Why you should want to know how your clothes are made
I love knowing how things are made. It makes me appreciate the piece I’m wearing even more when I understand how much work goes into it. I think an understanding of how our clothes are made can make us more likely to keep them for longer, and reduce the amount of clothing that ends up in landfill. So I thought I’d share the making processes of our Blanket Scarves, because you might be surprised to know that there are at least 8 processes, and this is just for a blanket scarf:
And this doesn't include the design process!
The Best Quality Materials
Each scarf is made with a very fine, high quality lambswool. The fine yarn makes a very lightweight knit, but it’s still incredibly warm. All the lambswool we use is spun and dyed in Scotland.
Once I have chosen the colours I want to work with, the first thing is to knit the blanket scarf. As the scarves are so wide (I like having generous proportions!) I can only knit one at a time. The needles on my old industrial knitting machine (from the 60s) are really small, and I have to keep a close eye on it all the time while I knit.
The knitting is wound onto a comb that I attach weights to keep puling the fabric down as I work. Once I take the scarf off the machine, it’s always fun to unwind it from the comb- this is the first time I see the full length of the blanket scarf.
Making a blanket scarf requires precision
Precision is needed at all stages of the making process, particularly this next one: linking. The final edge of the scarf has to be linked stitch by stitch, which is a process of putting each stitch onto a small point, and then the machines puts a small chain stitch across the edge, so that that the knitting doesn’t unravel.
Then I sew in all the ends of each colour, by hand. I sew them in so that they match the pattern, don’t show, and won’t come undone.
Before I wash it, I check it over, to make sure there are no dropped stitches, and if there are, I pick them up!
Finishing details make all the difference
Finishing makes all the difference to these scarves. The next stage is washing the scarf. Each piece I make has to be washed to remove excess oil and dye from the yarn (which are there to help with the spinning and knitting processes), and to “fluff up” the fabric. I hand wash each piece at the moment, to ensure I get the best possible feel, and the soft Scottish water helps make the product that little bit softer than it would otherwise be.
Once the scarf is dry, I press it, and this is when the fabric finally looks as it does when it gets to you.
Then I check it over once more, just to be sure.
The final detail is labelling, again done by hand because I like details like that and think it gives the scarf a really nice finish, add a tag, and fold it up so that it’s ready to go!
Blanket Scarves are big and versatile
The final blanket scarves are large, lightweight and very soft, and they’re very pliable, so you can wear them pretty much any way you want. Each time you wear it, you can be confident that it has been made with the finest materials, made by hand in Galashiels by me, to the highest standards.