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.

Flannel mill
Somerset
This place is most famous for flannel — mostly because this is where it was invented. But you don’t get far these days with only the tried and tested. More

Weaving studio
Mourne Mountains

Its name might be synonymous for melancholy, and its first loom was built by the local coffin-maker, but the cloth made here — little in the Isles so vital. More

Melton mill
West Yorkshire

The most dense, the most intensively milled, and the most heavily brushed woollens anywhere in the Isles — supplied to the military for over 200 years. More
Horn works
Lancashire

A cornucopia if ever there was one: shaping, and polishing cow horn — and, in so doing, making things like toggles for duffle coats — since the 1700s. More

Woollen mill
Inner Hebrides

Within the context of cloth, the Inner Hebrides are the other Hebrides. They’re the Hebrides where you can have any colour you like, so long as it’s sheep. More
Linen weaver
Outer Hebrides

Linen woven in the old traditions of Hebridean linen — which is to say, an original, one of a kind, against-grain endeavour, in the land of tweed. More
Woollen mill
South Wales

Sheep-rearing sorts began bringing their fleeces down into the coastal valley of the mill a couple of hundred years ago: the looms have clacked on ever since. More

Glove maker
South-west England

Every day, here in the crucible of England’s glove-making tradition, a team of craftspeople busily enact the old adage about silk purses and sows’ ears. More
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.
Spectacle-frame factory
London

The very last spectacle-frame factory in Britain is a factory in many ways in name only: more a four-storey home of a few highly dexterous craftspeople. More

Tweed mill
County Donegal

Untraditional traditional Donegal tweed woven here, with two men — father and son — side by side, weaving cloth on looms in a shed beside the family home. More
Outerwear factory
North-east London

Meticulous cutters and unflappable seamsters coalesce around reassuringly regimented tea-breaks for some of the best-made jackets and coats around. More
Knitwear maker
South-west

Handiwork — lots of it. Hand-looming, hand-framing, and hand-linking: slow and steady ways to make fittingly handsome jumpers and scarves and socks. 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.
Cashmere mill
West Yorkshire

Making things with the extraordinarily fine hair of the cashmere goat calls for some extraordinarily clever contraptions — not least the aeons-old teasel-gig. More
Shirtmaker
Kent

With specialism, sometimes, comes exceptionalism, and here, over three narrow floors, cuffs, collars, and sleeves of imperious quality are cut and sewn. 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.

Worsted mill
West Yorkshire

The Heavy Woollen District might no longer be centre of the woollen world, but the one or two of the mills still standing there have never had it so good. More
Horn button maker
West Midlands

The premises might’ve changed, but what they make at the old West Midlands button-maker have changed barely even a jot since the American Civil War. 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. 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. 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.

Woollen mill
Gloucestershire

Here be 200 year-old weavers of industry-leading saxony twills, double-cloths, cavalry twills, and a good many other to-be-reckoned-with jacket materials. More
Sample room
North-west London

Unassuming premises, the sample-room in north-west London, and yet vital — putting out the cleanest samples and small runs for the best part of a century. 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. 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.
Hat maker
South-east England

The hat maker: top dog in the blocking, brushing, and brim-curling game since some time between the Napoleonic Wars and the American Revolution. More