Getting ready for autumn, all Westwood shops including World’s End will this mid September be stocking the new ‘Climate Revolution’ shawl made in 100% lambs wool. First developed for the ‘Prince Charming’ AW 2010-11 gold label collection the shawl appeared again in this year’s ‘Save the Arctic’ A/W 2013 collection in its new colours.
A mill based in Scotland was chosen to do the weaving because they had a jacquard loom. This is very good for fine detail since as well as weaving the standard 2 threads, horizontal & vertical (warp & weft), the loom also weaves a third diagonal thread.
However this loom is a specific size & everything made on it is one size only, which is fine for making blankets but anything smaller has to be cut out of this bigger piece. Therefore the shawl which needs to be a bit narrower to give it the required falling length on a person, has a 4 inch strip (10cm?) cut from the long edge of the rectangle.
Rather than waste this 4 inch strip it has had the word ‘Chaos’ woven on it twice so that this piece can be made into two headbands (or else I’ve heard, left as a long strip which may end up being given as a free gift to World’s End customers to make what they can from it…?)
The shawl construction is finished by turning the long edge of the cut blanket over on itself into a loop, creating a channel through which a separately made scarf is threaded. This enables the piece to be tied around the shoulders creating the shawl.
Mentioning scarves, these are also being woven & for these, 6 scarves can be cut out of the rectangular piece. There are 4 different designs (one repeated twice) & the sixth piece can also be made into two headbands. These scarf designs are: ‘Climate Revolution’, ‘Climate Revolution’ (war & peace version), big knotted rope & little knotted rope.
Lastly a blanket is also being woven with a serpentine design on it but this does not need to be cut (its dimensions are 150x200cm).
Overseeing the production of these items here at the Battersea office is Sandra who has been working for Westwood as production manager since the year 2000 on the Gold label & now also for the new Red Carpet label which makes high end one off pieces for celebrities. She sourced the mill in Scotland about 10 years ago & chose to work with them as they were very much into experimenting. For instance Westwood wanted to try a weave incorporating floating threads which had never been tried before. After a bit of pushing the mill worked out a viable solution & were themselves very happy with the result. One last thing about them that I thought was interesting is that their woollen goods can only be supplied at certain times of the year because these are based on the times that the sheep in the area are sheared.
The shawl will retail at £425.00, the scarves at £75.00 & the Serpentine blanket at £315.00.