A kind friend recently sent me a link to a website for the English independent draper, Merchant & Mills. Their website is an absolute joy; simple, effective and put together by someone with an immensely good eye for design and composition.
The selling of quaint but robust accoutrements and fabrics seems to be their main business; many of which I’m keen to promote here just because they look so damn well made and unique. As you’ll see from the below they specialise in Oilskin products; heavy canvas that’s coated in a layer of linseed oil (generally speaking this is how Oilskin is made). There’s also a really nice ‘tone’ to the company; it feels heritage and reliable and their website carries lots of encouraging slogans for craft-minded people with an interest in quality goods.
This notebook is waterproof and presumably you can use the oilskin jacket on any A6 pad once you’ve filled up the one supplied with all your ideas and sketches. Find it here for £24.
I think this is a do-it-yourself duffel bag; you buy it as a kit and make it up. Find it here for £45.
This oilskin bag might be for the girl in your life, unless you feel confident pulling off a man bag. Again, I think it’s a kit you make up yourself. Find it here for £48.
Finally, this is a sewing kit, also known as a 'tailors roll’ or 'hussuf’. If you’re a recent visitor to this blog, you’ll understand why I’m pretty keen to pick one of these up, having taken up shirtmaking as a hobby. That being said, I could imagine this working reasonably well as a jacket for a shaving kit. Find it here for £44.
If you’re struggling for Christmas present ideas for that special someone in your life I’d highly recommend checking out the Merchant & Mills website here.
When I’ve got all my Christmas shopping out of the way, I’m pretty keen to pick up one of these items, so I’ll let you know what happens. Next time I’m down in East Sussex, I’m going to have to pay their shop a visit.
Now for something a little more refined after the tropical trouser situation in the previous post. This is the Camber Top from Merchant and Mills. It’s not at all obvious from any of these photographs, but I love it!
I cut a size 12, which is smaller than I’d normally cut, but Merchant and Mills patterns have a lot of ease so I figured it would be fine. It fits me ok around the torso but I think I’d prefer a bit more room in the shoulders. Next time I make this pattern I’ll lengthen the shoulder seams I think.
The material is this criss-cross handloom cotton, also from Merchant and Mills. I think it’s quite lovely. I’m not normally someone who can wear white without immediately spilling something on myself, so this is a bold and unprecedented sartorial move for me. Yeah you heard me.
Carolyn Denham and Roderick Field are Merchant & Mills.
The company was formed in 2010 to elevate sewing to its proper place in the creative world, respecting the craftsmanship it entails. They produce a range of card patterns and really useful kits and in profound contrast to the pretty, flowery image of the average haberdasher, they present superb and unusual notions of sewing in stark, utilitarian packaging.
Sheffield in England is known as the town that has manufactured and purveyed high-grade precision scissors since the 1800s. These 9" Studio Scissors from Merchant & Mills bare the Sheffield stamp and are some of the best shears we’ve used in quite some time. Paper & fabric are their preferred medium to slice, but also we’ve found them useful when needing to cut thread, tape & leather.
Title: Studio Scissors 9"
Material: Teflon coated high carbon steel
Manufacturer: Merchant & Mills, England
In the shop now. Send us an email> if you are out of town and interested.