We stepped back a millennium and more just before Christmas, attending a lovely wedding in the Gloucestershire village of Bibury. I must have some kind of woolly antennae: it turns out the village was once a wool processing centre. Its former monastic wool store built in 1380, now known as Arlington Row, was turned into weavers cottages in the 1600s, and is now one of the most photographed locations in the Cotswolds. It was a joyous family wedding with all the right ingredients – love, happiness and sincerity – but my goodness it was cold.
The bride did very well considering the freezing temperatures and icy paths on the day, but one thing could have made her a lot warmer: a knitted wedding dress. Sounds like an old-fashioned idea? Not when taken up by knitwear designers and sheep flock owners Nicola Sherlock and Beate Kubitz at Makepiece. Look at their latest knitted wedding dress: isn’t it just glorious? It’s a culmination of everything natural, just as a bride should feel on her wedding day.
Makepiece also create avant-garde wedding gauntlets, romantic wraps and scintillating stoles to keep any winter bride warm and confidently beautiful. They’ve got a new fashion knitwear collection too, coming out in London Fashion Week in February. They’ll be at London Fashion Week’s exhibition at Somerset House. What’s more they’re well on the way to being a totally sustainable fashion house, working towards carbon neutrality. I’m sure the amount of CO2 that’s stored naturally in every sheep fleece, according to The Campaign for Wool, must be a help in making a significant contribution to reducing climate change.
With the UN’s Rio+20 conference taking place this summer, it’s forward-thinking companies like Makepiece, along with all us fleece-users (and thus CO2-storers) in the hand-spinning community who are showing the way forward, not just to sustainable clothing but to a more sustainable global environment. Enjoy your spinning, and remember the good you’re doing for the climate every time you turn your hand-spun into a long-lasting, carbon-storing garment - wedding dress or otherwise!