Thursday, 6 March 2014

Holiday Fabric Geekery Part 1

When we were on holiday a few weeks ago, we did some really cool stuff, which I thought I would share with you. I did originally write this as one post, but it's very long and fairly photo heavy, so I though it best to split it into 2 parts. Here is the first!

When we decided to stay near Kendal, the first thing I thought (is it bad that this was the first thing?) was, "is that close to that mill place that Hazel visited?" A quick Google later confirmed that Lochcarron Mill is in Selkirk, about an hour's drive from Kelso. Totally doable. A quick consultation with husband confirmed he would be happy to go! So that was decided. What sealed the deal was that Small Boy was learning about Burns Night and all things related: St Andrews cross, haggis, tartan etc. I told him that Lochcarron Mill was a "tartan factory", and he was in too!

The Mill is only working Monday to Friday, so I made sure we went at the beginning of the holiday, so as not to miss the opportunity. I have a rubbish memory, but here is my approximate overview of the Mill, which was really, really interesting. You can also check out Hazel's post for more details.



 We started off being shown where the yarn is dyed. It is dried in giant tumble dryers and then ovens before moving to the storage areas.


So many pretty colours!
The yarn is then threaded on to the machines. Warp first, which I didn't take a photo of, with then the weft being woven in. This is one of the old machines, which wasn't actually running. It takes about twice as long to weave a length as the newer machines which were REALLY noisy and super fast. It was fascinating to watch them at work. Quite hypnotic!

Old weaving machine

Ear defenders must be worn!

When we were there, amongst other things they were weaving the Ryder Cup tartan (top on on this pile). After being woven, the fabric is taken to the darning area, where about 5 or 6 ladies were checking each length laboriously by hand, and then marking and fixing (again by hand) any flaws they discovered!

They were then taken to the warehouse where they were stored.

Small boy's favourite part of the whole tour - Tartan Hello Kitty!
Mood boards

Tartan butterflies!
 After the tour was finished, we had a browse around the shop, followed by tea and cake in the cafe, followed by a photo shoot!

Part 2 tomorrow, featuring a textile museum!







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6 comments

  1. What a great place to visit - the first mood board is beautiful, very inspring :)

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    1. Aren't they beautiful? it was lovely.

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  2. Oh, perfect holiday day! Those mood boards are amazing....and the tartan butterflies! It all makes me want to go and sew something wintry immediately :) Thanks for the Show and Tell!

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    1. You are welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed reading about it.

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  3. soo glad you enjoyed Lochcarron Helen! It's such a great mill and everyone who works there seemed so lovely! Did you treat yourself to anything from the shop? I regret not getting anything now. I'll just need to make another trip through!

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    1. I loved it, so thank you for your post which gave me the idea! I didn't buy anything - we were on a bit of a budget, plus it was about 3 days after the blogger meet up, so all my pennies were spent! Next time, maybe. :)

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