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Move to historic mill marks the future for designer

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A firm specialising in creating garments with vintage fabrics sourced from Yorkshire’s old mills, has moved in to Salts Mill in Saltaire.

The Stitch Society, founded by Charlotte Meek, specialises in creating beautifully designed hand-made work aprons for artisans and skilled crafts people, made from fabrics handpicked for their durability and comfort.

Charlotte has always cherished the fabrics produced in the Yorkshire mills and for almost a decade had collected and curated an abundance of material from mills in the local area.  Founding The Stitch Society last year, her fresh, unique designs, some featuring these fabrics, are hand stitched in Yorkshire, cleverly weaving history with online commerce to produce practical aprons for today’s skilled craftsmen.

With a range of apron designs in the current collection, The Stitch Society garments each have a timeless name reminiscent of the early factory girls, such as best sellers Betty and Martha or shorter style Agnes. The practical pleated pockets featuring within the aprons have proved so popular Charlotte has patented the design. 

Charlotte sees the Grade II listed Salts Mill as the perfect environment for her business and a natural move. She said: “Titus Salt’s entrepreneurial success and vision made this the heart of the textile industry.  As the founder of a firm specialising in working with the beautiful cloth produced in many mills just like this, it is really fitting for us to make this our base.”

The new studio will be home to the company’s colourful assortment of fabrics, silk linings, tweeds, cords, denims and vast array of bright buttons and bobbins. Dress making has been part of Charlotte’s life since her grandmother taught her to sew when she was just six years old and her grandma’s dress-making dummy proudly modelling the Betty apron in the new Salts Mill studio is another timely reminder of the fabric of her own past.

Charlotte originally started the business at her home studio in Oxenhope and has quickly turned her talent into turnover. The relocation to such a magnificent mill reflects the rapid success The Stitch Society has had since it launched last year, responding to the demand among professional craftspeople for practical, hard wearing yet beautiful protective wear. Made for and bought by those who appreciate the quality, the aprons start from £40.

 After being ‘sew successful’ in recent months, The Stitch Society is now expanding the product range in respond to demand for more items to complement the aprons, including project bags, paper patterns for their designs and a new range of children’s aprons.

Robin Silver, a director of Salts estates Ltd which runs Salts Mill, said: “We are delighted that Stitch Society has chosen to relocate to Salts Mill and we wish them continuing success as the business develops. 

“It is absolutely fitting that their new home should be in an iconic and historic textile mill that now is home to both the David Hockney art galleries and ground breaking electronics design and manufacturing facilities, a true combination of art and commercial enterprise. 

“In the same way, the textile pedigree of one of West Yorkshire’s landmark building marries well with a firm that respects and champions historic fabrics reworked by a new generation of craftsmen artisans”.

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