Discover the heritage behind our brand, from its very beginnings to how it influences our collections and our collaborations with heritage mills and factories today.
Our story begins with sheep. In particular the Cotswold Lion Sheep, which is thought to have been introduced by the Romans. Prized for its long fleece with a high growth rate, this breed of sheep shaped the Cotswolds as we know it today.
The name Cotswold literally means "sheep enclosure in rolling hillsides". Its lush, verdant landscape that the sheep fed upon fuelled the textile industry, turning grass into gold.
From these humble beginnings a textile empire was built. In Tudor times it was said that "half the wealth of England rides on the back of sheep." It is a sustainable resource that was was transported to London on the Thames and then on to France, where it was sold for high prices, due to lack of French farmland.
Churches and mills were built in abundance from the profits of the wool trade, shaping the region we see today. Wool churches were built by the merchants, who hoped to elevate their position in society by donating to the Church. Above is a magnificent example of a wool church in Northleach.
The final stage of the wool cloth production is fulling, where water is used to cleanse away impurities and results in a thicker cloth. Due to an abundance of water in the Cotswolds, water mills are used and dot the landscape, such as this picturesque water mill at Lower Slaughter.
The rich history of the Cotswolds inspired artists such as William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Morris, one of the founders of the Arts and Crafts movement, was so enchanted by the Cotswolds he made it his permanent home and drew inspiration from the surrounding countryside and architecture for his designs.
From this well of textile and artistic pedigree that the Cotswolds produced, we create designs and styles that reflect the surrounding area and its heritage. The yarns and colours used in our collections are directly inspired by and drawn from the pallette of the Cotswolds, from the honey-coloured stone to the vibrant greens of the flora.
We work with British fabrics, mills, factories and artists to produce exemplary products that showcase the best of our heritage. Designed exclusively in-house in the Cotswolds, we use the best fabrics and yarns, ensuring you have the best quality wardrobe for the season.
The Cotswolds is "the most English and the least spoiled
of all our countrysides." J.B. Priestley
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