Joined-up making

Joined-up making is a satisfying way to make. And the more makers you become acquainted with, as tends to happens over time, the easier it becomes. Joined-up making is probably best explained by example — and, as examples go, the cotton onion-stitch blazer is a casebook one.

It works like this. The cloth — lightly brushed cotton-drill from one part of Lancashire — is spun, woven, and finished by the mill. It is then dispatched by the mill to a one-man quilting company in the same part of Lancashire. The quilter — an expert in the field of geometric stitching shapes, from diamonds to dodecahedrons — takes this cloth, and does to it what he does best: in this case, runs a tessellating onion-shaped stitch pattern across it, using yarn whose colour matches that of the cloth. The result: a unique type of material, assembled on ground bordered by Rochdale, Burnley, Blackburn, and Halifax.

And that — that about sums up joined-up making: one maker working hand in glove with another, and always better when makers are both in the same neck of the woods.

The onion-stitch blazer itself is an easy-going three-button number; casual sleeves, relaxed fit, a curved and notch-less lapel. It has a buggy lining — with two curved cuts of off-white cotton running and overlapping across the inside-back of the jacket — which is generally the preserve of more formal attire, but otherwise, this is a blazer that doesn’t stand on ceremony. The assembly part of making was handled by the outerwear factory in North London. The factory is 200 miles south, as the crow flies, from the joined-up cotton mill-quilter connection. But still, in the grand scheme of things, the cotton onion-stitch blazer, down to its Midlands-made corozo-nut buttons, is a very domestic affair.

Onion-stitch blazer in fawn worn with white cotton-oxford shirt with detachable collar.

The onion-stitch blazer is now in the shop and workshop in colours fawn and navy-blue. It isn’t the only example of joined-up making this month, either, with its close relative, the cotton-drill onion-stitch vest, also available, in blue and fawn, from today.