The first garment to be made from English Fine Cottons’ yarn will be on sale later this month.
We’re working with a host of large designers and retailers and a number of products are currently being developed and tested.
But it looks like an up-and-coming label that produces high quality, stylish motor-cycle clothing will pip the major players to the post.
Ashley Watson is a menswear designer who engineers functional clothing for the road. Now, he’s developed a sweatshirt that truly reflects our mission to rejuvenate the British textiles industry.
The finished garment – designed by Ashley in his North London workshop – will be made at a factory nearby.
The fabric will be knitted by Discovery Knitting in Leicestershire. And of course, the high grade Supima cotton they will knit, will be spun here at Tower Mill in Dukinfield.
A truly British product
On a recent visit to Tower Mill, Ashley told us he is delighted to be part of the English Fine Cottons story.
He said: “Provenance is really important to me and it’s a value that’s shared by many in the motorcycling community.
“As a new business, I like to be as involved in the manufacturing process as possible. There’s a lot of expertise in this country and it’s a great way for me to learn how to design better products for my customers.
“So, for me, it’s partly about having accessible suppliers here in Britain.
“But it’s mostly about wanting to support the regeneration of the British textiles industry – it’s a great opportunity.”
After cutting his teeth as a designer for Ted Baker, Ashley started his own label nearly three years ago.
He has built up a collection of classically styled durable clothing, essential on any road-trip. Many of the garments are British-made as Ashley also works with manufacturers in Nottingham and Wolverhampton.
Tried and tested quality
Customers will be able to buy the sweatshirt made from English Fine Cotton yarns, later in May. With an £80 price tag, it will be available in navy or ivory.
Such is his dedication to his work and the lifestyle his brand promotes, Ashley spends much of his time on the road, visiting manufacturers and testing his products.
And the sweatshirt in question stood up well to testing on a recent weekend motorcycle trip to Dartmoor.
Ashley said: “The idea was to make something that looks good and can be worn all year round.
“The quality of the fabric is superb and it’s really effective. It’s a heavy fabric – dense but not too thick and bulky.
“You can wear it under a jacket in colder weather or with just a t-shirt underneath in the summer.
“I’m really excited about it.”
The first of many
Here at Tower Mill, we can’t wait to see the finished garment.
Our Tracy Hawkins said: “Since going into production, we’ve spoken to lots of customers with exciting plans for our yarns.
“It can take months for a product to go through the manufacturing and testing process before it reaches the shelves in retail outlets.
“So, the products in development are yet to be seen by the public.
“But the next few months are going to be really exciting as we’ll see more and more go out to market.”
Check out Ashley Watson’s collection at www.ashleywatson.co.uk