Hawick Knitwear visit

Here at the Mix Max studio we love throwing ourselves into every opportunity & seeing what comes back!  When we won an opportunity, through Scotland Re-Designed, to work with Hawick knitwear to create a cashmere range we were over joyed at the opportunity if not a little overwhelmed.  Studio wall bursting with ideas, where did we start?  Taking all of our ideas to visit Hawick Knitwear’s Nick & Arthur to talk technical & see their incredible factory.

Ferry crossing

Ferry journey

Heading on an adventure to visit Hawick, situated in the beautiful Scottish Borders meant we got to travel pretty close to the length of Scotland.  This included a ferry crossing from our Northern Islands to the North coast of Scotland.  From here it’s about a 325 mile drive via some of Scotland’s stunning countryside, towns & cities.

Scottish Borders

For us at the Mixter Maxter studio, our Scottish textile heritage is not just at the core of our research, but we are always looking for new ways to work with producers in our current textile industry.  A tour of the factory was fascinating, so many intricate processes involved in the manufacture of every product.  Innovative approaches to luxurious products with knowledge that came second nature to Nick who was helping explain a vast variety of technical aspects of knitting with cashmere & helping us understand our options within our initial research.  Meeting all of the lovely people behind each of the stages and seeing them at work was awe inspiring.  Their attention to detail was incredible, down to the smallest detail, nothing was overlooked.

Hawick knitwear factory

Hawick Cashmere manufacturing process

Linking

Garment steamer silhouette

Garment steamer

Next was a visit to their archive, filled with rails of beautifully soft garments, products and innovations.  A true designers dream!  We even found knitwear combined with print, like Mixter Maxter had met Kirsteen Stewart all over again!  Pulling out pieces that inspired us taking them through to our office for the day to discuss technical options.  The limits were endless so to proceed we had to stick with our initial ideas, whilst gathering every possibility for future development.  Creating our own little archive of inspiration.

Cashmere archive

Print and knit sample

After lunch we had decided where our focus should lie for our initial collection & had our three ideas discusses technically ready to draw up for sampling.  We will leave the designs lying in wait for another blog, however our journey home was a true Scottish adventure.  Driving through every kind of weather in the one day, including snow & despite the weather warnings the boat was flat calm as we headed back to our Northern Archipelago.  Already eager for the next adventure, especially those in cashmere.

A huge thank you to Hawick Knitwear, especially Nick & Arthur for all of their help and kindness, especially showing us around the factory and helping with to finalise developments.  Huge thank you to Scotland Re:Design as well for choosing us as one of your winners!  We are truly loving our adventure into cashmere.

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