The Barrie's cashmere : luxury made in Scotland!

It’s in Hawick, an hour and a half away from Edinburgh in the south of Scotland, that Barrie, the cashmere label that dates back to 1903 and bought by Chanel in 2012, produces and develops a savoir-faire that unites tradition with modernity. Today the label has become a luxury brand, creative and flourishing, developing its own collection as well as providing for the biggest fashion houses.Interview Clive Brown :What Chanel brings to Barrie is a know how, and an understanding of the fashion business. We’re no longer a Scottish knitwear company, we’re becoming a fashion company. We have over 60 of the most modern knitting machines in the factory, and the other thing we’ve invested in very heavily is people, which this industry didn’t do for a long time but the whole ethos of Chanel and the Métiers d’Art is that the skills have to be there for the future and not just for one or two year but the next twenty thirty years. So we now have a training school with lots of young people learning hard skills so these are the things that Chanel are bringing to the company. It used to traditionally be that Mongolia was THE best, at the moment the fibre in China is slightly better, this can vary year on year, so we always looks to get the best fibre possible but the reality is one cone it’s one kilo is 160 euros. We’re not thinking so much ‘oh how much will this sweater cost, we need to buy machines’, we want to create the dream. In Scotland we know how to make fantastic product, but I don’t think we’re particularly good at letting people know. We tend to knit much more tightly than the Italians or the Chinese. This makes the garment stronger and more stable so it won’t loose its shape so quickly. We also wash very differently, we are very fortunate that the Scottish water is fantastic for cashmere. Most people think of whiskey. We don’t have to add chemicals so to get the Scottish touch, it’s just pure water. You have an almost invisible join, and if you see here, how fine all of the points are so she has to run the selvage through the edge and each stitch is one point. You can see the different types of relief that we have, and again this is something that we really are specialist in, the whole 3D knitting. For sure we’re using traditional skills but we’re using the best machinery possible. We have a team here of programmers and knitters and they’ve developed this process themselves and we’re much further on than anybody else, we’re pushing the machines to the limit of what is technically possible at all times. Music free of rights : Bandit & Nikit

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