When we talk Tweed, Irish and Scottish fabric mills may spring to mind more readily than English. It is in Lancashire though that this story is spun – of a modern-day nod to four hundred years of Pendle Tweed weaving and how we have smartly dressed a worthy subject in this timeless textile.
With ‘buying British’ uppermost in their minds, the And So To Bed Buying and Design team recently sought a new fabric to snugly cloak the quirky Churchill bed. This coolly classic design features a contemporary twist that draws on the enfolding shape of heritage winged armchairs. Historically the ‘wings’ of said armchairs, often positioned near a fireplace, were thought to shield the occupant from draughts and pocket the precious warmth. These curving lines now typify the well-loved, time-worn comfort of a traditional English country house but they also look sharp in a modern classic scheme in a townhouse or smart apartment.
Now to find a cloth to suit.
100% British wool and endorsed with British Wool’s Platinum logo, Pendle Tweed’s provenance runs deep. Records of this splendid cloth spring from the 1600’s when two local families involved in the infamous Pendle Witch trial – the Whittles and Devices (carders and spinners) – are linked to its origins in the area.
Since 1815 the fabric has been woven and developed by textile masters Benjamin Thornber & Sons, based in the pretty market town of Clitheroe in Lancashire’s pastoral Ribble Valley just over the hill from Pendle.
Spun from the fleeces of Cheviot sheep and hogs and finished in crystal clear Pennine spring water, Pendle Tweed’s exceptionally soft handle makes it a very special cloth indeed, robust enough for luxury interiors upholstery as well as the fashion industry. The expertly spangled yarns reflect the moods and hues of local Lancashire countryside, borrowing light and shade as they travel across the land.
At time of writing, Autumn is coming. Throughout the British countryside, this earthy season carries with it de Chirico-lit country walks, seasonal land-inspired hues – greens, golds, russets, mauves, glimpses of blue and berry brights. A fine time to connect with natural materials, in particular, beguiling tweeds.
What do you think of the resulting marriage of cloth and contemporary furniture craftsmanship? Doesn’t this blue-grey Pendle Tweed sit beautifully on the Churchill, pictured here in the stately surroundings of Aynhoe Park?
Do you dream of bespoke fabric ideas for your re-imagined bedroom schemes? If so, do head for an And So To Bed showroom for a chat and to leaf through some inspiring fabric swatches in store.
Readers may also be interested in learning more about our Great British wool industry. If so, this is the place to be – Campaign for Wool.
If you like striding and riding out in your tweeds, for a bit of city cycling fun, also do stay tuned to the tweed-tastic Tweed Run