THE MAKING OF MOLLY
We made a little documentary about the making of Molly. It shows our ideas and thoughts behind the her creation and also some of the stages and people that we worked with along the way. If you'd rather read than watch, there is also some more information about her below. Enjoy!
Molly is made from the combined wool of Masham and Blue faced Leicester sheep. It is the combination of wool from these Heritage English breeds that makes a yarn that is both soft and durable - exactly what you want from an a piece of knitwear.
Among the farmers rearing these specialist breeds are Louise and Martin. We visited their farm in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales where they breed the most lovely flock of Masham sheep. A Masham sheep's fleece is crinkly and long and and a soft golden colour - it's really a very beautiful thing to behold. The harsh Yorkshire climate encourages a resilient and strong fleece - the perfect thing for a piece of knitwear designed to last and last.
A sheep's fleece goes through quite a few processes before it is recognisable as the balls of wool we might be familiar with. The fleece must be washed, combed, brushed and combed again. It looks like fluffy clouds of marshmallow at this point. The wool is then spun and twisted. If the wool is to be dyed, this would happen now, too.
Once our yarn is spun, it's sent off to the factory where our design is turned into reality. Technicians work their wizardry on giant knitting machines which are threaded up with all the right colours. The cardigan emerges shape in its component pieces : sleeves, back, front. These pieces are carefully joined in a process called 'linking'.
As soon as the cardigan has been linked together, it goes for a quick wash. We don't use any chemicals or detergents for this - just water. Washing the cardigan in gentle heat makes it fluffy and soft - just way we want it. All that's left now are the finishing touches - buttons are added (ours are hand-cast in pewter by a lovely lady called Lizzie) and labels are stitched. And there you have it! A British jumper, ready to be worn and loved.
4th Dec - Australia and New Zealand.
9th Dec - Africa, Asia, Carribbean, Central and South America, Far and Middle East.
10th Dec - Canada, Cyprus, Malta.
11th Dec - Greece, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia) and Turkey.
12th Dec - Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Poland, Sweden, USA
16th Dec - Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland.
18th Dec - Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg.
For our main correspondence address, please contact:
8 Selkirk House,
Were It All Began...
Once upon a time... in a small town called Yarm on Tees there was a family owned shop called Strickland and Holt. To this day it is no ordinary shop and is well worth a visit if you find yourself nearby. Passed down through the generations since 1854 this small department store has taken many forms - from a wine and spirit merchants to a chemist to the gift, toy and clothing shop it is today.
In 1974 Stephanie Holt and her husband Michael left London and returned to Yarm to to see what they might do with the family business. Strickland and Holt became the birthplace of Poppy (now called Palava). Poppy initially made children's bedding from prints designed by local artists and it wasn't long before Stephanie and Michael were selling to the prestigious department stores Harrods and John Lewis. The company branched out into clothing and continued to make collections until the year 2000.
What Happened Next?
It was not until 10 years later that the youngest of Stephanie and Michael’s four children decided to bring Poppy back to life. Bryony moved back to the family shop and set to work.
Starting with children’s designs, Bryony began to draw her own illustrated prints, taking inspiration from the storybooks she had read as a child, such as Milly Molly Mandy and the storybooks of Eve Garnett.
Soon, Bryony's friends were asking about dresses for themselves and before long, the womenswear collection took shape.
Today and going forward
'Poppy' became 'Palava' a few years ago and Bryony now heads up a little studio in London rather than Yorkshire, but apart from that, the spirit of this little family business still remains. Stephanie and Michael still help out at the Yorkshire warehouse and the beautiful prints are still what Palava is known for.
We make clothes for real women and children - who live, love and laugh. Real women with real bodies and real lives. Real women who forget their keys and who have that extra slice of cake with their tea. Real children who have muddy knees and wild imaginations. We celebrate living colourfully and creatively and we will always do our best to bring an extra bit of joy to your day through our clothing.