We are proud to present phase 1 of the fruits of our recent travels to Eastern Europe. Steering clear of the recent skirmishes, we nevertheless ventured deep into the forest to bring you back these fabulous new linens.
Gros grain, a range of unbleached webbing for the more industrial maker and even some Harris Tweed selvedge edge can now be found in the cloth department.
We like card patterns as they behave better in use and can be used time and time again. They are more rigid and can be persuaded to lie perfectly still and flat. Our patterns are supplied in individual sizes from 8 to 16 and some up to 18 with full, illustrated instructions.
They do not need to be pinned out but instead are weighted down with patterns weights or handy tins of beans and marked around with tailor’s chalk. As with fashion production patterns, all notches are snipped and all internal details such as darts or pockets are drilled out with holes to be marked with chalk.
To get the full lowdown on pattern sizing and a general overview, read more here: ABOUT PATTERNS.
Scissors are the most wondrous invention and we take our hats off to the anonymous early inventor of such a cunning tool. There are so many scissors on the market, so many choices and a lot of confusion. We have, over the years, tried many of them.
When it came to putting together a range of scissors for Merchant & Mills we decided to go back to the city most associated with quality cutting tools: Sheffield. We went to a factory that supplies Savile Row – our great street of British Tailors, and chose some tools that will last a lifetime. Our philosophy is: buy once – quality will be remembered long after the price is forgotten.
SEW – A NEEDLE PULLING THREAD
ANY OLD IRON?
The importance of good ironing is often overlooked in the making process yet a garment which is beautifully sewn but badly pressed will always look homemade. A good iron is great friend. All of the sewing needs to be carefully ironed, as this sinks the stitches down into the fabric for a truly professional finish. The secret is to press rather than iron, letting the iron do the work as you lift and put it down.
VIVA THE REVOLUTION
Dressmaking has always been popular but never deemed cool. Photography, graphic design, even dry stone walling are creative activities that hold a certain kudos yet the complex, ancient art of joining together pieces of fabric is overlooked or worse still, derided. We are here to urge intelligent, independent women to buy traditional patterns and dress well by their own hand. And there are kits and tools for men. Nobody escapes the revolution.
Our customers are people of all ages who understand how they can make a clear statement of individuality and experience the satisfaction that comes from making clothes that compete in style and quality with top end retail, paid for in time more than hard cash.
THE GUIDING PRINCIPALS
Carolyn Denham and Roderick Field are Merchant & Mills. The company was formed in 2010 to elevate sewing to its proper place in the creative world, respecting the craftsmanship it entails. They produce a range of card patterns and really useful kits and in profound contrast to the pretty, flowery image of the average haberdasher, they present superb and unusual sewing of notions in stark, utilitarian packaging.
Carolyn has a degree in fashion and has lived and worked in Italy and New York. She spent several years in Interior Design. Roderick is an established photographer and writer with works in the National Portrait Gallery. He is responsible for the company’s visual style and is currently designing artwork for a wide variety of contemporary merchandise.
Merchant & Mills products are stocked by Liberty, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Selvedge as well as independent retailers all over the world.
If you like our visual language, you will want to see some more here: roderickfield.com
KEEP IT SIMPLE
& DO IT WELL
There is no greater satisfaction than making; it is the very essence of creativity. We want you to enjoy the fruits of your labour just as much as the making process and so we have scoured the known Earth to find you the best sewing notions and most useful tools; to free ideas and make them physical, we are all encouraged by having the right equipment.
WHERE WE ARE AT
14A Tower Street, Rye, East Sussex TN31 7AT. We are open from 9.30am to 6pm Monday to Saturday. Contact us using the CONTACT FORM or on 01797 227789.