Ruth and I spent an unusual Sunday morning this week finding out about the ins and outs (or should I say knits and purls) of the yarn industry. Together with other Stylecraft stockists, we were invited to a retailer day at Spectrum Yarns at their mill and warehouse in Slaithwaite, Huddersfield. Spa Mill was built at the beginning of the 20th century and is the design, administration and and warehouse space for Spectrum Yarns who produce Stylecraft and Yarn Stories yarn. There is some in-house spinning done there (for Yarn Stories) but most of the yarn is imported. The mill is an amazing building. The stairs are concrete and very worn from the millworkers clogs and the fire-doors are incredible. All of the windows have fantastic views of the Pennines and on a sunny day it must be inspiring to work there.
As well as seeing how the warehouse works (surprisingly low tech) we were shown the various processes that go on at Spectrum from choosing yarn, to quality checking to design and marketing. It's not just a case of spinning the yarn and putting it on retailer's shelves. We were particularly interested in the processes involved in quality control from the testing of new yarns before they go into production to checking again when yarn arrives in the warehouse to analalysing returns should any faulty yarn manage to evade the rigorous quality control.
The morning was also an opportunity for Stylecraft to launch their new season yarns and patterns and introduce us to some of their Blogstars. We were able to see and touch new designs and yarns which will be really useful for us when we are doing out Autumn orders in early September.
All in all it was a lovely morning with lots to take in and a lovely lunch before we were sent on our way.
Welcome to our blog
Here we will share our experiences of running a local yarn shop in South Wales.