Mentioned in Selvedge Magazine
13 October, 2007
Woven in Wales
Every year, today’s date marks the national day for Wales, as it’s the day St David was said to have died almost 500 years ago. Since then, St David’s popularity has grown throughout the years in prayer and song, and now this saint can even be found in contemporary textiles. Using the design of the St David’s cross, Melin Tregwynt have created a design that encapsulates this national day for Wales, celebrating Welsh nationality in the very fibres of fabric today.
Melin Tregwynt is a traditional 17th century white-washed wool mill in a remote wooded valley on the Pembrokeshire coast. Owned by the same family since 1912, the mill today employs around 30 people and produces wool blankets, throws, cushions and furniture, as well as a range of accessories and clothing that combine authentic Welsh tradition with modern design. Simple in spirit and subtle in colour, this textiles mill marks St David’s day (quite literally) in style.
Their simple, reversible design is in fact a pattern inspired by early 18th century Shaker weaves, made with 100% pure new wool. A company that takes great pride in their country with the tagline “woven in Wales”, Melin Tregwynt is knowingly producing textiles at the tail end of a vast history of traditional Welsh weaving. Since as far back as the middle-ages, Welsh pastures have made for great sheep country with its many fast running streams providing the power needed to produce in the pre-industrial age. It should come as little surprise then that Wales still creates such high quality fabrics.
In the early 20th century most small rural mills in Wales worked with their local farming communities, processing the raw fleeces, carding and spinning yarn for weaving and knitting and also weaving fabric for everyday clothing (including tweed and flannel) or weaving blankets, rugs and Carthenni double weaves for household use. Since marrying tradition with contemporary design has proven so successful for Melin Tregwynt, it’s possible that this St. David’s cross design might even become a part of Welsh history in years to come.