grow your own clothes

Fashion designer and star of the Great British Sewing Bee, Patrick Grant, left Savile Row behind to begin a textiles revolution from Blackburn:

Fashion’s plain truth |

Back in April a team of about 30 volunteers started work on a grand plan – to grow their own clothes.

On a patch of unused land in the Lancashire town of Blackburn, they planted the seeds of two crops – flax and woad. Fast-forward to early August and they harvested the small field beside the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. The flax has since been broken, scutched, hackled, spun, and woven to create the fabric linen. Meanwhile, the woad leaves were heated and then cooled in water to create natural indigo dye to colour the linen blue.

Homegrown Homespun hopes to help revive Blackburn’s textile industry, by producing linen clothes locally – from growing the flax to making the garments.

“The idea with Homegrown Homespun is to rebuild the entire supply chain,” says Patrick Grant, fashion designer and founder of Community Clothing, who is also a judge on long-running BBC TV show The Great British Sewing Bee. “In this country we used to be completely self-sufficient in clothing. Most clothes were linen or wool, and flax was grown all across the UK. In fact, in the 16th Century, it was law that every landowner had to dedicate a portion of their land to growing flax.”

Fashionable farming – the people growing their own clothes |

With a show of what they’ve been up to:

And with more of the show here: