Our new haberdashery ranges are inspired by our heritage
The recent surge of interest in the traditional arts of knitting and sewing has seen handmade crafts become more fashionable than ever. Not only will a “make do and mend” ethos help save you money, but by taking up a new hobby you’ll learn a new skill and create one of a kind, personalised gifts for friends and family.
We’ve long been associated with haberdashery. In fact, John Lewis himself became the youngest silk buyer in London when he opened his small draper’s shop on Oxford Street in 1864, at the tender age of just 21. For almost 150 years we’ve been drawing on our heritage when looking for craft and fabric inspiration.
Nowhere is this more apparent than our new Heritage range, which looks back to the history of John Lewis for its design inspiration. The bold, vintage-style packaging bears the tagline “Haberdashery since 1864” and my team researched historical material in the Partnership’s archive in order to pull together a comprehensive range of essentials. We looked in particular at original products and photographs from the early 20th century to achieve an authentic, yet right up to date, look.
Why not put together a collection of sewing staples and pop them in a round sewing tin to create an ideal gift for a first time knitter or crafter? Or choose the sewing kit for an easy, all-in-one solution. The timeless graphic style of the packaging makes even the most traditional haberdashery mainstay a design statement. The tailor’s chalk, fold-out measuring tape and thimbles wouldn’t look out of place in an old-fashioned tailor’s shop, while the sewing machine combines classic design with the modern benefits of lightweight plastic, making it a more functional and portable choice than the antiques which inspired it.
The Heritage range also caters for keen knitters. The John Lewis Aran Yarn is made with British wool. The classic aran weight yarn is perfect for outerwear, so think cosy, chunky cardigans that can be teamed with a floral dresses, or Fair Isle and cable knits over tartan and wool tights. Just don’t forget the wellies! If a nostalgic look is what you’re after, there are also plenty of patterns to choose from. Rowan’s vintage- style knitting patterns will give you chic results to recreate elegant days gone by. Complete your look with understated details like these beautiful shell buttons from East of India; it’s all about the simple pleasures.
If that hasn’t satisfied your appetite for all things vintage, then look no further that the new Hemingway Design collection. Wayne Hemingway has collaborated directly with John Lewis to create a retro-look range of knitting and sewing bags </a> as well as tins and accessories that will keep your sewing box smart and organised. There are five designs to choose from, so whether you prefer Art Deco or designs from the 50s, 60s or 70s, you’re sure to find the era for you. The bold Rita and Greta designs recreate early 20th century Deco looks in a palette of orange, cream and blue and feature on vanity cases, pin cushions and sewing kits. The Glamour Ladies Grace, Twiggy and Frieda designs see purses and sewing bags adorned with vintage sewing pattern illustrations of retro flared maxi dresses, swinging mini-skirts, and elegant hour-glass silhouettes.
And once you’ve completed all your new projects, why not curl up with a pot of tea, kept warm with a retro tea cosy? Of course, you’ll need to make it first!