How hand weaving should be part of our fashion future

The last few years has brought a growing awareness of how our fashion choices have implications on the planet, communities, people and animals. Our attitudes towards fast fashion are changing, especially after the 2013 Dhaka garment factory collapse where over 1000 workers died. It is important to know the impact of our fashion choices.

There is a different approach to fashion – slow fashion. It is not exactly a new concept though. Pre-industrial revolution garments were locally sourced and produced as well as mended and re-purposed. People bought durable clothing to serve for a long time reflecting the place & culture of their locality. Through growing awareness, we are returning to this ideology. We can buy less by choosing a higher quality item that will last longer.

It is about choosing garments and accessories that

  • mean more than adhering to a quick and changeable fashion trend
  • are chosen for their quality and ethos
  • have a transparent process: knowing the how and where
  • have an emphasis on the art of garment & accessory making
  • celebrate the skills of the crafts people who make them

Hand weaving is a traditional process, the looms used by artisans today mirror those used many hundreds of years ago. It is not a craft to be rushed, the skill takes years to learn and the linear process cannot be skipped or shortened. It is worth taking the time to ensure each step is done well to ensure a beautiful textile at the end. Feather & Hay celebrates this slow working: starting with a story connected to the landscape and wilderness in Scotland.

I spend much time in the fields, climbing the hills or splashing through rivers and streams. It is important to give life to a textile that will inevitably journey back to the outdoors when it is worn and enjoyed. Taking the time to connect with nature, creating a story for the textile helps bring a connection between the environment and ourselves. Reminding us to look after the beautiful surroundings we have.

Smaller Collections

Feather & Hay makes small collections and items are often made to order. There is very little waste. Much of the fabrics and yarns left over are repurposed. There are fabric packs for applique or card making: put together from previous warps (available on the website and Etsy soon) and smaller pieces of yarn can be used as supplementary (decorative) yarn in new projects.

The textile you own should be loved for a long time, to be handed on to new generations. I choose high quality, natural fibres sourcing them in the UK to create high quality textiles that also respect the planet.  It is exciting to consider a range of fibres and designs to suit individual needs. A hand woven textile can be made to order for one. A specific blend, a lighter or heavier fabric, a nubby or smooth and silky feel: you choose the perfect mix knowing this textile will be the best for you. 

I have always enjoyed working with natural resources, becoming a weaver opened my eyes to the nature of fibres used in the fabrics we wear and use. There are new and exciting fibre options that are not only beautiful but are better for the environment and often better for our skin too. 

stone blue shawl resting on lichen covered stone

A few from the latest collection

Personal Mix

Hand woven fabrics offer a very personal mix of design and fibre choices. There is a great joy in selecting the perfect mix to suit your needs. This textile will have been very purposely put together. Its story thoughtfully planned; its creation made for longevity not quantity.

Whether it’s choosing a Feather & Hay textile because of its unique story or choosing a bespoke made fabric to suit personal requirements it is worth investing in a hand woven item.  Hand weaving, with its links to the past, brings the ideology of buying high quality, made to order/small collection items that will last. Mixed with the modern understanding of sustainable and eco-friendly fibres, the perfect balance between new and old creates a fashion both beautiful and sustainable.