Monday, 23 June 2014
BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR....
Down a back alley in Clapton there's a clattering revolution going on. Daniel Harris is a mischievous man on a mission to single-handedly revive the art of weaving - 100's of miles away from the traditional Northern heart of the wool textile industry - with the eponymous London Cloth Company. With a background in stitching elaborately structured clothing - corsets and drag artistes' costumes a speciality - Daniel came across a rusting loom in a barn in Wales, and brought it back to the city, entirely dismantling and re-assembling it in the process, and started to teach himself to weave. Since then, in little over 3 years, his collection of power looms, warping machines and bobbin winders has grown till his Hackney workroom is fit to burst. Daniel darts around this mechanical theatre with infectious delight, peppering his conversation with the wonderful old terminology of the cloth industry - all picks and wefts, cams, shuttles and prickly rollers.
He specialises in producing fine quality woollen cloths, mainly woven to order - creating original tartans for suits, sturdy twills for bags, and soft herringbones for scarves. And now he is assembling a range of exceptionally eco-friendly British Tweeds with detailed provenance so that he can trace back every yarn to a particular flock of sheep from a specific farm. Undyed, unblended and yet infinitely varied, Daniel is busy micro-milling these yarns into a rare kind of honest-to-goodness cloth, right here in the heart of happening east London: