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Made in Yorkshire by Fabworks

The second Chapter in our HoH pre-launch Story focuses on the new collection: how we are fully committed to sustainability, how we bring together all the necessary elements to create the perfect recipe, and the fabric design/weave for 2023 alongside a fun puzzle for budding code crackers. Read on for further insight into the much anticipated and upcoming collection that launches in September.

Sustainability:

The S word: Sustainability

It wouldn’t be 2023 without emphasis on sustainability. A very hot topic for everyone as we move further into the future. Backed by our dislike of fast fashion, Fabworks is no different, we are extremely proud of our commitment to sustainability. As is widely known, almost all Fabworks stock is sourced as deadstock from industry, sourced as leftovers from garment production. We have used the same approach when creating the Heart of Huddersfield 2023 collection, buying leftover yarn to incorporate as many sustainable practices as possible using the resources needed to make this beautiful collection.

Pulling It All Together:

To produce wool fabric there are three main areas of manufacture: spinning, weaving, finishing.

Spinning / Sourcing Yarn

Spinning yarn is required as one of the initial stages of wool textile manufacture (once the wool fleeces have been sorted, combed & carded), spinning and twisting the fibres together to create wool yarn. For 2023, as with previous years’ collections, we omitted the spinning process in favour of sourcing yarns from deadstock where there is only a limited quantity.

When designing HoH, we start by creating colour palettes and then incorporating the weave and design details, picking out matching yarn colours and yarn weights from a small library of deadstock yarns. In the eventuality that there is not a suitably matching colour of a yarn, we dye solid lighter-coloured yarns to land on the ideal colour for the fabric’s palette, that produces an end result with minimal waste. Once all the yarns are allocated and matched to the original fabric designs, it’s time to send them to the weavers!

Weaving / A Synchronised Dance

Stage 2. Trust us when we say that weaving is absolutely fascinating and very skilled. The weaving process is wonderfully complex and West Yorkshire is universally renowned for its expertise in this field. Each new generation of weavers passes on their accumulated skill-based knowledge, alongside advances in new technologies that are constantly supplementing and invigorating timeless techniques. (This is becoming a dying art where new blood must be encouraged to enter this field of work, but we’ll save this story for another day.)

Think of a piece of wool fabric as a complex arrangement of textile lines that intersect and have to sit in a specific order (both on the warp and weft) to create the variety of designs and weaving patterns. As if a synchronised dance, where each individual dancer (the yarn) must be coordinated and move to the rhythm or the whole composition becomes a tangled mess. The order of the intertwining is the weave.

Two sets of yarns (warp and weft) sit at right angles to each other. The warp runs throughout the length of the fabric, parallel to the selvedges. The weft runs across the fabric, selvedge to selvedge.

Next, a weaver’s pick sheet is drawn up. Pick referring to the grouping of the weft yarns that set the design and characteristics of the final product. We create this with guidance from the expert weaving team, like the engineering blueprint of how to weave the yarns together, determining how many yarns are needed to make each section of the design, particularly important in plaids and checks.

Upon all the yarns being woven up, we now have something that looks like fabric, a very rough a rugged fabric. 2 out of 3 stages done. Now onto the finishers!

Finishing / The Final Flourish

Once the fabrics have been woven it is the turn of the finishers to take them from raw scratchy fibres to a more serviceable and wearable finished woollen fabric. This is affected through a series of processes whereby the fabrics are treated, increasing durability, strength, and giving that classic finish we’ve come to appreciate with our Yorkshire Tweeds. There is no avoiding the finishing processes, if it wasn’t for this, we’d all be walking round in loosely woven and very itchy wool attire!

Wool finishing scours, washes, stabilises and presses the fabric so that it is serviceable for the intended use. For example, the difference in finishes for clothing and upholstery fabrics. The yarns are the same composition, the weave is constructed in the same way, yet one is designed specifically to be smooth and kind to human skin, the other is designed to be hard-wearing and durable so that any object can rest upon it without damaging. Upon finishing, the fabric is scooted off to the menders for quality inspection to ensure the fabric is serviceable and has no faults.

Once the manufacturing processes have been coordinated, we now have a fabric: awaiting creative minds and busy hands.

This image depicts a process known as raising, one of many processes that can be applied to wool fabrics by the finishers. Raising creates a pile on the surface on the fabric to increase its softness of handle, a crucial process in woollen manufacture.

Did you know...

Villages such as the ones that we find in this part of The Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire were established as a result of local manufacturing. The classic rows of terraced houses that you can see here alongside the mills, were built to house the mills' workforces, a family tradition passed down through generations.
Opposite: view over Linthwaite Village, Huddersfield

2023 Collection Design & Code Cracking Puzzle:

Calculating what creations are achievable with the resources that we have, 2023 sees us explore new territory. This year’s collection features a weave that we have seen before, but with a design that will enable your artistic flair. The Heart of Huddersfield 2023 collection will be formed by a twill weave, each cloth incorporating 6 yarn colours (of 16skein), to produce rich and ravishing palettes, in that classic tweedy mediumweight; fitting for both structured and unstructured pieces.

This is our colour card for Heart of Huddersfield 2023! The colour card is a tool that we created to help coordinate a cohesive colour palette for the new collection and make sure that, as with previous HoH collections, the palette sits with legacy fabrics and ticks the colour saturation box that we love.

We are promoters of slow fashion. HoH is designed to sit alongside the entire range with our existing HoH collections, enabling the creation of a sustainable and complementary capsule wardrobe, where you can mix & match existing pieces together perfectly. Maintaining the idea of sustainability, adding to the already great foundation of our colour coordinated flagship range, that is the perfect way to fill gaps within your handmade wardrobe, refreshing your look as the seasons change. This is Heart of Huddersfield.

Fancy yourself as a code cracker? Now you can see the colours, can you crack the code?

Here are 2 clues to help you:

  1. There are 6 fabrics shown somewhere within this colour card
  2. Each fabric features 6 colours

What’s Up Next?

We hope that you enjoyed the second Chapter of our 2023 Story and are in eager anticipation for more upcoming news on these Yorkshire wools. In Chapter 3 we’ll reveal how to crack the code with more reveal detailing and a sneak peek at the fabric names.

We cannot wait to show you the fabrics at launch in September! Make sure that you’re up-to-date with the third Chapter of the Story in our next reveal, where we’ll introduce you to the collection and fabric names, how to crack the code, and some early access news.

Next HoH Pre-Launch Announcement: Monday 14th August 2023

Read more from the HoH23 Story

Chapter 4: The Crosshatch Chronicles are here!

The final instalment of the 2023 Story including style inspiration, the benefits of working with wool, how to colour coordinate, and a sustainability reminder.

Chapter 3: Introducing The Crosshatch Chronicles

The Crosshatch Chronicles is the newest addition to the Heart of Huddersfield range of woollen fabrics. Let us enchant you with our ensemble of colourfully captivating block checks.

Chapter 1: Heart of Huddersfield Returns for 2023!

It’s official! We are delighted to announce that Heart of Huddersfield will be returning this year, with a new collection launching in early September 2023!