AT one time Britain led the world of textiles but no longer as over the years, much of its production capacity disappeared with manufacturing moving overseas to cheaper locations.
Viewers of BBC’s popular Great British Sewing Bee programme will recognise designer Saville Row tailor Patrick Grant who also set up his own Community Clothing business which is a social enterprise with a simple goal; to sell great quality affordable clothing, and by doing so create jobs and help restore economic prosperity in some of the UK’s most deprived areas.
He has joined with two other organisations The Super Slow Way and North West England Fibreshed to try to reintroduce the concept of production of clothing from sowing seed to sewing the finished article through a new project known as Homegrown Homespun.
Members of the group have planted two of Britain’s much overlooked fibre and dye crops; flax and woad, on urban land in the heart of the North West’s historic textile industry.
This is an ambitious plan since the U.K. now has no mechanised linen processing or spinning equipment and the country’s long natural dye heritage was all but lost during the Industrial Revolution and by reviving native textile crops, there is the potential to benefit both ecology and the economy.
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