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John Smedley celebrates 235 years of British craftsmanship


UKFT Member John Smedley is celebrating 235 years of creating its iconic knitwear at its base in Lea Bridge, Derbyshire, this year.

The company is currently hosting a series of exhibitions within St James’s Market Pavilion in London, in association with the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), a charity which supports the training and education of British craftspeople, as part of London Craft Week.

Today managing director, eighth generation Smedley family member and UKFT board member Ian Maclean will host a talk with two of the brand’s 235 ambassadors, stone artist Zoe Wilson and ceramic artist Alice Walton, on selecting the finest raw materials and transforming them into artisan creations.

In October the brand will launch a 235 collection as part of Wool Week 2019. Not only crafted in Britain, but entirely farmed, spun, knitted and hand finished within the UK and featuring some of the most unusual fibres.

The collection features British Guanaco, British Alpaca and British Sheep’s wool. Whilst British Sheep and Alpaca may be well known fibres, John Smedley’s collection will mark the first ever British Guanaco garments in the entire world, never-before spun for a brand or company this fibre, which is second only in the world to Vicuna in fineness is extremely rare and will be offered in a single unisex style of which only 25 in the entire world will be made available exclusively at John Smedley’s London store.

The collection offers not only the finest noble fibres, but a completely traceable, ethical and sustainable product that can be traced back to the individual animals, such is John Smedley’s dedication to the fibre that they have protected their own herd of British Alpaca and Guanaco animals – each named after important Smedley family members