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Scarlet & Argent by Hainsworth maintains proud Yorkshire heritage

PUBLISHED: 00:00 19 January 2015

The new range of Mill Stripe merino blankets combine a beautifully soft twill weave for warmth and comfort with Hainsworths signature bold stripes. Available in Classic Navy, Meadow and Spring

The new range of Mill Stripe merino blankets combine a beautifully soft twill weave for warmth and comfort with Hainsworths signature bold stripes. Available in Classic Navy, Meadow and Spring

Archant

When textile designer Caroline Allison was asked to create the new Scarlet & Argent collection for 231-year-old Yorkshire mill Hainsworth she had a lot of history to draw on.

Textile designer Caroline Allison in her familys 231-year-old Yorkshire millTextile designer Caroline Allison in her familys 231-year-old Yorkshire mill

For the 29-year-old designer is (deep breath in) the great-great-great-great-great granddaughter of the founder of the mill, the evocatively-named Abimelech Hainsworth.

Caroline, who joined the Pudsey-based mill in January last year, has lovingly designed and created the new Scarlet & Argent collection of stylishly soft contemporary blankets and throws with her industrious ancestor firmly lodged in her creative mind.

‘I think a love of textiles and the beauty of wool must be in my blood,’ she said. ‘As well as being a direct descendant of Abimelech Hainsworth, my great-grandmother Anne Rhodes was also a Hainsworth.

‘And on the other side of my family there are strong spinning and weaving links going back many years. I was brought up with a love of crafts: my mum taught me to cross stitch from an early age and I started weaving when I was a teenager. It seemed natural to make a career in the textile industry.

‘Not so long ago the British textile industry was seen as a dying trade but I’m proud that there has been a huge resurgence and demand for the beautiful fabrics that we make in this country and which are desired all over the world.’

Caroline has spent the past year researching, designing, weaving and sewing the new Scarlet & Argent collection. The splendid blankets and throws showcase the finest wool in luxurious shades that will brighten any space while carrying with them a touch of comforting nostalgia.

‘I love the new collection,’ she said. ‘The blankets and throws I’ve created have all been made using traditional methods but with a considered design. They fit into everyday life and have soft splashes of colour that cheer up any room.

‘I’ve taken my inspiration for the new collection from Hainsworth’s strong heritage of weaving luxury and all sorts of interesting facts I discovered during my research. For example, every blanket and throw is made using water from the natural old spring that runs under the site and has been supplying the manufacturing process for centuries. I love this connection with the past and its link to the future.’

:: Hainsworth has been responsible for a distinctly English style of weaving since the company was established in 1783.

:: One of Britain’s last vertical mills, its fabrics adorn palaces and buildings of great importance, cover the Wool Sack in the House of Lords and are used to create the striking scarlet uniforms worn by the Queen’s Royal Guards.

:: Hainsworth is very proud to hold the Royal Warrant for supplying furnishing fabrics to Her Majesty the Queen.

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