Making Cloth with Fox Brothers, Cloth Manufacturers Since 1772.
For the second part of our Fox Brothers feature, we take a tour round the looms to discover exactly what it takes to produce this beautiful cloth.
For the tour we were lucky enough to have Fox Brothers’ woven and textile designer, Jo Neades, as our guide. Her knowledge and passion for the process and cloth was quite infectious and she taught us that there really is more than meets the eye when it comes to making cloth…
With such time and dedication it is no wonder this fabric is the favourite choice for past and present style icons such as The Duke of Windsor, Bob Hope, Cary Grant and Gregory Peck. Not to mention former Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill who favoured the undeniable quality and handle of Fox Fabrics.
It’s been no easy task to document the age old process, attention to detail, skill and time given to each crucial stage of the weaving process and to showcase the exquisite final outcome, but we hope we’ve done it justice.
“I am a huge lover of fabric and for me getting the right cloth is so important in bringing my designs to life. There are a few key textile manufacturers in Great Britain that I work with and Fox Brothers is one. Their heritage, knowledge and skill in producing wool cloths especially, is unsurpassed. For me it’s a joy to work with a manufacturer who really gets what I do and can create the special fabrics I need.”
The yarn arrives at the mill, from various UK spinners, on 1 kg cones. In preparation for warping the yarn is wound onto cones to a specific required warp length.
The yarn is loaded onto the warping creel and under tension wound round the warping mill for the required amount of ends. This can be anywhere between 2000 and 5500 ends. The yarn is ordered in a specific pattern of colours to the desired design. Once completed, the warp is transferred onto a beam.
Each individual end is then drawn through a headle which sit on a series of shafts. This is done in a particular order, specified by the required weave. Next each end is pulled through a comb like structure called a reed.
The beam is now ready to be placed in loom, where ‘shafts’ are lifted in a pre-decided order as the weft yarn is shot across, under and over the warp threads to create the cloth.
The order of the ‘shafts’ determines the pattern of the cloth, each shaft is placed by hand, there are 10,000 shafts required in on one loom before the weaving process can begin, this is an extremely time consuming and skilful job, Alison shown in theses images have been working at Fox for 25 & 8 years respectfully so know this process well.
06 ACCESSING & MENDING
Once woven, every square inch of the cloth is thoroughly checked through a magnifying by hand for any imperfections and yield. At this stage any imperfections are lovingly repaired by hand.