Why We Set Up Our Studio
Dashing Tweeds weave design studio was set up when Guy Hills met Kirsty McDougall during her masters graduate show at the Royal College of Art. Having photographed and studied the fabrics and suits of Savile Row, Guy was keen on sporting modern urban tweed designs, which at the time only existed in his imagination. The chance meeting with Kirsty made the possibility of the dream a reality. A Swiss made weave design loom was purchased and after a brief spell in Kirsty’s front room the loom was housed in a studio in Dalston and the brand came to life.
What The Studio Does
All of our designs for cloth and ready to wear start in the studio. Twice a year we design and develop a cloth collection typically comprising of a dozen distinctive new textiles. We absorb the zeitgeist and set ourselves design briefs for each collection. Ideas have included a fusion of heritage and modern polar exploration kit, studies of abstract expressionist painters and vision of space as depicted by the media over the last century. The studio also works closely with our collaborators and after consultations on colours and textures we warp up our design loom and weave original new fabric samples which are then sent to mills in Scotland and around the UK for production.
How Does The Studio Work
The weave design studio is the main creative hub of Dashing Tweeds. We stock a huge variety of yarns including Merino wools, British wools, monofilaments, rubbers , cottons, silks and high tech fibres all of which are used for design work. After we have worked on the colours and textures for a new cloth we decide on the scale of the design and warp up our loom accordingly. A large part of the design process is then performed by Kirsty as she weaves. New structures of weaves, the patterns of warp lifting and weft threading are experimented with. At this point creativity is the driving force and we consider the practicalities of the new designs later.
Curation Of A Collection
Once a range of samples have been made, we hold a team meeting to discuss the new designs which is an important editing process before the selected fabrics are sent to production. We have strong links with yarn suppliers, spinners, dyers, weavers and finishers all over the United Kingdom and when we know which design we will put into production we speak to the various suppliers and makers to find the ones most suited to the particular job.
We can also work with individual designers to create bespoke designs for their collections. The design process described above is initially the same yet we select appropriate yarns and colours and talk about design aesthetics. For more information please do contact Kirsty@DashingTweeds.co.uk.