Our History Woven In Wool
Today I've been working on a beautiful Gordon Clan Tartan. As I took note of the history that I could piece together, I felt this rising in my chest that I always feel when you touch on something bigger than the task at hand.
My job is to repair wool blankets. It sounds so simple and functional. Yet as I write I feel moved. This blanket is carefully woven in the Gordon Clan tartan design. That alone represents hundreds of years of family pride.
The blanket was created by Roslyn Woollen Mills - one of our very first Wool Mills which opened in 1879. Interestingly by Scottish immigrants Ross & Glendining (there is a fascinating article about them by the way on the NZFashion website). It would have been manufactured pre-1969 as Mosgiel bought out the Roslyn Mill and blanket labels after that date generally include a Mosgiel reference.
Roslyn Woollen Mills manufactured it for Bing Harris & Co Ltd another early New Zealand company that supplied many products including clothing and footwear as well as soft furnishings such as wool blankets for 157years. Now closed in 2015 but talk about a significant contribution to our retail history.
Three not so small factors combined in just one wool blanket. Suddenly this blanket feels bigger and more important that just a 150 x 170cm square of coloured fabric. Our history comparatively to other countries is so short and within this blanket is evidence of strong family history, many years of employment and the resulting contributions to the community. Today I think about the history, the industry and the employment. Tomorrow it will be something else - the wonder of wool, the exciting colours, the kindness to the planet. Whatever way a wool blanket is taking my thinking it is never just.
Note: Blanket availability in this photo - under review by customer. We have tartan blankets come available regularly and are happy to take your request.