All posts by Joan Shepherd

“Textiles- Not as we Know it”

The Biannual Conference of the Weaving Group
4th October 2018
Cedar Court Hotel, Huddersfield

The biennial conference attracted over 200 delegates and speakers and we were delighted to be approached to weave the banners to promote the event.

The conference is an opportunity to meet up with the industry professionals for varied presentations from the machinery makers and key topical speakers.

From woolens to airbags, linen to carbon fibre, industrial fabrics to apparel and from the four corners of the UK; this is the one conference and dinner where the various weaving sectors come together to talk about common issues; including Brexit this year!

Jeff Robins and Chris Catlow of S Dawes Weaving at the conference

Managing Director Stephen Shepherd (right) with Jeff Robins

Joanna Brockbank, Textile Designer at Dawes, (left) with Kate Hills from ‘Make it British’.











The layout of the banner was created by Ben Brown of Alfred Brown Ltd. The yarn was supplied by Burberry, and then Joanna Brockbank our designer at S Dawes Weaving translated the design into weave, it was then woven at Greenhill Mill in Colne.

This was quite a challenge for Joanna as there were only around 10 working days to turn this project into the finished product.  Joanna worked on the design, added our logo and decided on a construction based on the yarn counts supplied in by Burberry. The banners were then cut and sewn by Herbert Parkinson; it was a joint effort of four companies.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Oscha Baby Slings

Oscha Slings, one of our key clients, recently did a marketing campaign on Facebook featuring some of the staff at S Dawes Weaving. The clever posts introduced the people who work to produce the fabric and the end product. Staff were shown holding up cards explaining what part they played in the process. Facebook followers commented how interesting they found it to see the faces of the people who create slings they buy. Tom Shepherd who creates the complicated warps that are required for many of the complex Oscha designs said he had hundred of likes for the image of him holding up his card!

Oscha Slings are now a major client of ours, take a look at the new page we have created to showcase the work we do together – click here, to go to our Oscha page.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

New latest development Jacquard machine installed – and another on the way!

June 2017 sees further investment by S Dawes Weaving. We have acquired a brand new Bonas single end jacquard machine, this new innovative Jacquard machine is one of only three in Europe.

This investment forms part of our capital investment of over 80K this year, and continues our commitment to invest in the latest technology which will enable us to maximise our productivity, design capability and efficiency. Two major new clients are working with us and are keen to develop new ranges of fabrics in the UK. With this in mind, a further Jacquard machine has been purchased and is due for delivery in September 2017, this again will expand our capability and allow us to produce more niche market high value fabrics.

New Staff

Two new members of staff have been appointed to strengthen our busy planning and design team. Our clients are looking forward to working with us on some innovative and inspiring new designs using some of the latest developments in yarn technology, including the weaving of expensive fibres such as silk, 100% cashmere, and machine washable super soft wools plus many more of the world’s finest luxury fibres. The two new jacquard machines will be invaluable in helping us to create some amazing new fabrics for the 2018/19 collections.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

EMMA WOOD – Talented young designer based in Berlin

Emma Wood is a young and talented designer who contacted Dawes from her base in Berlin to see if we could weave her 100% Merino Lambswool designs. We were delighted to work with Emma, and now weave all her fabrics at Greenhill Mill. Her products including blankets, cushions and throws are all woven in England and made in Berlin.

Emma visited Greenhill Mill a few months ago to see her new collection of designs being woven, and to get some footage for a video she was making for her own website, click the link to view Emma’s short film.

Images from







Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

English Fine Cottons – Made in Britain starts here.

Image from English Fine Cottons' spinning and winding equipment in the new facility at Tower Mill.

Image from English Fine Cottons’ new state of the art Spinning facility at Tower Mill.

S Dawes Weaving Ltd is delighted to be sourcing its cotton yarns from English Fine Cottons.

Stephen Shepherd the Managing Director at Dawes visited Tower Mill recently and was very impressed with the brand new, state of the art spinning facility in Manchester. He said, “It’s heartening to see this type of industry being invested in and brought into the modern era, but especially as it’s all being brought back to the North West where cotton spinning has been a tradition since Victorian times.  Many of our customers are keen to buy British and knowing that the yarns are being processed in a British Spinning Mill is hugely exciting. Click here to read more about the transformation of Tower Mill and this fantastic £6 million pound investment in our regions textile industry.





Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

It’s a Wrap!

20160928_151724_resizedOur new vehicle wrap is looking good we think? It’s certainly added some colour to our boring plain white van. Thought we’d make a splash with some colourful artwork, and at the same time, get our message across that the textile industry is still alive and thriving in East Lancashire.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Team Dawes ‘Survive’!

born-survivor-5-2016 born-survivor-3-2016 bornsurvivor-8The team from S Dawes Weaving Ltd, again put themselves through the ‘hell’ that is Born Survivor, the 10K Cross Country Obstacle Challenge . This is no average mud run or fun day run, it’s tough, this is the ultimate military obstacle course, not for the faint hearted.

Well done to Chris, Tom, Glen, Jeff and Paulina, they all finished the course together, a bit battered and bruised, but they survived in style!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Huge Investment for 2016

20160708_072528   Red strip warp

We are now enjoying the benefits of investing in a state of the art Karl Mayer warping machine. The new machine has been installed for a couple of months and is already proving to be of huge benefit to us and our customers.


To read about this latest capital investment, please follow this link to an article published in the local press and in other Business publications.

20160817_10144320160801_150102Shown here are a few images of the new warping machine in action, showing the type of complicated warps we can now create.  (One of the images shows Thomas, the son of Managing Director Stephen Shepherd, who has joined the business from his engineering background to run the new machine and learn the business.)


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Pendle Business Awards 2016

Stephen Shepherd (bottom right, with Dennis Mendoros, chairman of the Vision Board , with some of the other winners.

Stephen Shepherd (bottom right), with Dennis Mendoros, chairman of the Vision Board , and some of the other winners.

Congratulations to the team at S Dawes Weaving on being named the ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ at the Pendle Business Awards 2016. The event was held at the Fence Gate on Thursday 9th June, it was a great evening and we were delighted to win our category.

Due to our strategy of investment for growth, since moving to modern more suitable premises we have attracted major new customers. We have employed 1 more person this year to run the new Karl Mayer sample warping machine.

Commercial success is evident, we’ve seen an Increase in sales, due to improved design capability (new cad system), and our investment in the Karl Mayer machine, which involves a new mezzanine floor and other structural adaptations is set to create further benefits to the business and our customers. This type of investment supports product development and innovation of product, through design.

The impact on our supply chain will be positive. We will be placing orders for an increased level of raw material with our UK supplier(s).  There is an increased chance that suppliers will more easily be able to get their yarn and finishing innovations to end users more easily with our support. We are keen to work with UK suppliers in order to take business from overseas competitors, and to promote and support UK manufacturing.

Long term focus is to continue to invest in technology and product innovation based on customer demand. To diversify and extend the product portfolio in order to manage risk and to create a healthy UK textile business attracting and supporting jobs within the local area.

Our team – from our talented Designer, to the long serving Weavers and Over Lookers, we have an exceptionally loyal workforce, some have worked for the company all their working lives, long before Stephen took over in 2005. We still have some of the same customers from back then too, as well as lots of new ones. The history of Dawes goes back over 100 years, although there have been 3 or 4 changes of ownership; there is still the feeling that we are continuing the heritage of a long established Lancashire textile company. We have definitely brought the textile industry into the 21st century; our innovation and expertise have seen us develop new fabrics, weaving with yarns including bamboo and hemp, as well as cotton and viscose.  Considering the number of mills that once employed thousands of textile workers in east Lancashire, we are very proud to be one of the only 2 textile mills still operating in Pendle and this is in part due to our competitive pricing, investment in plant and machinery and textile design technology, as well as the expertise and commitment of the people who make up the S Dawes team.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Jimi Hendrix – Swinging 60s style.

The Bed Throw woven at Greenhill Mill, now in situ in Jimi Hendrix’s former London Flat.

Jimi Hendrix’s flat in London, has recently been restored to its former glory, Jimi lived there between 1968 and 1969, at the height of his career.

We were delighted to be asked to be involved in this exciting project. We have been working with Wallace Sewell, to recreate some of the fabrics that adorned the flat, including the striking bed throw that was the centre piece of the room. We used archive photos and film, to help us to design and weave an excellent replica of the fabric that was used to decorate his home.

The flat on the upper floors of 23 Brook Street was found by Jimi’s girlfriend Kathy Etchingham (who is the cousin of Journalist and News Reader Julia Etchingham,) from an advert in one of the London evening newspapers in June 1968 while he was in New York. He spent some time decorating the flat to his own taste, including purchasing curtains and cushions from the nearby John Lewis department store, as well as ornaments and knickknacks from Portobello Road market.

Over the years the flat was used as office space until it was taken over in 2000 by the Handel House Trust, which is just next door.

From 2006 to 2013 the rooms were opened to the public as part of the Open House Weekend, and in 2010 as part of the exhibition Hendrix in London they were open to visitors for 12 days. In 2014 the Handel House Trust was awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to restore the Hendrix Flat permanently, as well as creating a new studio space and improving visitor facilities. The Flat will open to the public on Wednesday 10 February 2016.


Bed colour from KE FB page

Bed colour 2 from KE FB page

Bed colour 3 from KE FB page




Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather