Posts tagged cashmere

Johnstons of Elgin: A Fairy tale about timeless and refined pieces of cashmere from Scotland

Good morning dear my fashionistas and welcome to another new fashion adventure on Mr.M blog. Today’s story will be different from all the previous ones because we will learn a little more about a brand that has kept its tradition for over 200 years.

I advise you to prepare your favorite snack and hot or cold drink and enjoy today’s post. Let’s begin!

The Johnstons of Elgin mill was founded back in 1797 and interesting information is that the same mill is still used today for the production of cashmere clothes. The original factory produced linen, flax, oatmeal and tobacco, but Alexander Johnston, its founder, began processing textiles and discontinued production of the original product.

Johnstons of Elgin pioneered the use of tweed for camouflage, and the style became world-famous as Scottish Estate tweeds. The Johnstons’ mill performs dyeing, spinning, weaving and finishing processes in one place thus making it the only vertical mill in Scotland.

Modern Johnstons of Elgin mills use cashmere from China and Mongolia and lamb wool from distant Australia. The company has five retail locations in the UK (Edinburgh, Elgin, Hawick, London and St. Andrews). Of course, in addition to stores in the UK, Johnsons of Elgin has a well-developed sales network around the world, so you can buy these timeless pieces of cashmere and wool around the world and through their official online store – johnstonsofelgin.com.

Johnstons of Elgin product quality is also recognized by the British Royal Family and has a special Royal Warrant of Appointment. Royal appointments have been issued since the 15th century to those who supplied goods or services to the royal court or to certain members of the royal family. The order allows the supplier to advertise the fact that it supplies the royal family, thus giving the brand prestige itself.

Did you know that there are about 30 different processes involved in turning raw fibers into luxury Johnstons of Elgin finished products made from the finest wool and refined cashmere?

Their production of cashmere, merino wool, lamb wool and vicuña is the work of craftsmen based on centuries of constant innovation. The professional masters are proud of every thread, every weave, every yarn and every stitch, from the raw fibers in the mill to the perfect clothes on the shelves in the stores.

From dyeing to blending, carding to spinning, warping when weaving, knitting to teasing and cutting to folding – it all happens in their mills in the heart of Scotland.

Now I will try to describe to you in the most picturesque way what the process of preparing the yarn and processing in the mills looks like until the final product you see on the shelf in the store. The process is a bit long, but it is interesting and creative and involves a team of experts who even pass on their love for wool and cashmere to younger generations.

The whole process of making Johnstons of Elgin products can be divided into the following stages:

1. Fiber dyeing process
2. Mixing fibers (blending) and carding, preparing fibers for combing
3. Combing and spinning fibers process
4. Weaving process
6. Knitting process
7. Finishing the product


There are four different, but equally effective ways of dyeing fibers: natural dyeing of fibers, when the color changes a little with the help of other fibers, the method of light dyeing and complete dyeing of fibers.

There are currently around 6,500 color shades in the Johnstons of Elgin range, ranging from gentle subtle neutral shades to strong, vibrant color shades.

The process that follows after dyeing the fibers is the process of mixing and carding the fibers (professionally called the process of blending and carding the fibers).

Mixtures of materials can be made from different colors of the same fiber or from the same fiber or from different types of fibers, for example cashmere and merino wool or cashmere and silk.

After the fiber is professionally blended into the dye or into a sumptuous blend of fibers, it is fed into a carding machine that works like a giant comb to straighten the fibers in the spinning preparation process.

In the process of spinning fibers, fiber is prepared for spinning, ie fiber is prepared to be successfully transformed into yarn. The Spinning process twists the fibers to give them strength and prepare them for weaving.

The yarn is expertly checked manually at regular intervals during the pre-spinning and spinning process to ensure that it has an even consistency.

The weaving process begins with the setting of the basic pattern. The base consists of threads that run vertically from the top to the bottom of the canvas. The number of threads basically varies depending on the fineness of the yarn and the density and width of the required fabric.

Weaving is the introduction of a warp warp, a thread that runs horizontally across the canvas. The color, pattern and design of the weave are determined in advance by the team of designers. There are two different types of looms in Johnstons of Elgin: Dobby and Jacquard looms. Dobby looms weave simpler signed styles of squares, checks and stripes, while Jacquard looms can create much more complicated patterns.

The Johnstons of Elgin knitwear is completely fashionable, which means that each piece is knitted in a shape to best fit. Ribbed ornaments, cuffs, collars, holes, pockets are first knitted on specialized machines.

They are then transferred to the main frames that knit the front part, the back part and the sleeves. At this stage, colors, textures and patterns are processed in the clothes themselves. Then the clothes are carefully washed and ground, using water from the river Teviot. In the end, all the collars are connected with clothes and buttons, holes and additional decorations are added.

When the fabric is done, its appearance is a bit rough. There are many processes involved in turning a fabric into a luxury finished product, many of which have remained unchanged for hundreds of years.

Johnstons of Elgin
uses the softest, natural Scottish water to purify the fabric, ensuring that it gently returns to its natural, super-soft state.

Cleaning removes the oil that is applied to protect the fibers during the production process, while milling reduces and thickens the fabric. After wet finishing, the fabric is dried by rolling over in a twisting machine.

Depending on the end use of the fabric, further finishing processes are performed, such as cutting, lifting and pressing before the final finish. Whether it is gloves, a scarf, a sweater or a fabric for further processing, each piece is made with quality that can be worn for generations.

This brand left a strong impression on me and this season we will have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of their products from the new Autumn – Winter 2020/21 collection together. I will soon be preparing for a trip to Scotland to visit their mills and see for myself their tradition. Who knows, maybe I will be able to make a sweater! Wish me luck!

OUTFIT

The entire outfit is made up of products from the new Johnstons of Elgin and MooRER collection for autumn-winter 2020/21. In the list below you can find links for each product from today’s post.

One novelty for all of you, since I regularly get questions, do I have a discount code, I asked Johnstons of Elgin and they came out with my own personal code “MT10” you have a special 10% discount on the entire offer of Johnstons of Elgin products.

Cardigan: Johnstons of Elgin

Sweater: Johnstons of Elgin

Jeans: MooRER

Hat: Johnstons of Elgin

Sneakers: MooRER

The only thing I can say about Johnstons of Elgin brand is that each piece is made with great love and that it can be felt when worn. Their models are extremely comfortable, practical and wearable for any occasion, whether it is the clothes you need for every day and work, up to those slightly more formal occasions.

Of course, I also completed this outfit with MooRER jeans and sneakers that you saw in the previous post. The first thing you can notice is that the colors of two different manufacturers fit perfectly and that this outfit with these jeans got a completely different urban look. I like these clothing combinations the most, which can be described with two simple words: “urban elegance”.

I would like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the self care and protection of yourself and your loved ones. Let’s prevent the spread of the Corona virus and try to make this one day just one bad dream that we have successfully forgotten.

Since I made these photos outdoors and I sticked to the prescribed physical distance of 2 meters, I didn’t need to wear masks, but I wear a mask indoors and regularly buy hand sanitizers in small packages so I can always carry them with me.

Dear my fashionistas, we have come to the end of this special fashion story about the Scottish brand Johnstons of Elgin. How did you like this outfit of mine that I walked the streets of Berlin today? I have prepared this outfit for you with a lot of love and I hope you like it! See you in a couple of days with a new story from Germany!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media channels, which you can find on the CONTACT page. See you soon with another interesting story!

From Berlin with Love,
Mr.M

This post is sponsored by Johnstons of Elgin and MooRER brands and represents my personal and honest review of their products.

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Maharajas Express: Last Call For Varanasi

Hello guys, I’m sure you know the second part of this sentence – I hope you are good and you are ready for the new post. Today everyone is joking, some people just making jokes about my blogging. Why not, the laugh is good and healthy especially when we know that today is a day of joke – April Fools’ Day! I believe you have prepared some interesting pranks for today, just to break a daily boring monotony.

 

I’ve prepared something much better for you, I’m sure you know what it is – a new post! Today I will finish the series of posts about a magical journey through India. I feel some unusual kind of sadness, probably because of the end of a chapter of life, but there are memories and these wonderful pictures to remind me that I have achieved my biggest childhood dream.

 

 

Varanasi, the last city on the Maharajas Express trip, the city of Ganges and the city of souls. You probably know that Varanasi is famous for natural cremation on the banks of the river Ganges, but did you know that it is a city of silk and cashmere? You didn’t know that?! Now you will have the opportunity to find out more about this wonderful city. Let’s start!

 

 

Varanasi is the holiest Hindu city. It is located on the banks of Ganges word in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It represents the cultural and religious center for thousands of years and has therefore gained a flattering title that is one of the oldest cities in the world. The historians don’t have the exact information that how the city was created, but the legend says that the city was founded by God the Shiva. There happened a fight between the two supreme gods, Brahma and Shiva, and the succeeding combat resulted in one of the five heads of Brahma being torn off by Shiva.

 

 

It was a custom of the time that the victor carried the slain adversary’s head in his hand and let it hang down from his hand as an act of ignominy and a sign of his own bravery. A bridle was also put into the mouth. Shiva thus dishonored Brahma’s head, and kept it with him at all times. When he came to the city of Varanasi in this state, the hanging head of Brahma dropped from Shiva’s hand and disappeared in the ground. The land of Varanasi is therefore considered an extremely holy religious site. Because of this, most of people believe that bathing in this holy river helps people to be cleaned from all the sins.

 

 

On the other hand, the city has a very good position for trade, so today it’s one of the main trade centers in India. We had the opportunity to visit the oldest workshop made of all types of pashmina and silk items. For the first time in my life, I had a chance to see stuff and fashion accessories that I only had a chance to see in the Indian soap operas.

 

 

After enjoying in this unusual show of colors and beauty of the precious sarees (female garment from the Indian subcontinent), our friends from India’s Tourism Board and Maharajas Express, took us to a wonderful cruise where we had the opportunity to enjoy the sunset on the Ganges.

 

 

 

After this wonderful journey, I really started to look at India with other eyes, a country with a lot of prejudice, but a country with a completely different and rich culture and customs that everyone should come here at least once in your life and feel this incredible India. People in India will always welcome you with a smile and a open heart.

 

 

The Ganges is the river of life, the river of true love and eternal hopes, the real proof that life is a passing thing and that it needs to be used in the best possible way. There is sadness here when you pass by open crematoriums. A couple of hundred meters down the river are the stairs which are used by family members who had lost their beloved ones that day and they use stairs to go down to the river and to bathe in the river just to say last goodbye.

 

 

 

A very unusual ritual but very interesting and educational. After these sad scenes, you will have the opportunity to cheer yourself up with the most beautiful view on the world and simply say to yourself, “Yes, I finally came to India!” Don’t be disturbed by mosquitoes, just believe me that you will enjoy this cruise.

 

If you remember, I wrote today that India is a far-away country with rich culture and customs. Everyone should, at least once in life to visit this amazing country. I’m sure you will make some wonderful new memories that you will remember for the rest of your life.

 

 

I would have one little please for you. If you take your way to Varanasi sometime, make sure you  will buy few chocolate bars, it’s not really expensive. You wonder why I ask you to do this? This is because of the children which you will surely meet when you take your walk along the banks of Ganges. They love chocolate, but you know because of the financial possibilities they are not able to enjoy this sort of happiness as we have a chance every day then at least sometimes to buy for us or for beloved ones…

 

 

Well guys, we have come to the end of today’s post. I really hope that you enjoyed and you learned something new today. Right now I’m on the airport and I’m waiting to check in for my new destination! See you next week and you must promise me that you will do something fun today because today is the day for the pranks!

How did you like my Indian adventure? I would like to hear your opinion! If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social networks, you can find on the CONTACT page.

We’ll see again in a couple of days, so if something new and interesting happens to me, I promise, I will write to you!

Best,

Mr.M

 

 

This post is sponsored by Indian Tourism Board – Incredible India and Maharajas Express.

 

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