Industrial history captured in the 21st century
We’re delighted to announce a new collaboration with London Cloth Company on a very special range of soft furnishings and accessories made with rope dyed Indigo and unbleached cotton. This is the first time we’ve woven our own cloth specifically for a project and working with the only weavers in London means we’re continuing our ethic of supporting rare British craftsmanship.
In the summer of 2016, I heard from a friend working in fashion about a weaver that had set up in London using vintage looms and decided to check them out. After speaking to the lively and definitely eccentric weaver on the phone, I made an appointment to visit.
I traveled to the outer edges of London to an obscure industrial estate to discover an extraordinary workshop crammed with vintage industrial looms. The relatively small warehouse had an extraordinary atmosphere dominated by vintage machinery – it was industrial history captured in the 21st century.
I received a warm welcome from the man behind the machines Daniel Harris. As we settled into some tea and biscuits I was amazed to discover that Daniel had saved most of the machines from being scrapped. Daniel had single handedly rebuilt and refurbished the looms working with no prior knowledge, few mechanical instructions and very little on the web to help. The looms came from all over the UK and Ireland, often in bits, literally tonnes of rusting metal like a seemingly impossible industrial jigsaw puzzle.
It took Daniel nearly two years to get fully operational, sourcing parts, working day and night to get these forgotten giants of industry working again.
The looms date from 1904 up to 1970, including a pedal powered loom dating from the early 20th century that the company now use for knitting scarves.
Whilst there is an obvious romance that comes with the vintage looms, it was Daniel Harris’s extraordinary knowledge of weaving and his inventive approach for mixing lost and forgotten styles made us realise that it was a great fit for Lane.
Daniel's approach to working sustainably also captured our imagination. We’re always looking for collaborators that are highly considered in their approach to materials, that consider their environmental impact. Daniel had been experimenting for some time with unbleached and natural rope dyed indigo cotton which was resulting in soft, weighty fabrics with a wonderful lustre that drape beautifully.
This was the perfect starting point for us and working with this beautiful two sided cloth meant our new collection of soft furnishings and accessories came together very naturally.
It’s alway been our mission to work as close to home and sustainably as possible. Weaving a cloth in London, working with natural dyes and unbleached cotton is another step in the journey.
See the soft furnishings collection here.
See the accessories here.
All of these beautiful photographs were taken by James Gardiner.