Ian Mankin (UK)
While there are many stripes and checks on the market, there are actually very few good quality, stable and lasting classics. Ian Mankin’s base cloths, colour palette, scale and design pass the test in every way… with flying colours! My mother was a huge fan so their fabrics have featured in my life for many years. Much of her London home was furnished in checks and stripes from their collections.
As it is today the Ian Mankin company is the result of a long collaboration between Ian Mankin and the Collinge family. On Ian’s retirement in 2007 the Collinge family took over the company and David Collinge, who now runs it, is the sixth generation in a family rich in cotton weaving history. David’s great great great grandfather founded John Spencer Textiles in 1860 and it is now the only surviving mill in Burnley, Lancashire, England (birthplace of the industrialised cotton weaving industry). All the Ian Mankin fabrics are woven in this Burnley mill, including the velvets.
The value of this kind of history should never be under-estimated. To have the experience, continuity and commitment of so many dedicated generations is becoming rare. It is worth a great deal, especially in this world which is turning more and more to mass production, with little care for the end user.
The reality is that less and less of what we see available in our everyday life has to do with integrity. To be knowledgeable about what we are buying, how and where it was produced and what we are supporting, is more important than we know.
‘We are all the key holders to the future’.
*The photographs for this post are taken at The Jet Age Museum in Gloucestershire, England. Below is the plane known as the Gloster Gladiator which first took flight in 1934. Its beautiful frame of wood and for what must be one of the best testaments to the strength of linen, the Gloster’s wings, originally covered with linen.