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Q&A with Hainsworh

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Campaign for Wool caught up with the talented team at Hainsworth to discuss their history using wool and how it has become an intrinsic part of their business.

Please tell us a little about yourselves and how your business/designs/products utilise wool?

Hainsworth is run by the seventh generation of the Hainsworth family. The mill was established in 1783 by Abimelech Hainsworth and the mill has never left the Hainsworth family. We are a truly vertical mill who weave from raw wool, through blending, carding, spinning, warping, weaving and all of the finishing processes all on one site, the products don’t leave our mill until they are 100% finished and ready for use.

What makes you choose wool over other fibres? What is your favourite thing about wool?

Wool is our heritage and always will be, we are dedicated to the use of wool and to utilising its inherent benefits in our end products. Wool is natures own wonder fibre and the numerous inherent strengths that is has as a material make it perfect for all of our different markets, from Fashion and Interiors to snooker and pool cloth and the hidden gems in musical instruments such as Steinway pianos.

By what means do you source your wool?

We use only the best wool from Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Different climates result in different wool qualities; to ensure we are using the perfect wool for each product we ensure we purchase a variety of quality raw fleece by visiting sheep farms, auction houses and merchants all over the world.

What does the Campaign for Wool mean to you?

The Campaign for Wool is a great support the promotion of wool across industries and raising awareness of the benefits and qualities of this historic fabric with end users.

The interiors landscape is forever changing, what does 2014/15 hold for you as a brand?

2014 has been a year for research and development for Hainsworth interiors, 2015 will begin with the launch of a new Lifestyle range of products closely built around our history and heritage and will continue with strengthened product and range much higher visibility, with important collaborations coming to light.

Fabric technologies, particularly those using wool have advanced so rapidly over the last few years, has this affected your trade and work?

Our whole business has been based around innovation, we sit on numerous standards board to ensure that we have input into how fabrics are developed and used within industries. We have our own UKAS accredited laboratory so that we can ensure that all developments meet necessary guidelines.

How does using woollen cloths differ to other man-made materials?

We do not manufacture using manmade fibres in our interiors collections other than minimal amounts to maximise durability, the maximum man made fibre content in our Scarlet and Argent range is 13% and we will always work to ensure the highest level of wool possible.

What demand have you seen from your customers with regards to favouring wool over synthetic fibres?

Wool is definitely enjoying a revival, benefiting from the trend preference for natural fibres, our core loyal customers are staunch supporters of tradition and so of wool, we have numerous new enquiries coming through all the time from new designers who want to use quality woven wool in their new collections. There is even a noticeable increase in the knowledge of the customers with regards to the kinds of wool being used in products.

Are there any plans to introduce more wool in to your collection?

We couldn’t add more wool into our collection!

To find out more about Hainsworth and their work within the wool industry visit http://www.hainsworth.co.uk/

Hainsworth are  taking part in the Wool Collection: Interiors at Southwark Cathedral during Wool Week. Read more about the exhibition at http://www.campaignforwool.org/news-item/the-campaign-for-wool-interiors-collection/

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