All posts by Joan Shepherd

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.


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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




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New Wool Throws

We have recently launched several new collections of Jacquard woven lamb’s wool throws, using our specialist Jacquard machinery – including designs woven on our single repeat Throw on bed IMG-20150903-WA0009[1] loom. We are able to incorporate personalised designs such as the one shown which was commissioned as a wedding gift. The possibilities are endless, let our designers create the perfect memento for your special occasion.

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Ice Cotton – so comfortably cool

S Dawes Weaving source new yarn from Switzerland.

The amazing ice cotton yarn from Spoerry 1866 textiles is now being used at Greenhill Mill in Colne. The unique features of fabrics woven with the ice cotton yarn, will be in high demand by some of our clients in the apparel and fashion industries.

Cool yourself down, ecologically – literally, with this fabric you can do!

The beauty of this unique “cooling” material lays in the usage of the advanced technology yarn construction unique to Spoerry 1866. No synthetic fibers are employed – the whole concept relays on the usage of naturally grown and selected cotton and of course to the exclusive, edge of technology yarn producing process unique to Spoerry 1866.

Many garments give more than one function apart from being the latest in fashion. Some warm you, some cool you, some protect you from microwave and others from ultraviolet lights – the list is endless. But all have one thing in common – they are made of synthetic material!

Always in the quest to find the most advanced and best materials in this world the unique Swiss yarn and fabric producer Spoerry 1866 developed a new functional yarn/fabric, which offers not only the best naturally made fabric but also gives a integrated “cool to the touch” effect.

So, if ones like to have the best of both worlds – functionality and ecology – rest your mind on ease with the use of the new “cool” yarn ICE COTTON from Spoerry 1866.

Special features of ICE COTTON

Spoerry ICE COTTON is the functional and ecological yarn for exclusive textile creations with special properties:

  • “cool to the touch” effect
  • free from harmful allergenic chemicals
  • positive contribution to the ecological balance
  • natural silken sheen
  • perfect yarn structure
  • clear weave pattern
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NedGraphics software creates artistic inspiration.

Daniela from NedGraphics demonstrating the new software

Our Design Team haves taken delivery of a new CAD design system, NedGraphics Texcelle  Jacquard Pro and Jacquard Enterprise. The new software and equipment is the very latest in textile design technology and will allow us to maintain our competitive edge in the marketplace. Our efficiency, design capability and creative flexibly will be greatly enhanced when working to new customer briefs. Continue reading

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Nigel Cabourn Trapper Jacket

Vintage Wool Trapper Jacket, fabric replicated by S Dawes Weaving Ltd

Vintage Wool Trapper Jacket, fabric replicated by S Dawes Weaving Ltd

This dyed 100% wool Trapper fabric is an exact replica of the original 1930s Canadian hunting Trapper jacket. We were asked by  Nigel Cabourn who is a British fashion designer famous for his outerwear and passion for vintage clothing, to replicate this amazing old fabric.  The client was a large high end sportswear retailer in America.  The original jacket was a museum piece and part of Nigel Cabourn’s own large collection. We analysed the fabric for wool yarn count, colour and weight, the design was then photographed and scanned onto our CAD design system, samples were then woven at Greenhill Mill and sent to America for approval. This successful project is just one of several that the team at Dawes have worked on for Nigel Cabourn.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Kingsman – The Secret Service, (starring Black Watch tartan from S Dawes Weaving!)

Black Watch tartan weaving at Greenhill Mill

Black Watch tartan
weaving at Greenhill Mill

This is our Black Watch tartan currently being woven at Greenhill Mill. This classic tartan is being made up into the Kingsman Waxed Cotton Field Jacket with leather trims which has been exclusively designed for MR PORTER.  The jackets, soon to be seen in the much anticipated new film ‘ Kingsman – The Secret Service’,  form part of a luxury bespoke collection created in collaboration with the  film’s director Mr Matthew Vaughn, and Ms Arianne Phillips’  the film’s costume designer.

Kingsman – The Secret Service ,  which is released late January in the UK, stars  Micheal Caine, Colin Firth and Samual L Jackson as well as young actor Taron Egerton.


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SuzaniBettaBlueSuzani is a type of decorative and embroidered tribal textile made in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian counties. Suzani is from the Persian Suzan which means needle.  The art of making such textiles in Iran is called  Suzandozi (needlework).

One of our customers wanted to recreate the look of a Suzani, but in chenille. They wanted to be able to reproduce this fabric commercially whilst retaining  the  handmade/patchwork look. We worked together and created a random very large scale design that repeats over 3m! It is then randomly cut and used to upholster chairs.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather