Selvedge Magazine - Issue 79 - Luna

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Issue of Selvedge Magazine Issue 79, November/December 2017

"Until recently ‘manufacturing’ was thought of as a dirty word, and factories considered dirty places that were hidden from the public, far away from the consumers of their products. This has changed over the last few years, in part prompted by the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013. Now factories are opening their doors and are finding that their customers increasingly want to know where and how their purchases are made.

I saw this first-hand on a recent visit to La Manufacture Bohin in Northern France. The former manager bought the failing company in 1996, which has since opened up its doors to the public who can now visit the factory and see how their pins and needles are made, enjoying a modern museum that celebrates the company’s past, the genealogy of the local area as well as an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions culminating in a fascinating visitor experiece. Contrary to expectation, their productivity has actually increased, as the workers relish the attention.

In this issue, we visit Karen’s beautiful London home as she prepares for a white Christmas. We also examine the ribbon weaving industry in Warwickshire and discover that as well as a culturally defining past, the industry has a thriving future thanks in part to the efforts of Neil Halford, whose 30 year career has helped sustain the tradition at Benton and Johnson, part of the larger company Toye, Kenning and Spencer; one of the oldest family-run businesses in the country. Their vibrant gold threads and silk ribbons bring the festivities to the front of our minds as we settle into winter."