Behind the seams: British tweed

Tweed-obsessive Johnnie Boden had a brainwave. ‘I’ll buy a tweed archive,’ he thought. ‘It will inspire all of our designs. I’LL DRESS THE WHOLE WORLD AND ITS DOG IN TWEED!’ He got (nearly) all of his wishes when he purchased a huge archive of fabric from the historic Hunters of Brora™ – whose fans include royalty (well, if it’s good enough for HRH…). The archive now serves as inspiration for every piece of tweed clothing we make. This is a story of British heritage, London-based designers and historic fabric mills. But, unfortunately for Johnnie, no dogs in tweed.

Let’s talk tweedspiration

‘The archive is our starting point. We might be leafing through, find a swatch of tweed and think, “that would look great in bright pink” or “let’s take the blue from this one and put it into an amazing check,”’ says Helen Webb-Carter, our fabric-sourcing expert. Her team, alongside our talented in-house designers, figure out which styles would look best in which tweeds.

They work with British mills, including Abraham Moon & Sons (one of the last remaining woollen mills in the country that manage the entire process from raw material to finished product), to give our archive tweeds that famous Boden twist. We’re proud of our British heritage, so working with British suppliers like Moon’s makes us warmer and fuzzier than the wool in our clothes.

British tweed by numbers

The best thing about visiting a Yorkshire mill? The tea.

Helen and her team then head to the land of tea and tweed (AKA Yorkshire) to visit the mill, armed with their chosen tweeds and designs in an array of joy-inducing colours (our favourites being sunshine yellow and post-box red). This is where the fabric goes from average Joe to above-average Johnnie and really comes to life.

It’s important to us that Moon’s sourcing scheme ensures their wool is sheep-shape… (sorry). Wool is a naturally biodegradable and sustainable fibre, and Moon’s wool is from sheep that roam freely in their pastures.

All of Moon’s wool consignments can be traced back to the farm, and the wool is cleaned using only eco-friendly detergents. So not only do we have happy sheep, but a happy planet, too. For more information, visit Moons.co.uk.

Tweed: not just for librarians and undercover superheroes

‘We focus on unexpected trims, modern shapes, and always design cuts that fit and flatter like no other,’ Helen says. This meticulous attention to detail is why we love Helen – she’s a perfectionist, like us.

‘There’s a real artisanal element to tweed,’ she says. ‘It’s built to last, to be a wardrobe staple that’s worn for years and years then handed down.’ If only Boden tweed could talk…

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