Friday, 1 June 2012
Men of the Cloth - London Cloth Company
London Cloth Company Weaving into the Heart of London
How very pleasing to hear of a small-scale company bringing weaving back into the heart of service-industry heavy London.
Founded in 2010, the London Cloth Company develops and undertakes the winding, warping and weaving of quality woven fabrics for the clothing industry. The mill is based in Hackney, East London.
As a boutique manufacturer, they can be agile and stay niche. They've tracked down a host of traditional machines, which they use for each stage of the weaving process.
The company works with one of the top fabric finishers in the country, W.T. Johnson & Sons, who provide a large range of excellent finishes that produce, as founder Daniel Harris (pictured above left with designer John Lancaster) explains, "a fine, yet medium-weight fabric that is dense and durable".
Remember we spoke about Johnson's London Shrunk finish.
The London Cloth Company develops fabrics for designers and tailors, providing a made-to-order service, whilst also designing their own line. Daniel says, "We prefer not to issue extensive swatch books as we tend to work directly with our customers to create bespoke fabrics." The minimum order is 30 metres for single-width cloth.
In recent times the desirability of the designer label has eclipsed regard for the skill of the craftsman and notions of workmanship and fine materials - the detail. When only the label matters, the quality of products suffer. The balance is being redressed, and the London Cloth Company's order book grows along with an appreciation of what's found behind the label.
Keeping British Sheep in Work
The company is passionate about manufacturing in Britain. Much of the wool used in the UK comes from Australia. The London Cloth Company are working with a wool company spinning yarn solely with 100% natural British wool, and all from conservation flocks.
Award Winning Weaving
Daniel Harris, founder of the London Cloth Company, was the 2011 winner of the Working Professional Textile Weaver award from the The Textile Society of the UK.
Photographs courtesy of Steven Jones.
Tweedy's Vision: Will the UK's future manufacturing competitiveness spring from a return to human-scale specialist manufacturing companies with big hearts and Old Town-clad workers? Be nice to think so.