British workmanship and manufacturing are given the recognition they deserve with the release of AllSaints’ new documentary, Voices of the Cloth.
You might have never thought about it, but what if the shirt on your back could tell a thousand stories? What if the coat you throw on each day represented passion and commitment, or the jacket round your shoulders symbolized generations of toil and tradition? These are just a few of the questions that the leading fashion retailer AllSaints has posed in the documentary, Voices of the Cloth, a new film that will launch on the UK site tomorrow, that showcases the level of workmanship and care that goes into producing some of the materials that the brand use.
AllSaints explain: “As a brand with British manufacturing in its blood, heritage and tradition are uncompromising fundamentals of the AllSaints spirit. However, it’s these values that too many, too often forget, as modern day production takes hold and skilled British work forces get left behind. This documentary was created in order to give voice to the whispered stories of survival in a fast-moving industry and liberate the Voices of the Cloth.”
Shot in the Yorkshire town of Huddersfield, where much of AllSaints’ woven textiles are manufactured, the town’s endless stories presented a unique opportunity for AllSaints to celebrate their roots. With much of the film talking place within the traditional ‘finishing’ mill, a family-run establishment where many of their fabrics are treated, the skilled workers explain the specialist weaving and steaming techniques that have been developed over generations to give the miles and miles of beautiful fabric a very specific feel. This ‘handle’ is a quality that could not be replicated without their expert knowledge, or the temperate conditions of the surrounding area.
AllSaints continue: “These men of the mill are equally fascinating, working on machines now so old that they were unique in the world and using top secret soap recipes that their ancestors had toiled for generations to perfect. These were people who started work at the age of 15 knowing nothing about textiles, but who by retirement age had become experts in their trade.”