As a result of taking part in the One Year One Outfit project, I’m compiling a list of British fibres, fabrics and haberdashery supplies. If you’re aware of any interesting resources I’ve missed please do share. All of my own blog posts regarding British fibres and fabrics can be found here.
Britain has a long history of woolen fabric production. A brilliant source of information on British wool products (fabric, yarn, and just about everything else) is Woolsack, which was created by Sue Blacker. Woolsack can also be found on Ravelry. The Woolsack list of British wool fabric stockists is located here. The British Wool Marketing Board website also provides a list of British companies producing wool fabrics.
A number of the British companies producing fabric don’t sell direct to consumers and/or online. Some that do are listed below:
London Cloth Company – London-based micro-mill specialising in weaving to order, but with cloth also available via the meterage.
Dashing Tweeds – London-based (menswear) company/store with a range of British wool fabrics available via the meterage.
Harris Tweed and Knitwear – Family company producing a range of Harris Tweed cloth and products.
Harris Tweed Hebrides – Wide selection of tweeds.
Hebridean Wool House – Tweeds made with wool from hebridean sheep (listed under ‘tweed products’).
Robert Noble – Established in 1666, and now producing cloth at a Scottish mill.
Ardalanish – A range of tweeds woven using 100% pure new Hebridean, Manx and Shetland wool.
Shawbost Weavers – Harris Tweed – Catherine weaves single width (75cm) Harris Tweed by traditional methods on a Hattersley loom. She sells via her Facebook page. It’s approximately £17.50 per metre; payment is via paypal.
The following online fabric shops are also good sources of British wool fabrics. You may need to request further information about a specific product to confirm that it is 100% British (e.g. British wool and woven/dyed in the UK).
MacCullock & Wallis – A number of fabrics in the Wool Fabrics section are listed as made in the UK. You’ll need to select individual items to find out, although you’ll definitely be ok with the Harris Tweeds.
Merchant & Mills – Stock a number of English wool and Irish linen fabrics. You’ll need to select individual items to find out.
Beyond Measure – Grace stocks British wool tweed (predominately bundles of small pieces, but also some larger lengths) which are produced as samples by a UK mill.
There are a wide range of UK companies producing British wool yarns. The online store BritYarn is a great place to shop for them, since it only sells wool which is 100% British grown. I’d also particularly recommend Blacker Yarns, Jamieson & Smith, John Arbon, and local-to-me TOFT. For an extensive list see Woolsack.
I’ve also learned loads about British wool from the KnitBritish blog and podcast.
Majestic Textiles in London produce a range of peace silks. I was tipped off to this by Steely Seamstress, who has dyed and made a top with some of their silk. To order, you need to email them to confirm a price, and can then pay by card over the phone (because they mainly sell by the bolt a shorter length incurs a cutting charge, as well as a standard UP postage charge of £11. With those costs added on, the silk I ordered worked out at £17.50 per metre). Botanical Inks stock a couple of styles of silk produced by Majestic Textiles and allow online ordering. The camisole I made using their silk is blogged here.
Herts Specialist Fabrics stock Irish linen fabric and threads, as well as British wool and damask fabrics.
Cluny Lace have been producing lace in Ilkeston for nine generations. They mainly sell direct to design houses, but you can purchase small quantities of their lace via a number of stockists, who mainly sell lace trims. Magic Round About Vintage clearly list which of their lace trims and fabrics are produced by Cluny in the UK. Little Trimmings and The Ribbon Girl are also stockists, but their websites are less clear which laces are made in the UK. You can also buy direct from Blue Riband in Kent or Kleins in London. The lace is made with Egyptian cotton and is finished (washed / dyed) in France, but is woven in the UK on historical Leavers Lace machines. I blogged about Cluny Lace here.
Ernest Wright and Son is a fantastic company making a range of scissors and shears for dressmaking and craft in Sheffield for five generations, since 1902.
John James stock a wide range of needles for sewing and weaving.
Irish linen thread is availble from Herts Specialist Fabrics.
Pewter Buttons stock a range of historical-inspired buttons made in the UK with English pewter.