Jess Quinton and Jane Chadwick are the two designers behind the Hackney-based knitwear brand Quinton Chadwick. For 21 years, they have been based in East London – a part of the city known for innovation, creativity and experimentation – building up a brand that blends traditional knitting skills with new contemporary aesthetics.
The Quinton Chadwick ethos rejects ‘fast fashion’ and favours sustainability; they work only with British mills and spinners and use natural fibres in their designs. They say that these methods ensure that Quinton Chadwick products are of consistently high quality, and have a lower ecological impact than knitted products that are produced overseas using synthetic materials.
When Quinton Chadwick was first set up, British textile mills were facing a crisis, as competitive overseas factories out-priced them. The UK knitting industry was in decline, so Jess and Jane decided to support family-run mills in the country and promote traditional knitting skills that were in danger of dying out. It wasn’t easy, however – the shutting down of several textile factories mid-run complicated early production of Quinton Chadwick designs.
Now, however, Quinton Chadwick supports a cooperative of hand-framers in Devon and several mills in Nottingham and Scotland. Their popular designs feature traditional elements such as garter stitch and fair isle patterns, alongside more contemporary techniques that create interesting textures.
Quinton Chadwick will be exhibiting at the Selvedge Winter Fair on 1 December 2018. To find out more about the event and to book your ticket, click here. You can get 2 for 1 tickets with the code FAIR2FOR1.
Blog post by Jessica Edney