Laura’s Loom celebrates the craft of hand-weaving and Britain’s tremendous woollen heritage.
From my studio at Farfield Mill, a 19th century woollen mill on the outskirts of Sedbergh, I produce a range of hand-woven fabrics in a wide array of materials, including but not limited to wool. One of my favourite fibres is silk. The process of taking a silk scarf off my loom, washing it, then ironing it until it glows is nothing short of magical!
But increasingly over the years my focus has turned to wool, specifically the wool grown in my own ‘back yard’. I sample my ideas on handlooms before sending my designs to Drove Weavers in Langholm, Dumfriesshire where my 100% British wool yarns are woven into warm and comforting British wool blankets and elegant woollen scarves. Some of my fabrics are fashioned by myself and other local makers into small accessories such as cushions, hot water bottle covers, tea cosies, knitted lace shawls and decorative brooches. Some of my yarn is sent to Leicestershire to be knitted into traditional wool walking socks.
Laura’s Loom began as a hobby but has grown out of a passion for all things wool. It is still a one-woman business but no business is ever only one individual. Laura’s Loom continues to grow and develop because of all the help I get from so many people — the farmers who reliably deliver their fleece year after year, Harry who drives the fleece to the scouring plant, the skilled craftsmen and craftswomen who work in the mills, my lovely friend Jean who sews on all my labels and wraps up all the socks, my husband Phil who uncomplainingly accepts the clutter of boxes filled with all things wool that fill our home (and who helps me keep the numbers going in the right direction!), plus the many friends who volunteer time here and there, or keep me fed and watered. All of them have enabled Laura’s Loom to grow into a viable little business with a big heart. I am always learning and always challenging myself to do more and do it better!
My enduring inspiration is the landscape, perhaps most especially the Howgills at the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, where I live and work. My choice of colours is influenced by the ever changing light on the fells which surround my home, throughout the seasons and throughout the year. My designs aim to reflect the interplay of those colours as well as the hand of man in the mile upon mile of iconic drystone walls. Weaving never gets old. It’s been around for millenia and will be for many more.