National Tweed Day & The Tweed Run

 

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Being a tweed lover, its only natural that I will post about National Tweed Day! The event is observed every year on the 3rd of April.  Apparently it has various origins. Some believe it is celebrated to recognise senator-turned-crook William Tweed of New York City.  He was born on April 3, 1823.  He died in 1878 in jail, after being caught stealing millions dollars from NYC public money. ………Others believe that National Tweed Day celebrates the tweed fabric.

As you can imagine I prefer to believe the latter!

 

…and in celebration!

The Tweed Run held in London this year on Saturday 5 May will be a spectacle to witness! Around 750-1000 cyclists, immaculately clad in tweed, descend on Regent Street. It will be a sight to behold as a sea of tweed rolls down the major thoroughfares of London. You can view pictures from last years London event here.

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Below images of the Tweed Run in various countries.

 

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The History of Tweed……

Tweed’s history begins centuries ago on the Isles of the Scottish Outer Hebrides where islanders made fabric to battle the harsh winters.  It was hand-woven by crofters using their own wool. They called it Clò Mór in Gaelic – ‘The big cloth’.

By the end of the 18th century it had started to become a staple industry for islanders – they started exporting cloth to the Scottish mainland.

Twill-weave                            Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/abmatic/1262234510/)

A twill weave – tweel in Scots. Mistaken for Tweed by a London Merchant who assumed a Trade Name associated with the River Tweed running through the Scottish Borders.

Celebrate National Tweed Day by wearing something tweed!

You will always find tweed accessories in my Etsy shop!

 info& images via http://www.emmacornes.com & http://www.tweedrun.com

 

Standen – An Arts & Crafts House

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One of my favourite places to visit each year is Standen House. The reason I love this property so much is because of the connection with William Morris. I have a passion for the designs he created – perhaps because of the rich palette of colours with their inspiration from nature which appeals to me, but for whatever reason, I never tire of seeing them.

This Arts & Crafts house and gardens is located in East Grinstead, West Sussex, England. Now managed by the National Trust, the property was built between 1891 and 1894 by the architect Philip Webb (a friend of William Morris) for a prosperous solicitor James Beale, his wife Margaret, and their family.

It is decorated with Morris carpets, fabrics and wallpapers, and the garden complements the beauty of the house. 

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I can only describe Standen as a very welcoming home. Each time I visit I feel a cosiness about it, as I wonder through its rooms…. if that can be said of a stately home!

 

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You can discover information about the Arts & Crafts movement through the beautiful collection of furniture, embroideries and pottery found within its walls.

 

William Morris …..

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.

I do not want art for a few any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few.”

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The Beale family

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Image & info via The National Trust website

The Beales were originally a non-conformist family from Birmingham, with seven children and many more grandchildren. Standen became a real family home, wrapped up in idyllic childhood memories.

 

Estate & Gardens

The estate was formed from three farms which the Beales purchased in 1890. They started planting the 12-acre garden almost immediately using the site of an 18th century garden and orchard. In early 1891 trees were planted, a yew hedge established an the kitchen garden begun.

Webb chose a mixture of natural styles combining old-fashioned formality and compartmentalised gardens in the final design.

 

 

The resulting Arts and Crafts garden used local materials for its formal elements, and loose plantings amongst yew hedges, trellis and pergolas, emphasising, natural colour schemes and subtle combinations of colour and foliage, definitely complimenting the beautiful Arts & Crafts house.

 

 

Information about the collection at Standen, please go to http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk and search for Standen.

Remaining images taken by me

Trip to a Silk Mill

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My love for textiles lead me to visit the Whitchurch Silk Mill located in Hampshire. It’s the oldest silk mill in the UK still in its original building and full of industrial history.

 

The mill was bought by John Hide of Whitchurch. He installed a new waterwheel and three water powered ‘tappet’ looms to replace the 50 year old wooden treadle looms operated by muscle power. His son James, pictured below, took over the mill in 1905 and remained there until his death aged 92.

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One if the products woven at the mill was silk gaberdine and silk linings for Burberry raincoats. Thomas Burberry, had married into the Hide family.

When visiting you will see the original mill wheel and Victorian machinery still being used which were powered by the water mill until the late 1920s.

Definitely worth a visit! Open until the 1st October 2017 when they will be closing for refurbishment but I’m happy to say they will be due to re-open July 2018.

Information via the Whitchurch Silk Mill website