Sunday sees the sixtieth birthday of Hollywood legend Mickey Rourke, the star of your scribe’s favourite movie – The Wrestler (2008). Rourke was robbed of the Best Actor award at the Oscars, and it’s a mystery why the movie wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, Best Script, Best Director and more. And yes, it’s true, your scribe is a Ring Rat for Rourke.

Ramshead upholstery textile by Bute Fabrics & Timorous Beasties. Photograph courtesy Bute Fabrics

Rourke’s character is an ageing professional wrestler whose Bump Card is notched out. He drives a clapped out Dodge Ram shorty van, lives in a trailer park. carries a torch for a stripper and has a broken relationship with his daughter. A Drawing Power during his 1980s glory days, Randy The Ram – Robinson is a busted flush. But what’s this got to do with carpets and textiles? Read on.

Ramshead upholstery fabric by Bute Fabrics and Timorous Beasties. Photograph courtesy Bute Fabrics

The motif of a ram’s head is central to the character’s ring identity. His signature move is the “Ram Jam” – a swan dive headbutt from the ring ropes, and ram references are laced throughout the film. Rourke and Darren Aronofsky probably have ample memorabilia from the film, but they might want to commemorate their classic by upholstering a few contemporary chairs or sofas in Bute Fabrics’ pure new wool (with 15% nylon) “Ramshead” upholstery fabric.

Woven in Scotland on the Isle of Bute, the world renowned Bute Fabrics is five years older than Rourke. “Ramshead” was designed in collaboration with Timorous Beasties, and was inspired by a ram’s skull found by a member of Bute Fabric’s staff who lives on a livestock farm. The team boiled it in bleach and the spare outline inspired the fabric. While it’s true the design looks a bit Donnie Darko, your scribe prefers to see a sea of discrete repeat homages to Rourke, Randy The Ram and The Wrestler. Happy Birthday Mickey Rourke! DJ

Kay + Stemmer chair upholstered in Ramshead by Bute Fabrics & Timorous Beasties. Photograph courtesy Bute Fabrics

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