Sue Reed is The Woolly Pedlar. Sue makes armwarmers in batches using materials she had sourced locally from thrift stalls and charity shops in and around her home town of Hexham, Northumberland
Secondhand knitwear of pure wool or wool blends, including lambswool and cashmere, is cut up, reworked (upcycled) into these armwarmer accessories, so each batch made will differ slightly from the next because the source will deplete. This makes each design change unique, these armwarmers are a regular off the shelf product however, and if you were to buy a pair from the Etsy store online or from one of The Woolly Pedlar’s pop up shops at various events, your armwarmers will never be replicated exactly. Price is 15 pounds sterling. For delivery/shipping information click here
Sue keeps a stock of armwarmers from different colour pallettes. Those featured in this post show red shades that include pillar box red and deep purple, she will make designs to order and so armwarmers can be produced that are made up of colours to an exact specification
We are not sewing experts but we see that strips of different woolly fabrics, that have a certain amount of stretch, have been sewn together, with seams overlocked to prevent fraying using colour contrasting threads. The last band, the strip that stretches across the palm of the hand, is always ribbed, taken from recycled knitwear that would have one time been a cuff of a sleeve, or a waist band of a jumper. A small hole (outlet) around an inch and a half, is left for the thumb to fit through along the penultimate edge, so technically these are hand and armwarmer all in one. NB. Wool is preshrunk but hand washing is recommended
TSS says: First we acknowledge the ethical positioning of the business and the fine principled idea of recycling locally sourced materials and reusing them to make something new. Sue’s clothing business is built on sustainability and limiting the drain on the planet’s resources. Fashion wise, generally, results from our research found that armwarmers did not appeal to the older generation; but were admired nonetheless for being an item of warm clothing. And for those who would think only about wearing these ‘under a coat’, well, perhaps these are not for you either. Suitable for a casual, funky approach to dressing and for wearing indoors as well as outside. Great accessory alongside a knitted hat and perhaps a baggy top, or close fit jumper, t-shirt, to create a particular style of fashion that we know has really received careful consideration in the putting together to achieve a cool, somewhat understated look. It is difficult to generalize but it seems that Sue Reed has been shrewd in identifying these items of clothing of being popular for the festival going community and that others from a different demographic will like them too.
The Woolly Pedlar sells clothing items, soft furnishings and accessories. The business is on Facebook and Twitter @Woollypedlar As well as selling online The Woolly Pedlar can be found at festivals i.e. Solfest, Willowman, Audio Soup and at Farmers Markets and events in and around Hexham in the North East of England, also exhibiting at the Living North Essence of Christmas Fair at Gosforth Racecourse 7-10 November.