Social Enterprise, Romney Tweed Launches New Collection – Inspired By Filmmaker, Derek Jarman’s Cottage

Prospect Cottage

Prospect Cottage, the former home of the world-renowned English film director, the late Derek Jarman, was the inspiration behind the brand new ‘Prospect Collection,’ by Romney Tweed. The organisation has also added five new colours to their existing ‘Coastal Collection.’

This remote, distinctive black-tarred cottage in Dungeness, Kent (with its bright yellow window and door frames), – has given rise to four new yellow and black-checked luxury tweeds designed by Romney Tweed, sold at £140 per metre.

Prospect Collection

Romney Tweed is also adding five new colours of fine-worsted cloth, as part of its contemporary Coastal Collection, which comprises of 10 small-scale diamond weave tweeds, inspired by the sounds and senses evoked by the Kent coastline, and sold at £110 per metre.

The ‘Coastal Collection’ (Image Credit: Romney Tweed Collection images by G McCarragher)

Romney Tweed’s wool comes from a single breed (and often a single flock) of Romney sheep, which has grazed in the area since the 7th century, and the wool is considered to be one of the very best British wools.

The Romney wool is spun into a worsted yarn and woven into a luxury tweed, that has a drape and handle which is far superior to most middle weight-tweeds, meaning it can be worn next to the skin. The wool is 100% British-made, and is finished and woven in Yorkshire.

The Romney Tweed Community Interest Company was founded in 2014 by Pat Alston following the publication of a report in 2011 that highlighted the economic downturn, which was expected to damage the local economy, following the decommissioning of the Dungeness nuclear power station A site. 

With high unemployment in the area of the Romney Marsh, Romney Tweed encourages local industry and tourism, and helps young people to acquire skills and employment, and by choosing the weaving and tweed industry to help achieve these aims, now Romney Tweed is a niche producer, – making luxury tweeds in limited editions.

Romney Tweed’s Founder Pat formerly spent most of her working life in the Foreign Office, finishing up as a PA to the Foreign Secretary.

She explained: “One of my passions, of course, is other cultures, balanced by a love of the timelessness and history of the Romney Marsh, my family association of which began in 1936 when my grandmother built a bungalow on a piece of shingle, which became our base when home on leave, and which the family still use.

It is her love for of the Marsh that drove her to assist its regeneration, – hence founding the social enterprise, Romney Tweed. Pat’s family has been associated with the area for over 80 years.

Prior to the Covid19 outbreak, Romney Tweed ran courses teaching people to weave and were commissioned by The Royal St Georges Golf Club in Sandwich to develop a unique tweed, based on the club’s rich history, flora and fauna native to the course, and the club’s distinctive scenery. 

The bespoke tweed was created to coincide with the club’s postponed hosting of The Open, scheduled for 2020, and now due to take place this summer.

To find out more about Romney Tweed, head to: https://romneytweed.co.uk