4 Jan 2013

A pre Christmas Mill Visit

Just before Christmas I was lucky enough to visit one of my favourite weaving enterprises; The London Cloth Company in Hackney, London's first micro-mill, for some mulled wine, weaving demonstrations and mince pies. A cross between a hidden garden shed and a wonderful space for  heritage weaving I found the visit hugely inspiring. Whilst there I was introduced to a couple of renovation projects; large, heavy pieces of loom lying in corners, waiting to be put together. These pieces are collected form all over the UK, usually around the North and Manchester, where most of the mills have now been closed. Sometimes a number of the same model of broken old loom (some dating fro as early as c1850) have to be bought in order to cut, weld, model and attach it all back together to create a new (old) functioning loom. These heavy black renovated looms from the industrial revolution are then used by The London Cloth Company to weave lengths of very high quality fabric (usually woollen tweeds) for customers in high fashion companies who value the craft and quality of traditional British cloth. It was an inspiration to visit this small mill in London and to see someone so passionate about reigniting the manufacturing industry in Britain and conserving diminishing skills and crafts.