Craft/Textiles

The Craft/Textiles group meets on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at The People’s Initiative, Scargill Walk from 10.00-12.00.  The contact for the group is Pat Collins, on 01773 787 806.

Group members regularly discuss their interests and decide on future projects.

We have had trips out to local factories – David Nieper, John Smedley and G H Hurt & Son’s, Chilwell – which have given a fascinating insight into the success of textile manufacturing in the local area.

David Nieper have been designing and creating luxury womenswear and fashion in their Alfreton workrooms since 1961.  The company sells its products directly to consumers from its base in Alfreton.  Even web design, catalogue printing and taking pictures of models are handled in house.

John Smedley are a well established family business at Lea Mills in Derbyshire.   Founded in 1784 by Peter Nightingale (a relation of Florence Nightingale)  and John Smedley (father of the better-known son of the same name), it was set up on a hilly site straddling a brook at Lea Bridge, just outside Matlock.  The brook was used to both clean yarn and power machinery.   The designer label John Smedley is now familiar in boutiques, department stores and classic retailers around the world. The company sells to over 30 countries and has won numerous awards for its export achievements. The largest export market is Japan.

G.H.Hurt & Son, another family firm, have been supplying the finest lace knitwear since 1912.  Known as The Shawl Factory they design and manufacture best quality ladies shawls and scarves, baby christening shawls and a variety of heritage knitted lace products.  Both Prince George and Princess Charlotte were wrapped in their shawls when they left hospital.  The company have a collection of fascinating vintage handframe machines, designed by Rev. William Lee in 1589. Many of these machines are still in working order and work alongside the most modern knitting technology to produce exquisite fashion products.

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