Saturday, 9 July 2011


There's a great article on John Smedley by (the excellently surnamed) Leanne Cloudsdale in the latest issue of Inventory magazine. Here's a couple of select quotes from the interview she conducted with Dawne Stubbs, creative director of the Derbyshire knitwear manufacturer:

"Up until 2003 we had our own spinning division here, spinning for ourselves and for a number of other big British manufacturers like Marks & Spencer. When those companies no longer needed our services, it became more commercially viable for us to move the spinning activities overseas. We now use the world's leading fine yarn spinners - Zegna Baruffa in Italy."

"When it arrives back here in the raw ecru state, it is washed and conditioned. It is only then, at the top stage, that we apply the dyes. This is why our colours are so vibrant and rarely fade. The water we use in the factory procedures is gravity fed from the underground springs, and our continued use of this spring water has definitely helped us to attain and maintain that super-soft handle."

"We might sit here in our lovely old mill, but in reality no Smedley has ever rested on their laurels. The family business strategy has always remained the same. We are insistent on moving on, evolving and continuously investing in the company's future."