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made in wales

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10 Father’s Day Gifts That Are All Made in Wales

May 4, 2022

We know how difficult it can be to find the perfect present to show your Dad how much his love, guidance and embarrassing jokes are appreciated. This Father’s day, 19th June, why not step away from the socks and have a look at the top 10 Father’s day gifts we stock.

All of our gift ideas are lovingly handcrafted in Wales and is guaranteed to be as unique as your Dad (and Grandads). They will not only show him how much he is loved, but also make him proud to be Welsh!

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New Product Launch

NEW IN | Autumn Collection

September 22, 2021

We love the sound of leaves crunching under foot, the colours of red, gold and orange, toasting marshmallows with friends, blackberry and apple picking. Our new autumn mug collection has arrived and we totally have those autumn vibes here at Valley Mill.

Autumn gives us those feelings of getting snuggled up on the sofa with a cosy blanket, a good book and a cuppa.

autumn enamel mug design of a cute hedgehog wearing a scarf

Who doesn’t love a hedgehog wearing a scarf? Each mug is hand printed and designed by our in-house team exclusively for Valley Mill.

Now the question is whether to treat a friend with this mug or treat you!

Ceramic white mug with an illustration of a pumpkin and the words autumn leaves and pumpkins please

This Valley Mill white ceramic mug is printed with a beautiful autumn design. ‘Autumn Leaves & Pumpkins Please’.

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

It’s all about comfort food in autumn. Why not try this delicious pumpkin soup recipe?

Bowl of pumpkin soup served in a blue bowl with crusty bread and a spoon

Ingredients

Large knob of butter (we prefer Welsh salted butter)

1 very large or 2 medium sized white onions (chop them finely)

3 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Approx. 850g of prepared, deseeded & chopped pumpkin (or any kind of squash)

1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock

120ml double cream

Method

Place the finely chopped onions, garlic, butter and 1 tbsp of the olive oil in to a large pan. Cook on a medium heat for approx 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Now add the chopped pumpkin and cook for a further 8-10 minutes.

Add the stock and the rest of the extra virgin olive oil to the pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for around 20 – 40 minutes or until the pumpkin is nice and soft.

Take the pan off the heat and add the double cream (save a couple of tbsp for serving). Mix well and using a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth.

Serve in to bowls or a new autumn mug. Drizzle a splash of the remaining cream. Eat with crusty bread and lashings of Welsh salted butter.

White ceramic mug with the words hello pumpkin and an illustration of a pumkin

This Valley Mill white ceramic mug is printed with a beautiful autumn design. ‘Hello Pumpkin’.

White enamel camping mug with autumn inpsired designs

Our in-house designer took the teams favourite autumn inspirations and created this incredible enamel mug design.

Is It October Yet?

Is it october yet printed on a white ceramic mug as part of valley mills autumn mug range

Why not try this no alcohol fun fruity and warm punch the whole family can enjoy. Serve in a Valley Mill autumn mug.

Non-Alcoholic Mulled Cider Punch

Ingredients:

3 pints of apple juice

3 apples

Cloves

Cinnamon Sticks

Zest of 1 large orange

Method:

Stud the apples with around 2-4 cloves.

Add juice, apples, cinnamon sticks and the orange zest in to a large pan.

Simmer gently on a low setting for approximately 30 minutes. Be careful not to let it boil.

Serve with some fresh apple slices and perhaps a stick of cinnamon.

Getting Cosy

Autumn nights are drawing in so why not get cosy with your cuppa with one of our Valley Mill Welsh woollen blankets.

Red, white, green, yellow and blue checked woollen blanket

A traditional Welsh blanket is a simple home addition that can transform a room. Choose from our range of woollen blankets and throws which are handmade in North Wales and come in a variety of different colours and weaves.

white ceramic mug with the words falling leave, cosy jumpes, hot chocolate and more autumn inspired things

What’s YOUR favourite things about the autumn season? We’ve made a list of some of our favourites and put in on a mug. Falling leaves, cosy jumpers, hot chocolate, scented candles and pumpkin spice.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

This warming and comforting drink only takes 10 minutes to create. Totally worth it!

White enamel mug filled with pumpkin spice latte topped with cream and grated cinnamon

Ingredients:

2 tbsp pumpkin puree (you can buy this in cans in supermarkets)

Pinch of ground nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger

1 tbsp vanilla extract

30ml strong coffee

250ml of any milk

Whipped cream

Method:

In a saucepan add the milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract and spices. Whisk and heat to make a hot ‘pumpkin milk’.

Add your strong coffee, mix and serve in to mugs. To serve top with whipped cream. YSprinkle some ‘pumpkin spice’ or ground cinnamon over the cream.

If you are looking for a stronger pumpkin flavour then add a couple more tbsp of pumpkin puree.

Mood Maker

Why not cosy up those evenings with our scented candles and tealights?

welsh slate 5 light tealight holder with lit candles

Apple & Blackberry Crumble

Autumn means comfort food. There is nothing more comforting then picking your own blackberries and baking them in a crumble. Sat in front of the tele with the family and bowl of apple and blackberry crumble with custard. Yum!

We’ve got two alternative recipes for you. One vegetarian and one vegan. Hope you enjoy!

blackberry and apple crumble served in a denby halo bowl

Ingredients

Crumble Topping: 120g plain flour, 60g caster sugar and 60g butter (we prefer salted but the general rule seems to be unsalted). You can also up these amounts depending on how much crumble you like on your dessert. Alternatively you can also add some porridge oats to the mixture for extra texture.

Fruity Filling: 300g apples (we recommend Pink Ladies, Braeburn or Granny Smith), 115g blackberries, 30g butter, 30g brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

Method

Preheat oven to gas mark 5. Check out oven temperature conversions here.

In a large bowl place your flour, sugar and butter to make the crumble topping. Rub the butter in to your flour and sugar to create a breadcrumb texture.

To make sure your crumble topping is extra crispy and crumbly, we recommend you spread your mixture on to a baking tray or sheet and cook in the oven for around 15 minutes.

Whilst your crumble topping is crisping, core, peel and chop your apples in to small cubes.

Over a low heat, melt your butter and brown sugar in a saucepan until it turns all caramelly.

Now add your chopped apples and cinnamon and cook for a further 4 minutes.

Finally, add your blackberries to this mixture and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more.

Pour your mixture carefully in to your pie/crumble dish. Top with your crumble mixture and place in the oven for around 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.

Time For Tea

LIGA have a beautiful range of Scandinavian inspired homeware pieces. Serve up a pot of tea with your crumble and in your new autumn mug.

large cream and cork teapot from eco friendly business LIGA

Need a smaller teapot? Why not try this two cup teapot from Denby’s Studio Blue Brew range.

small blue teapot from Denb which holds two cups of tea

Hydrate Your Skin

Cooler autumn weather means we have to take more care to nourish and hydrate our skin. Farmers make a stunning range of face, hand & foot creams to keep the hardest working hands super soft.

Keep Out The Chill

If you love the outdoors then why not keep yourself warm with a Valley Mill 100% wool scarf. Did you know that wool is a natural insulator helping to stay at a comfortable heat level whether it’s summer or winter? So, no sweaty necks with a woollen scarf.

Luxurious Lips

If luscious lips are your goal then we have your winner.  

Battle Greens lip balms are not only PETA certified vegan friendly and cruelty-free but also packed full of the most beautiful products to keep your lips soft, moisturised and protected.  The balms are also packed with quality natural ingredients, and free from synthetic colours and fragrances.  

Each balm comes in a plastic-free and biodegradable cardboard tube that can be recycled when it’s all used up – an eco-friendly alternative to so many plastic lip balm tubes and pots that sit in the landfill for decades (after all, only 9% of plastic ends up being recycled). 

To use, evenly push up the cardboard disk at the base of the tube to reveal your desired amount of balm – only a little is needed – and apply to your lips as usual.

Banner saying Halloween 2021 coming soon to valley mill
Valley Mill Blankets

Making Valley Mill Blankets

September 17, 2021
Crafting a Valley Mill blanket

A traditional Welsh blanket is a simple addition to your home that can totally transform a room whilst bringing you comfort and warmth. We have a huge range of Valley Mill blankets and throws online and in store. Our blankets are all crafted with excellence in Wales.

How Valley Mill Blankets Are Made

Our incredible Valley Mill blankets are created in Tweedmill in the North Wales town of Flint. Tweedmill do not supply the public. We are one of the largest independent retailers of Tweedmill blankets with one of the largest ranges. Check out how the team craft these blankets which are all made in Wales.

Why Choose Wool For A Good Night’s Sleep?

A simple way to a better night’s sleep may be to sleep under wool. Wool is a natural insulator helping body temperatures to stay at a comfortable level at night irrespective of summer or winter time.

Wool is a living, breathing ‘smart’ fibre. It improves the air in enclosed spaces, improves sleep, provides comfort and ensures safety.

Valley Mill blankets are made in North Wales and this one has a yellow and grey meadow check colour

Wool Facts

100% NATURAL. Composed of a natural protein that is similar to human hair, wool grows on sheep which consume a simple blend of water, air, sunshine and grass.

RENEWABLE. Sheep produce a new fleece every year, without depleting finite natural resources.

HIGH-PERFORMANCE. Wool fulfils complex product scenarios – apparel, outdoor and sportswear, flooring, interior textiles, automotive and aviation, architecture, manufacturing, medical uses and protective apparel.

NATURALLY SAFE. Naturally high in nitrogen and water content, wool’s unique cell structure requires high levels of oxygen in order to burn and forms an insulating layer when heated that prevents the spread of flames. These qualities make wool naturally flame retardant, without the need for chemical treatments. Wool does not melt, drip or to stick to the skin when subject to extreme heat and produces less smoke and toxic fumes during combustion.

RECYCABLE & DURABLE. Wool fibres are high quality and durable, capable of re-use and recycling, ultimately reducing landfill disposal. Research shows that the average life of a wool garment is 2-10 years, compared to 2-3 years for garments made from other fibres.

BIODEGRADABLE. Wool decomposes in soil in a matter of years, releasing valuable nitrogen-based nutrients back into the soil.

ODOUR-RESISTANT. By absorbing moisture vapour, wool garments leave less perspiration on the skin, reducing odour-causing bacteria. Easily refreshed by airing, wool garments can be worn longer between washes due to wool’s natural ability to shed dirt and bacteria.

IMPROVES INDOOR AIR QUALITY. When used in interior textiles such as carpets and upholstery, wool absorbs and locks away pollutants such as volatile organic carbons (VOCs) from the air more rapidly than other fibres. These combined attributes make wool the world’s leading naturally produce fibre.

Merino wool monchrome check Valley Mill blanket. Whites and shades of grey.

Wool Maintenance

Stain Resistance. Wool has a protective layer that prevents stains from being absorbed. As it is also anti-static, it picks up less dust and lint from the air.

Resilient and Elastic. Wool fibres resist tearing and are able to be bent back on themselves over 20,000 times without breaking. Due to its crimped structure, wool is also naturally elastic. Wool maintains its appearance in the longer term, adding value to the product and its lifespan.

Quick Drying. It was formerly thought that synthetics dry at a faster rate than wool, however the latest technology enables wool to be as quick-drying.

Easy Care. Recent innovations mean wool items are no longer hand-wash only. Many wool products can now be machine-washed.

Airing. Unlike any other textile fibre, wool can refresh itself simply by hanging in fresh air. This saves water, washing detergent, energy and the time to walk to the dry cleaners.

From Sheep To Shop

So how does the wool get from the source to our shops?

Sheared in one piece, the fleeces are rolled out and then folded correctly to make sorting easier in the mill. The fleece is put through a willower to untangle the wool, removing impurities such as dust and sand, disentangling it on a roller with metal teeth to create a soft, fluffy mass of fibres.

Up until around 1850, natural colours were used to dye wool, with three stages when it could occur: when it was still a fleece, in threads ready for weaving, or after the cloth had been woven. Carding produces fully disentangled, soft rolls of wool called rovings or rolags, for spinning into yarn.

Originally done by hand, a carding engine was invented in the 18th century. Spinning pulls and twists the fibres together to form a continuous thread, turning the soft rolls into strong woollen yarn, originally by using a portable spindle and whorl. In the 19th century, fast and efficient spinning machines were invented, transforming the woollen industry. Winding, unwinding and winding again are all essential processes in preparing yarn for weaving.

Warping by hand is one of the most intricate of all textile processes, with all the threads for the warp of a piece of cloth placed in the correct order, and colour sequence, before weaving. Weaving turns the yarn into cloth, which is made of two sets of threads.

The warp thread sit side by side, and the weft threads are woven under and over the warp – under one, over one, under over … and so on. The finishing process consists of washing, drying, fulling (cleansing of the wool to eliminate oils & dirt, and to make it thicker) and finally brushing.

Tweedmill History

Valley Mill blankets are crafted at Tweedmill in North Wales. They are a family business with an incredible history.

Tweedmill is a British brand established in 1971 and is renowned for its creativity, reliability and quality. First known as Afonwen Woollen Mills, which started out producing skirt lengths. In 1993 Jackie Ryan took the reins and built Tweedmill Textiles into the brand we know and love. 

Today Tweedmill is still a family run company which is always striving to create new and exciting textile products while keeping the value and quality we are known for. Now situated next to Flint Castle in the historical town of Flint, our designs are influenced by the colours and serenity of the surrounding area. With local woodlands, nature reserves and the River Dee on our doorstep. We have been inspired to create a fantastic and diverse range of products. We offer an extensive and colourful choice of key textile products consisting of throws, cushions and picnic rugs which complement our beautiful accessories for ladies, gents and pets. Our products are produced from a wide range of materials, specialising in Pure New Wool and Tweed production.

Meet The Tweedmill Team

Meet the team at Tweedmill who create our Valley Mill cotton & wool blankets and scarves.

Sewing Machinist – Cath

Cath is one Tweedmill’s expert sewing machinists, having worked there for over 16 years. She is responsible for sewing labels and is a specialist in overlocking and whipping. Her expert skills finish off the beautiful cotton throws.

Fun Fact: Cath can sew between 500-600 labels in one day.

Picture above is Cath sewing one our brand labels onto the best-selling random recycled rug.

Marketing & Design Executive – Rachel

Rachel has been at Tweedmill for 3 years and is responsible for all things digital marketing. She also contributes to the design & development process. From initial trend research & forecasting to computer aided design (CADS) of patterns & weaves and assisting with seasonal decisions for upcoming product ranges. 

Rachel can often be seen both behind and in front of the camera. Here she is wearing the Country Ruby, which is available to buy online now.

Managing Director – Bart

Bart has been Tweedmill’s Managing Director since 2015 and has worked in the textile industry his entire career. Having learnt every aspect of the business from weaving to international customer relations, his day-to-day responsibilities oversee everything from manufacturing to sales. His first & foremost goal is to ensure Tweedmill’s customers are provided with quality products & a valuable service. Bart always says “quality is woven into us”.

Which Valley Mill Blanket Will You Choose?

We have a huge range of blankets which vary in prices so we have something for everyone.

100% British Wool Blankets

These pure new wool Welsh blankets are our absolute classics. The one pictured is a fishbone weave with the colour being warm and bold.  This blanket is finished with soft tassels at either end.

Luxury Merino Wool Blankets

The Black, Silver Grey, Charcoal and Grey tones in this luxuriously soft Merino wool blanket pair excellently with the Diamond patterning to create something both modern and unique. 

Cotton Valley Mill Blankets

Did you know that we also have cotton Valley Mill blankets?

Our organic cotton Welsh blankets are a versatile and contemporary addition to our range.  These throws have a blanket stitch edging. Drape over the foot of your bed or use as a throw over the sofa – either way it’s a wonderful addition to your decor.

Budget Valley Mill Blankets

Large recycled wool blankets, handmade in Wales. Blanket colours of our recylced blankets are completely random. They are random colours because they are made from recycled wool from the mill. No two blankets will be the same.

Because of this, you cannot choose a specific colour and you will be sent a completely random colour blanket. All blankets are the same pattern design and the same high quality.

Gifts Valley Mill

Top Father’s Day Gifts for 2020

June 8, 2020
Father's Day Super Dad Mug Gift

Father’s day is going to be very different for many this year, but it doesn’t mean it is any less special! We’re here to help you find the perfect present to celebrate the father figures in your life, even if you can’t celebrate in the way you hoped.

All of these gifts in this guide can be ordered on our website www.valleymill.co.uk. We have a Father’s day section on our website too, to make shopping for the perfect gift a little easier. Many of the gifts can also be personalised and delivered directly to your door, or Dad’s if you can’t be together this Father’s day.

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