St Margaret’s House, one of the three girls’ houses at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, has joined the world of fashion with the production of a smart tweed jacket designed by two of its middle-sixth students, Ellie Gargan and Rebecca Mechie.
It is hoped that the jacket will become standard wear for the girls of St Margaret’s.
The project began when some of the girls discovered that Derek Lloyd (head of Special Educational Needs) had expertise in the weaving trade. He had previously woven an estate tweed for the school shoot.
Intrigued, the girls asked if he could weave something in their house colours – pink and blue. Several designs were suggested and the above picture shows the one finally chosen.
The tweed was produced by a friend of Mr Lloyd, David MacDowell, at Fairfield Mill, Sedbergh, who, although retired from his job as an industrial weaver, agreed to produce a 100 yard run of sample fabric. He still operates two Dobcross power looms.
When this process was completed, the material was sent to Scholfield’s of Galashiels (one of the only two remaining cloth finishing factories in Britain) to have it professionally treated ready for tailoring.
Quotations were obtained and eventually Nicholas Jones of Manchester was assigned the job. Pupil Ellie Gargan said: “There were many ideas put forward but a house tweed blazer was the most unique.”