Stitch London Blog

The Fabulous Story of Stitch London (formerly Stitch and Bitch London)

  • John Smedley Yarnstorm: The Big Event!

    Posted by Deadly Knitshade on October 12, 2010

    So us folks at Stitch London along with Knit the City‘s sneaky stitchers joined forces to bring the yarnstorm to one of Britain’s oldest knitwear companies, John Smedley.

    The big event took place on October 11 at the John Smedley store on Brook Street. There was bubbly, there was wool, there was yarnstorming. Wanna see?

    Each of our sneaky stitchers made a little piece of John Smedley history.

    1784

    Shorn-a the Dead conjured up the founding of the historic mill where the process of sheep to yarn to woolly jumper was first perfected.

     

    From woolly creatures to woolly jumpers

    From woolly creatures to woolly jumpers

     

     

    Two smiling sheep

     

    1784 saw the first record of the Lea Mills, historic mill building on the factory site for ‘spinning fine wools and cotton’.

    1820s

    The Fastener produced a finely dressed Victorian lady who was happy to tell the world that only the finest folks wore John Smedley underwear.

     

    Only the finest ladies...

     

    In the 1820s John Smedley installed the first knitting frames in a factory environment to knit underwear.

    The company prospered in the Victorian era, in the heartland of the industrial revolution. It was one of the first factories,as they are known today and this era sees major further developments from Water wheel to electricity.

    1920s

    Yusuf Osman whipped up a waving washing line complete with flapping pairs of Smedley underwear blowing the wind.

    Pants to any underwear that isn't Smedley

     

    In the 1820s John Smedley installed the first knitting frames in a factory environment to knit underwear.

    The company prospered in the Victorian era, in the heartland of the industrial revolution. It was one of the first factories,as they are known today and this era sees major further developments from Water wheel to electricity.

    1960s

    Marion Crick found her fibre inspiration in the 60s with a little vroom vroom on a handmade moped and an embroidered scene of mods modelling their Smedley threads.

     

    Keen to keep up with the latest looks the guys decided to wear their newest Smedley gear to the new Mod club. Steve got the message slightly wrong.

     

    In the 1960s John Smedley went from underwear to outerwear. They made the breakthrough from a heavy reliance on the production in underwear to more outerwear styles, particularly in the European and American markets, where the demand for smart ‘Sports wear’ look is strong.

    1980s

    Emma-Lee Yarwood gots her 80s on via the medium of fabric fabulousness with her New Romantic scene.

     

    Fade to grey

     

    In the 1980s the designers discovered the manufacturing capability of John Smedley. They collaborated with some of the world’s most famous designers, the likes of Katherine Hamnett, Vivienne Westwood, Commes des garcons, Paul Smith and Margaret Howell.

    1990s

    Deadly Knitshade turned her yarnstorm Japanese to show Smedley taking on the latest knitting machine technology from the Far East.

     

    Robot knit knit knitting

     

    In the 1990s John Smedley opened the flagship store at Brook street, started the web store, and installed the latest Japanese machines, capable of patterning garments and multi-stripes.


    Fabric scraps take flight

    The lovely Lady Loop put her needles to work on making a handmade hive and handsome Smedley fabric bugs and butterflies.

     

     

     

    A Stitched Self fashion parade

    And not forgetting the fashion parade of 11 of John Smedley’s most iconic items, including the Long Johns which the company invented!

     

     

    The John Smedley Bridge

    And last but by no means least the John Smedley factory bridge. This marvellous monster was created by The Fastener (with a little bit of help from Deadly Knitshade and Shorn-a the Dead) and is a tribute to the bridge on site at the real life Smedley factory. An astonishing work of fabric and inspiration.

     

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/38202796@N06/5075849179

    The bridge in all its finery

     

    Let the yarnstorm commence!

    After admiring it all it was time to yarnstorm. And yarnstorm they did.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A yarnstormed window by Stitch London and Knit the City

     

    The installation will be in the John Smedley window at their Brook Street store for the next two weeks. Go and see it!

    Have a happy Wool Week, everyone!

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    One Response to “John Smedley Yarnstorm: The Big Event!”

    1. pip said

      i Love this… brilliant!

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