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STORIES

Best of January

The new-year has already got off to a great start for us at RM. It’s been a busy month for us both with our own product development and within our textile consultancy.

At RM, working with craftspeople in local mills has been on our wish list for a while and an opportunity came up before Christmas to do just that. We’ve been busy designing and planning for the last few weeks, and on the cusp of seeing the first collection finished we wanted to share with you some details of what we’ve been working on.

Working with a small commission weavers based on the outskirts of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, we have been able to build on the ideas we have previously explored in our work of creating small, bespoke collections of accessories made from repurposed materials.

By using stock yarns, a by-product from the local textile industry, together with the expertise of the weavers at the mill, we are able to create lengths of fabric which are by the nature of the materials used – completely bespoke.

The combination of carefully selected yarns, colours and textures are unique to each length of fabric woven and can’t easily be reproduced. The final products have also been designed in a way which means that each item will be one of a handful, if not entirely one-of-a-kind in its appearance.

We are very excited at the prospect of producing beautifully designed, bespoke textile products all made and finished locally within Yorkshire and together with friends we are also working on a short film documenting this project.

We want to be able to show the design, development and production behind our new collection and the skills and craftsmanship which exists right on our doorstep. Everything is happening over the next few weeks and there will be more exciting updates to follow soon on this latest project!

When not working on our new collection, we’ve been living out of a suitcase for most of the month. We started we a lovely long weekend in Brussels, staying in a beautiful apartment furnished with vintage finds from a local flea market. We had a super tasty weekend trying out some of the amazing food in the city, including the local friets and waffles!

We also spent a few days in Florence visiting Pitti Filati with our consultancy hats on, researching the latest yarn trends for new season. Florence is a beautiful city we love visiting, the food is always amazing and our suitcases are always weighed down with tasty treats on the way home!

February is already well upon us and its going to be another busy one! With our mill project in full swing and trips to Paris and London to fit in we can’t wait to share more updates soon!

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Best of December

December all but disappeared in a bit of blur, we had a lovely Christmas with family and celebrated the New Year with close friends, walking and seal watching along the beautiful Norfolk coastline.

 

We’re really looking forward to the New Year ahead, with exciting product development in the works along with trips planning across the UK and Europe. We’d like to thank everyone for their continued support throughout 2015 and look forward to a creative and successful 2016!

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Best of November

It’s been a great few weeks for us here at RM – we had our first Rag Makers market stall at the Handmade and Vintage market in the beautiful Storey building in Lancaster.

We were very lucky with the weather which was stunning – and there was a great mix of arts, crafts and vintage stalls which were busy all day. It was a super exciting day to show off our wares to the public and we had so much amazing feedback from visitors and customers alike which was great to hear!

 

We’re very excited about our market set up and will hopefully be showing at various markets throughout 2016. We’ll keep you up to date with the latest news on the site and via twitter!

We rounded off the month with a wet and windy, but no less beautiful trip to Pwllheli in North Wales. We spent a blustery few days exploring stunning coastal walks, empty beaches and pretty local towns. We had a lovely few days and I have a feeling we’ll be back here next summer.

We’re also working on some new RM products with local crafts people based in West Yorkshire which we are very excited about. Being able to work with local mills and people is a real treat and something we’d love to do more of going forward – updates to follow soon.

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Best of October

October has been super busy for us whilst we get ready for our first Christmas market in Lancaster this November, but we’ve managed to fit in some trips to some really beautiful cities too.

We took the scenic route up to Edinburgh for a long weekend, where we were truly spoilt with stunning weather, lovely independent shops and super tasty food. Our trip finished with a truly Scottish cinema experience at the old Cameo, Macbeth – pretty traumatic but very beautiful to watch.

We had an amazing week in Shanghai too, have a peak at the previous journal post for more details, hopefully we’ll be going back soon for some more Far East adventures.

Art_Textiles has opened at the Whitworth, which is easily one of our favourite places in Manchester, it was great to see some amazing large scale textile pieces as well as sneaking into a book signing with children’s author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers.

Our own collaboration with illustrator Mr Woody Woods has had some great reviews, there’s a lot of love for those Mexican Wrestlers, with a handful finding their way into new homes too! The lovely photo below is from happy new owner @BisabuelaUK

We’ve also been busy preparing for our first Christmas market at The Story in Lancaster this November. We’re very excited to take along a collection of our own handmade interior and fashion accessories as well as a beautiful range of carefully selected vintage ceramics and home-grown plants. We’ll be tweeting photos of our new products leading up to the market, which opens at 11am, Saturday 21st November. Its going to be a great show of handmade and vintage gifts, perfect for Christmas so if your in the area do pop in.

 

Look out for tweets of our new products which will be on sale at the market! 

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Best of September

September has flown by, we spent some time in Paris catching up on the latest textile trends as well as visiting local markets and boutiques searching for vintage finds to add to our collections.

Our exciting collaboration with Mr Woody Woods made its debut in his solo exhibition at the super tasty breakfast house, The Koffee Pot. The exhibition is showcasing a large collection of Woodys work which is super colourful and packing with interesting characters, some of which we turned our attention to!

We produced four limited edition plush Mexican Wrestlers for the show, each handcrafted from appliqued layers of felt and finished with some hand embroidery.

The exhibition has received a huge amount of positive feedback from customers and press alike - graphic illustration blog Inky Goodness have featured an interview with Woody and our cushions got featured too!

Everything is on show until the 21st October, so drop in if your passing – I can heartily recommend most things on the menu including the Cali, eggs any which way you like and I’ve been assured the Scottish breakfast takes some beating.

When not eating breakfast, we’ve been making the most of the beautiful, unexpected, weather this month. Lazy Sundays have been spent exploring the city and wandering the galleries at the Whitworth in Manchester. We’re looking forward to the forthcoming Art_Textiles exhibition starting later in the month.

October is already set to be a busy one, we’re busy preparing for the handmade and vintage fair in Lancaster this November, and we’re also going to be spending some time in one of our favourite cities, Shanghai, tweets and blog posts to follow!

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Best of August

Better late than never, here’s a little round up of what has been another whirlwind of a month for us here at RM.

We’ve been busy and our first batch of bespoke cushions are now online! We’ve had a really great response to our first home accessories collection – all handmade from a mix of new and repurposed materials. Most of the cushions are one or two of a kind due to the materials we use and will only ever be owned by a handful of people.

Our hand knitted Ebba range of scarves and snoods are online too. Made from a mix of cotton and wool, they are perfect for this time of year – light and airy but still warm and cosy.

When we’ve not been busy making this month we’ve been up and down the country rummaging through various antique and flea markets searching for new gems to add to our Vintage selection. Highlights include Sundays spent at Stockport Old Towns Vintage Village and find-wise the most amazing wicker-woven, mud covered bee skeps.

Bank holiday weekend was spent in the very picturesque village of Kirklington in North Yorkshire to celebrate some very special birthdays, which included the most amazing handcrafted piñata ever seen!

And as we bound head first into September, here’s a sneak peak of an a very exciting (and colourful) collaboration with Manchester based illustrator @woodywoods who will be exhibiting his world of weird and wonderful creations at a very tasty Manchester breakfast spot later this month – tweets and updates to follow!

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Best of July

Where to start, July has been a month of change with lots of exciting new opportunities starting to come together at Rag Makers HQ. Our new bespoke interior, vintage and holme grown collections are starting to make an appearance online, with new additions being added all the time.

We have a more in depth look at our family history, in our about page, featuring the women who worked in the Rag Trade who inspired more than just our name. We also have some exciting work in the pipeline for our new Rag Makers | Consultancy service which offers a comprehensive textile sourcing, development and trend service to retailers, suppliers and mills directly.

 

Throw in Wimbledon, a few inspiring exhibitions, Manchester’s International Festival and the eagerly awaited start of raspberry season in the allotment and all in all its shaped up to be a great month. When we haven’t been indulging in jams, fools and mountains of Eaton mess, we’ve been visiting our favourite hidden boutiques and markets to bring you a beautiful array of hand-selected vintage pieces to accompany our new bespoke interior accessories.

During our travels we had an inspiring trip to Tate Modern to see the Sonia Delaunay exhibition. Delaunay’s expressive and vibrant use of colour and pattern was wonderful to see up close, as was the opportunity to look through some of her textile designs, original sketches and notebooks.

What is Luxury at the V&A was a beautiful and thought provoking collection of works, with personal favourites being - Time for Yourself by Marcin Rusak in collaboration with Iona Inglesby, a covetable toolkit of objects designed to encourage the user to escape from familiar routines and adventure into the unknown. Also Luxury Skimming Stone by Dominic Wilcox, a small flat stone covered in gold leaf, which is in itself a precious object, with a tempting ultimate purpose to be thrown away in one memorable moment. Both pieces focus on the personal experience and memories created between the user and object with the time spent doing so being a prized luxury in itself, as shown in the accompanying addition of @craftsmagazine below.

Time for Yourself by Marcin Rusak in collaboration with Iona Inglesby, 2013

Luxury Skimming Stone by Dominic Wilcox, 2009

Its been a very inspiring and exciting July and with August promising to be the same, keep up to date with our latest news and new arrivals on our twitter and instagram feeds.

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