Heart of Huddersfield; Heritage, Tradition, Sustainability
August 15th 2019: Before launching HoH range
This blog entry is our second installment detailing more info prior to the launch of the Heart of Huddersfield woollen fabric collection. Click here to read the first installment: Fabworks Makes A Special Announcement.
Huddersfield is famous for its woollen manufacturing, being one of the most impressive and renowned producers of wool cloth across the world. Fabworks is fortunate enough to have access to its mills, experience its heritage first hand and support the local industry that is built on tradition and its surrounding landscape.
When creating a bespoke woven woollen collection, you need to know exactly what the end product will be and how all the ingredients will go together, after all, we wanted this to be a recipe that would be full of Fabworks unique and quality ingredients and one we can use for future ventures.
Bringing to life our custom woollen collection was more challenging than we originally anticipated, especially the technicalities of weaving and how many yarn combinations each design requires. This is where our expert advisers and master weavers (who have asked to remain silent) advised us. Known throughout Yorkshire for their impeccably woven fabrics, from country tweeds through to fine worsteds and tartans, combining profession, hobby and passion making for a winning recipe.
|The spinning mules processing the yarn ready for weaving||The finished yarn samples ready to be mixed & matched before being sent to the weavers.|
As weavers of traditional heritage wool fabrics and other first quality textiles for apparel, quirky colour combinations weren’t something that they were used to, as you can imagine! … But, in combining their skills and our ideas the end result is a collection of fabrics that sums up all the best things about the Yorkshire woollen trade and its surrounding landscape, with a colourful and quirky Fabworks twist. What could be better than working with local manufacturers? Nowadays, in this age of sustainability and environmental concerns, we know sourcing locally made goods is a positive step forwards and keeps the fabrics’ carbon footprint very low. Dewsbury is the hometown of Fabworks and is only 8 miles from Huddersfield.
Fabworks is a family business with 25 years of experience trading as fabric merchants, with our roots firmly planted in the woollen trade and a great supporter of UK produced textiles. Like the Mills within West Yorkshire steeped in history and tradition, Fabworks is making its own history as we are learn and immerse ourselves in all things wool.
We are all Yorkshire folk who love fabric and it is hard to escape from the influence that the woollen industry has had on generations of us. We know that Huddersfield is famous for its woollen mills, and played a part in the history of the Industrial Revolution and we are proud of our heritage, but since our immersion in this project we have had our eyes opened.
Top Italian fashion houses such as Prada, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana actively commission Yorkshire woollen mills to spin, weave and finish their cloths. Therefore we decided it was time to remind people and take the opportunity to show those that do not know, that the mills of Huddersfield sit near the top of the pile as one of the world’s best manufacturers of the finest woollen fabrics. If you want to know more about the history of the woollen industry and weaving around Huddersfield take a look at C&J Antich’s website. One of our favourite quotes: The history of textiles is long and eventful, steeped in tradition and intrinsically woven into the heritage of West Yorkshire.
With Fabworks’ special new woollen fabric collection being created (spun, woven and finished) only 8 miles away in the heart of the Heavy Woollen Industry, we are supporting local business’ and reducing our carbon footprint, as well as creating fabric perfection (if that is possible). This collection so far makes up over 80% of our wool yield for this A/W season, compared to previous years where we haven’t had any locally manufactured fabrics.
From spinning the yarn all the way through to doing a rub test on the finished piece, everything takes place in a five mile radius in the ‘Heart of Huddersfield’.
To give ourselves a better understanding and emphasise sentiment and passion behind our new collection we took a day trip to visit the mills that would be producing our cloth, touring the five mile radius. This tour took up to visit the companies involved in our fabrics production and through the rolling hills of rugged countryside, broken only by rivers and streams and characteristic dry-stone walls.
One of the highlights from our visit in seeing these mills and their workforce, reassured us that our fabrics are produced by a skilled workforce, who are proud of their products, and have been surrounded by the woollen industry all their lives. These people have been in the Yorkshire textiles industry for generations, proud Yorkshire men and women that aren’t scared to get their hands dirty, with the expertise to produce the best results. You have only to look and feel at these wonderful wools, to know the proof is in the pudding.
|The rolling hills of the Holme Valley, home to where the Heart of Huddersfield was made!|