An emerging Yorkshire design-firm is to give a new lease of life to a collection of long forgotten fabrics donated by a millworker’s daughter.
The Stitch Society, a design company specialising in creating beautiful, high quality, aprons for artisans, was contacted by Lynne Lilley, whose father worked as a weaving overlooker in Keighley and Saltaire’s textile mills.
Following his death five years ago, Lynne found remnants of fabrics that her father had saved throughout his time in the textile industry. Hearing about the latest talent at The Stitch Society, a local firm breathing a new lease of life into Yorkshire’s much loved vintage fabrics, she contacted founder Charlotte Meek at the company’s studio in the refurbished world famous heritage site of Salts Mill where Lynne’s father had worked back in its hey-day as a working mill.
It is the Society’s direct link to a mill her father once worked, its passion to find fabrics that tell a story and its appreciation for preserving craftsmanship to continue to make beautiful, functional garments that so appealed to Lynne and prompted her donation of the heritage fabrics.
Lynne Lilley said: “Growing up in our home in the 50s and 60s there was always good quality fabrics and wool available for my mother to make new clothes. Today society has moved to more disposable fashion, losing the appreciation for fine quality fabrics and the sewing skills past down from generations.
“It was a delight to meet Charlotte from The Stitch Society. Her fondness for fabric and our local history made me want to pass on my father’s material.”
The Stitch Society will use this much loved collection of cloth in its latest collection of aprons, specifically designed for artisans. With a further nod to the provenance of the fabric, each of its garments is given a ‘traditional’ mill worker name, such as Stitch Society bestsellers Betty and Martha.
The Stitch Society’s founder Charlotte Meek, plans to name one of the firm’s latest more masculine designs after Lynne’s late father, Mr George Markham.
Charlotte said: “We wanted to create a more masculine garment and are delighted to give George’s name to this eponymous new collection – aptly named after a Yorkshireman who dedicated his life to working with textiles in our wonderful mills.”
The Society’s aprons retail globally from its online shop, and at exclusive consumer and trade events, appealing to artisans and other designers who collectively share a passion for fine textiles and quality.