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Thread: Real Welsh Flannel

  1. #1
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    Default Real Welsh Flannel

    MELIN TEIFI: LAST OF THE WELSH FLANNEL WEAVERS

    Tucked into a fold in the hills in West Wales is the village of Dre-Fach Felindre. Now a quiet spot, this was once one of the major centres of the Welsh woollen weaving industry, a heritage that is recognised by the village now being home to the National Wool Museum. This is one of Wales’ most fascinating museums, housed in one of the many old woollen mills that crowd the area.

    Most of the old mills are now ruins, taken over by other industries or are just empty shells.

    As well as housing the National Wool Museum, the old “Cambrian Mills” has on its grounds Melin Teifi, the last mill to be producing Welsh flannel.

    Mr Raymond Jones and his wife, Diane, the owners of Melin Teifi (that is Tivy Mill to you English speakers) worked for Cambrian Mills Felindre Ltd for 18 years up to its closure in 1982. Reluctant to look for work in another industry, Mr and Mrs Jones established Melin Teifi and took up accommodation in part of the Cambrian Mill in 1984. Although a separate commercial venture, the Mill is an integral part of the Museum’s interpretive exhibition: While the main part of the National Wool Museum concentrates on the history of the Welsh woollens industry, Melin Teifi shows you how a small mill can still operate today.

    Initially Melin Teifi employed only 3 people, while today it provides employment for eight – a tiny number compared to the hundreds once employed in the industry in this valley alone – and concentrates on the production of flannel tweeds, blankets, quilts, shawls, traditional Welsh costume, flannel shirts, smocks etc.

    Most of what Melin Teifi makes (and they are equipped to make almost any type of woven woollen cloth) is commissioned “one-offs” working with some big names in fabric design, and supplying fabric for “designer label” manufacturers. You could be surprised by some of the names that use Melin Teifi to weave their wool fabrics and even make their finished designer garments etc.

    After a visit by HRH Prince Charles, Melin Teifi produces items for Highgrove Enterprises!

    All the fabric used in making Melin Teifi’s products is woven on site and uses woollen yarns sourced in various parts of the country. There are not many spinners of 100% wool yarn left in Britain, and although some yarn is spun in Wales from the wool off the backs of Welsh sheep, wool yarn is also sourced from the rest of Britain, notably from Ilkley in Yorkshire.

    After the crash of the Welsh woollen industry which once produced fabrics and clothing to clothe much of Britain and even much of the world, Melin Teifi is the last manufacturer of traditional Welsh flannel.

    In Melin Teifi’s small and somewhat chaotic shop you can buy some of their superb quality fabrics by the yard, off the roll, or garments from their exclusive range of flannel and tweed countrywear range as well as blankets, scarves and other items.

    I first found Melin Teifi as part of the visit to the Welsh National Wool Museum and was impressed with their flannel shirts. Unfortunately (or fortunately) they were out of stock of a shirt in my size in the colour I liked, but this gave me the opportunity to order a shirt to be made to a pattern that I had designed and cut myself, to fit my requirements perfectly.

    The shirt was made up by Mrs Diane Jones herself and I was so impressed by the quality of the fabric, make-up and finish of the final shirt (not to mention the very reasonable price) that I immediately ordered a second shirt to be made up!

    Most folk on this website know that I champion natural fibre clothing as I do believe that it cannot be beaten for wear in a “Bushy” environment. Welsh flannel is a prime example of why I love natural fibre clothing as it is tough, hardwearing, comfortable to wear, eco-friendly, slow to get “aromatic” with hard wear over long periods, easy to wash (hand wash cool – easy in the field!), good looking etc.

    And now there is only one place to get genuine Welsh woollen flannel, either off the roll or made up into classic shirts.

    For more information visit www.melinteifi.com
    Tel 01559 371003,
    Or better still, visit the mill itself: Melin Teifi, Dre-Fach Felindre, Llandysul, Carmarthenshire, SA44 5UP.

    While you are in the area you can visit the Welsh National Wool Museum (and café), enjoy some great walks, or just enjoy the scenery.

    Some of the most important folk on the Bushcraft scene live not too far away from the village – they must know something about why the area is great for lovers of the outdoors!
    Outside and inside
    Weaving sewing and displaying the wares





    [IMG]
    http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u142/johnfenna/Fabricofftheroll.jpg[/IMG]






    I had them make me up a shirt to my design - one I had made in blanket wool

    And reproduce my design in their wool

    It was so good that I had them make up a second - identical - one and now I long for the cooler weather!
    The woollen shirt cost me around the price of an "off the peg", imported, branded cotton outdoor style shirt...
    No affiliation - just a happy customer
    Love makes the World go round......Lust makes it all go pear-shaped...

  2. #2
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    Thanks for that John, it was an interesting read

  3. #3
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    I'll make a point of getting over there for a visit before the Autumn and get a shirt as well as visiting the museum, if funds allow...........we should all be supporting enterprises such as this; it's no good bemoaning the lack of regional makers of quality gear if you don't then support those that are trying to remedy the situation. The shirt looks great, BTW :-)
    How do you make the Gods laugh?........................ ..Tell 'em your plans!

  4. #4
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    Great looking place - shame about the website

    They could sell a lot of those shirts to our members if they sorted that out I suspect!

  5. #5
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    Brilliant off out, but I'll be in for a longer read later

    M
    I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over !

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  6. #6

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    Thanks for that John, you are the man mate

    Andy
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
    He who works with his hands ,head and his heart is an artist.

  7. #7

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    Brings back memories. Thanks John and keep the flag flying.
    It'll shine when it shines, you might thinking I'm wasting time, but I'm just a good ol' boy who's learned to wait.

  8. #8
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    That's great John. You now have me planning how soon i can make a trip to Carmarthenshire.
    Stupidity got us into this mess. Why can't it get us out?


  9. #9
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    That website is truly awful though, as Hugh says. No information at all, and makes reference to a leaflet.
    Stupidity got us into this mess. Why can't it get us out?


  10. #10
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    Great write up! We went there 2 or three years back and herself indulged me in two pieces of wool from them. There was a roll of rather nice stuff on the cutting table but they couldn't sell me any as it had been made to order for, if my memory serve me right, Bison Bushcraft. Anyroad I did find some other stuff of the same weight that I liked almost as much which I later used to make the byrus britanicus I warbled on about in another thread.

    http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/sho...ght=Britanicus

    They also had some lighter, fluffier natural white coloured stuff which I used to line a oblong Saxon cloak. Both got lanolinised earlier this year.

    Compared with buying from a middle man the prices were excellent and the quality very good. The white stuff was on offer as it had some oil marks from the looms but those washed out when I pre shrank it.

    The staff were very helpful and the museum was well worth the visit.

    ATB

    Tom
    Last edited by tombear; 07-07-2014 at 18:46.

  11. #11
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    I wonder if they would make wool trousers as well? This could get expensive.
    Stupidity got us into this mess. Why can't it get us out?


  12. #12
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    I'm off there tomorrow. Its my wedding anniversary, and she has ideas of buying reams of expensive fabric, though I probably won't be allowed to buy anything.
    Stupidity got us into this mess. Why can't it get us out?


  13. #13
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    7th Anniversay? Then again I don't think me or herself have ever got the other the traditional present for a anniversary.

    she normally gets me a tool.

    its probably a comment.

    atb

    Tom

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    17th. Actually now going Wednesday. She's decided she wants owls, not wool, on the day.
    Stupidity got us into this mess. Why can't it get us out?


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harvestman View Post
    17th. Actually now going Wednesday. She's decided she wants owls, not wool, on the day.
    As you do.

  16. #16
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    And there was I thinking that Welsh Flannel was what you come out with when you are trying to sell me something John...

    Facinating.
    Wayland

    _ _ _Wayland's World____________ Living a life less ordinary.

  17. #17
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    John Fenna and Flannel in the same sentence, 'la chose la plus naturelle du monde'
    突き出る釘は打たれる
    the nail that sticks out will be beaten down

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpole View Post
    John Fenna and Flannel in the same sentence, 'la chose la plus naturelle du monde'
    Bon Dieu - il avait quelque chose la!
    Et quand je le revoir il aviat - peutetre - une oeil pouche!
    Sorry if the grammar and spelling are not perfect ... it is a long time since I wrote any French!
    And it was Brussels French I was fluent in...
    Cheek!
    Love makes the World go round......Lust makes it all go pear-shaped...

  19. #19
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    I went there today, and really enjoyed the museum tour. Came away without buying anything though, but would have been sorely tempted if funds had not been tight. Was a good trip.
    Stupidity got us into this mess. Why can't it get us out?


  20. #20
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    I called in at the Woolen mill last week on a trip down to West Wales. I lived in Cwmpengraig, just up the road for several years. The whole area is a great place to visit with plenty of accessible countryside, coastline and woodland. It was great tomseemthe museum and mill busy as the area needs thentrade. I have a Woolen shirt from melin Teifi whichnismnow over 15 years old, it's still doing the job for me as an outdoor and work shirt.
    It's a lonely old world..........if you try hard enough.

  21. #21
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    I completely missed this thread first time around, but John has flagged it in a post today.

    Lovely write-up; what a fascinating enterprise, and some really good looking shirts there! Would love one myself......

  22. #22
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    How far is it from the Moot site ?
    I really fancy a visit

    M
    I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over !

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy View Post
    How far is it from the Moot site ?
    I really fancy a visit
    Just over 60 miles according to Google Maps Mary... doable as a day trip

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy View Post
    How far is it from the Moot site ?
    I really fancy a visit

    M
    It takes me 2-3 hours, depending on traffic ... but I drive slow! 1hr 39 according to the AA routeplanner
    It is right near Tony's place if that helps...
    Love makes the World go round......Lust makes it all go pear-shaped...

  25. #25
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    To quote Russ, "She might have wee feet, but they're made of lead!"

    I would really like to visit the Mill and shop, and the area. I think I need a plan

    atb,
    Mary
    I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over !

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy View Post
    To quote Russ, "She might have wee feet, but they're made of lead!"

    I would really like to visit the Mill and shop, and the area. I think I need a plan

    atb,
    Mary
    I live about 20 mins from the mill - I have a couple of nice spots in the woods if you want to come and camp ... no spare room unless you fancy the livingroom floor....
    Love makes the World go round......Lust makes it all go pear-shaped...

  27. #27
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    I'm planning the hows and whens and wherefores Mr Fenna. I will let you know in good time if it's all coming together Thank you

    atb,
    M
    I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over !

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  28. #28
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    If your coming all that way don't miss Castell Henllys and St Fagans. I'm not at all sure when they will have finished the Iron Age farmstead at the later but they were cropping the spelt for the thatch last year. The Princes palace must be coming on as well.

    ATB

    Tom

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