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14 Jun 2024

Summer Open Days At The Mill

We love a party almost as much as we love weaving, and next month, we will be combining them both as we open the doors to our new Workroom within the historic County Brook Mill!

As is often the way, the renovations took longer than any of us imagined and there were a few surprises along the way, but after months of hard work, the finishing touches have been completed and the workroom is ready for action – and ready for us to show you around!

Join us on Thursday 18 or Friday 19 July at County Brook Mill, Colne for tours, talks, and our pop-up sale!

Scroll down for more details and information on how to book your place at the free events.

The history of the mill
Located in the heart of the British textile area, on the historic Lancashire/Yorkshire County boundary, textiles have been manufactured at County Brook Mill for more than 200 years, and it has been run by the same family for 117 years!

Adrian and Lance Mitchell are the current mill owners and heads of Mitchell Interflex, the 4th generation of their family of weavers. Great-grandfather William took over the mill in 1907 and it has been run by the Mitchell family ever since. Their father Raymond was even born in the room under our new workspace!

How did the relationship between Wallace Sewell
and Mitchell Interflex begin?

Mitchell Interflex have been weaving Wallace Sewell fabrics for 24 years and we are proud to have developed a close relationship with Lance and Adrian in that time. As designers, we like to push the boundaries of what is possible, and Emma and Harriet have extensive knowledge of weaving with both hand and industrial looms. But despite the many challenging briefs, and seemingly obscure requests, Mitchell Interflex have always embraced our ideas and together, we have produced countless collections.

This was true from the very start of our working relationship, when Adrian and Lance came to our rescue!

Previously, our fabrics were woven at another mill in Todmorden, but in the summer of 2000, disaster struck. After an extremely heavy downpour, the River Calder broke its banks and flooded the local area, including the mill. Sadly, there was no way they could resume weaving and we had to urgently find a new mill for production.

Cue Mitchell Interflex! All the yarn and warps were soaked from the flood, with no time or funds to replace them. Lance found a way to salvage the situation by drying the threads, so that they could be transferred directly into the looms at County Brook Mill. We counted our lucky stars, production continued, and we haven’t looked back since.

The Wallace Sewell workroom
As a company, we do our best to manufacture as responsibly as possible and that includes keeping production miles to a minimum. County Brook Mill is perfectly situated in a historic textile area with finishers nearby. We can weave, quality check and finish fabric all within a 25-mile radius. Once the fabric is returned to the mill, our team hand cut, sew, process, check and pack almost all of our products on site.

The dedicated Wallace Sewell mill team started working out of a space on the ground floor about ten years ago but as production has increased over the years, they were starting to feel a little squeezed! At the same time, it became obvious that we could streamline our online order service by sending all packages from the point of production, rather than from London, so when the opportunity of a new, bigger space arose, we took it.

The mill workroom plays a vital part in the Wallace Sewell story - not only as the hub where all our scarves, throws and cushions are cut, sewn and finished, but also in our Internship Programme. Over the years, the workroom has welcomed students from HE courses, and provided practical experience and knowledge to many graduates and interns. Several interns have gone on to become permanent members of staff, and we are proud that our working culture includes the nurture of talent.

The new space had ‘potential’, but it also needed a lot of work, as you can see above! As charming as the rough, flaking walls and wonky wooden floor was (and we have used this part of the mill for a previous photoshoot because it’s so authentic) there was no way we could store or process fabrics in such an environment.

Mitchell Interflex and Wallace Sewell started work on the new space last year with the hopes of being in before Christmas, but if you’ve ever watched Grand Designs, you know how it goes! But it does mean that we are now able to celebrate with you all with a Summer Bonanza…

Event Details
We would love to invite you to celebrate the new Wallace Sewell workroom within the historic County Brook Mill at Mitchell Interflex with us!
Thursday 18th July: 10:00am – 6.30pm
& Friday 19th July: 10:00am - 4:00pm

County Brook Mill, County Brook Lane, Colne, BB8 7LT

Talks by Harriet & Emma, followed by a tour of the new workroom and you will be able to see Wallace Sewell products in loom. There will be sessions on Thursday morning, Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Booking required.

Tea, coffee and prosecco will be offered, along with local scones, with cream and jam.
Pop-up Sale: Browse scarves, throws & cushions on sale at the mill where they are produced. Please note sale stock will be samples or seconds and may have small faults.

So that we can manage numbers and ensure we cater for everyone we would like you to book your place on the talk/tour using the Eventbrite link below.

Places are free but limited, due to maximum capacity of the space. There will be three talks/tours across the two days, so hopefully we will be able to accommodate everyone. We are expecting these sessions to be popular, so please only book if you know you can make it. There will be goody bags for all attendees, given out on the day!

Please note: The Pop-up sale will have wheelchair access, however the talk & tours are unfortunately not suitable for those with limited mobility, as access includes stairs.