Paul Harnden .
October 13, 2013
Just read your very interesting article on Paul Harnden…………..I worked with him, and Helena, in 2005 and 2006 when he was doing specially commissioned fabrics with Fox Bros of Wellington (Somerset), where I was Designer at that time. He liked to go through the archive books (some dating back to 1779), looking for his ‘inspirations…..and he really could ‘tweak’ original new concepts from those old swatches….we made some amazing fabrics for him during those years. The other thing that stands out for me, is that he used to take the fabric from us straight from the loom (unwashed!!!, unfinished!!!) which was almost unheard of because it is during finishing that fine woollen / worsted fabrics transform from a raw, rough commodity to a thing of beauty!! — not for him though, he explained to us that he would “bury the cloth underground for several weeks and let nature do the finishing work”!!! — which is how the fabrics achieve his ‘antique’ appearance.
Finally, I left Fox Bros myself in 2007, after six VERY interesting years, (so I don’t know if they are still doing fabrics for Paul) and I am now based in Yorkshire, near Huddersfield, where the old pattern weaving mill is located…….Gordon Hawley is now retired, but the mill is still going strong – now run by a very nice guy called Adrian (sorry his surname escapes me)……..in fact they are weaving some of the blankets I design for my current employer, Lassiere Mills, of Bradford.
Hope this info is of some interest, Pete Cunningham.