirt and wear but the yellow stripes below the surface remain comparatively bright and clean. The worn brown seats on our RTs looked extremely dowdy by comparison. Routemasters became such a part of the scenery over the years that we forget just how good they were. Danny from Auckland, NZ. Formally London.

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