Last week I was able to attend the Bradford Textile Society event to listen to Daniel Harris from The London Cloth Company tell his story which was titled ‘How to Build a Cloth Mill in 3 Million Easy Steps’. Daniel’s presentation was fun, interesting and inspiring to listen to. He certainly has a story to tell.
With no prior knowledge or experience of weaving, London’s first micro mill was established in 2011 by Daniel after he rescued a very old rusting loom which he began to take apart, renovate and subsequently use to learn the craft of weaving.
Self-taught from scratch, Daniel has come a long way in a short space of time and is now weaving as many hours of the day as he can to be able to fulfil his orders. After his initial loom purchase he went on to source several more looms and other machinery, in fact he’s the first to admit that he is not very good at saying ‘No’ when he’s offered old machinery which would otherwise still be gathering dust. He told the audience about several logistical challenges that he’s encountered…moving this type of heavy machinery from old and difficult to access mills is no mean feat! His passion for machines, weaving and engineering also resulted in the need to find bigger premises this year after the initial ‘shed at the bottom of the garden’ became outgrown.
He’s dismantled, reassembled, dismantled and reassembled machinery more times that he can probably remember, always learning on the job. He’s also met many interesting characters along the way too, fondly referred to as ‘ the old boys network’, some perhaps that have thought him a little bit crazy and others who are delighted that Daniel is helping to revive tradition and valuing the techniques that were first employed many decades ago.
The London Cloth company specialises in quality woven cloth, the majority of which is weaved to order. The increasing list of customers is testimony to the quality of the workmanship and includes some impressive brand names within the world of apparel. Many of which are keen to co-brand with The London Cloth Company. Daniel’s work has also being commissioned for film and TV sets, not least Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean! When asked about what is was about weaving that he enjoys he answered…’it’s magic…it’s just moving yarn around the place and re-organising it’.
The London Cloth Company is going from strength to strength and has lots of ideas for the future, North Vale is proud to have gained The London Cloth Company as a customer this year, and we hope to do more work with The London Cloth Company in the future.
To read more about The London Cloth Company visit their website www.londoncloth.com