ABRAHAM MOON & SONS
At this time of year it's all about authentic seasonal tartans. When it came to creating our own bespoke check, to be turned into distinctive coats, capes, skirts and dresses, the experts were to be found in the north of England
During our visit to Abraham Moon & Sons in West Yorkshire, our senses are taken on a road trip. It’s a cool summer day but inside the thriving mill it’s a hubbub of activity – banks of machines whirr, clunk, click and spin as industrious workers bustle around, performing their tasks together in total harmony. Bits of fluff drift through the air, as do wafts of warm air and wool aromas. We’re here to watch the first reams of our green and navy check rolling at speed through the quality-checking area – and this will be transformed into capes, tops, dresses, blazers, jackets and skirts in time for Christmas 2016.
Despite the fact that Moons (as everyone refers to it) does take advantage of modern technology for parts of the process, it still feels reassuringly old-fashioned, which makes sense given its illustrious history. 1837 was a memorable year for the residents of the little town of Guiseley in more ways than one. Queen Victoria, aged 18, inherited the British throne and it was also the year in which Abraham Moon & Sons was founded. The man himself was a pillar of the community and his name continues to resonate with locals to this day, thanks to the ongoing success of his business.
So how does the mill continue to stoke the flames of the fire that Mr Moon kindled all those many years ago? Claire, who has been at Moons for nine years, takes us through the process. First the fibres are dyed and different colours are blended. Carding then creates the yarn, which is twisted (for strength), warped, woven and finished. Our fabric was inspired by a Black Watch tartan and, to make our version unique, Claire and the design team used "melange shades and a mohair loop – woven and finished here at Moons". She and the team have seen a growth in demand for British manufacturing and garment-makers, and wool is becoming ever more popular. We say – long may that continue, because we’re looking forward to producing more limited edition woollen pieces, like the Bellwether coat, the Arnewood skirt and the Auckland cape jacket, with Moons for many years to come.