Makers

“If it wasna for the weavers, what would ye do? Ye wouldna hae your cloth that’s made o woo’.” Exactly. And not just the weavers, either. If it wasn’t for makers — and this lot are the best in the Isles — you wouldn’t have very much at all.

Woollen mill
Inner Hebrides
In the context of cloth, the Inner Hebrides are the other Hebrides. They’re the ones where you can have any colour of wool you like, so long as it’s sheep.  Read more

Jersey maker
Leicestershire

The best jersey begins down in the basement, and down in the basement today, among row on row of knitting machines, it is very cold.  Read more
Horn button maker
West Midlands

A cacophony of contraptions suggests things are going in the right direction at the newest button-maker in the Midlands. Full report soon — and for the moment.
Tweed mill
County Donegal

Untraditional traditional Donegal tweed woven here: two men — father and son — side by side, weaving cloth on looms in a shed beside the family home.  Read more

Knitwear maker
South-west

Handiwork — lots of it. Hand-looming, hand-framing, and hand-linking: slow and steady ways to make reliably sublime jumpers, scarves, and socks.  Read more
Worsted mill
West Yorkshire

The Heavy Woollen District might no longer be centre of the woollen world, but one or two of the mills still standing here have never had it so good.  Read more
Shirtmaker
Kent

With specialism comes exceptionalism: over three narrow floors, cuffs, collars, sleeves, and yokes of imperious quality are cut, sewn, and finished.  Read more

Sample room
North-west London

Unassuming but vital premises, the sample-room in north-west London — putting out small runs and samples for the best part of a century.  Read more
One-man-mill
North-east London

With his fleet of restored bygone-era looms, there’s little the one-man mill can’t do, or risk life and limb attempting. Full write-up soon — and in the meantime.
Outerwear factory
North-east London

Meticulous cutters and unflappable seamsters combine around pleasingly regimented tea-breaks for the best-made jackets and coats around.  Read more

Brass foundry
West Midlands

The metallurgists of the best buckle maker in the Black Country: a region steeped in metalwork since Judas Priest. The full write-up is on the way — and until then.
Horn button maker
West Midlands

The premises recently changed, but what they make at the old West Midlands button-maker have changed barely a jot since the American Civil War.  Read more
Pattern-cutter
North London

The maestro. Cutting at the top for half a century brings the nous and skill and confidence of truly accomplished craftsmanship. More soon; this for now.

Cotton mill
Lancashire

Cotton. There’s nothing you can’t do with cotton — not least when you have the finest cloth-brains in the country on the case. More soon — but for the time being.
Glove maker
South-west England

Every day, here in the crucible of England’s glove-making tradition, a team of craftspeople enact the old adage about silk purses and sow’s ears.  Read more
Cashmere mill
West Yorkshire

Weaving with extraordinarily fine hair of the cashmere goat calls for some extraordinarily clever contraptions — not least the aeons-old teasel-gig.  Read more

Woollen mill
Gloucestershire

Here be 200 year-old weavers of industry-leading saxony twills, double-cloths, cavalry twills, and many other to-be-reckoned-with jacketings.  Read more
Cap maker
County Donegal

Simple and superior scalp-wear has been made at this place — slap-bang among the very best makers of tweed north-west Ireland — for quite some time.  Read more
Spinning factory
County Donegal

When it comes to yarn of the Donegal variety, accept no substitutes: unless dyed and spun and carded and nepped and burred here, it just won’t do.  Read more

Spectacle-frame factory
East London

The last spectacle-frame factory in Britain is a factory in many ways in name only; more a four-storey home of a few dozen highly dexterous craftspeople.  Read more
Linen mill
Outer Hebrides

Linen woven in the true traditions of Outer Hebridean linen — which is to say, a one-of-a-kind, against-the-grain venture in the land of Harris Tweed.  Read more