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made in wales

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. Check out how the team craft the incredible 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. Wool textiles protect firemen, military and anyone else exposed to fire or explosives.

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 fulfil 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.

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.

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.

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. 

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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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Gifts Valley Mill

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