Guest Blogger: Rebecca Lawson
Daniel Harris, the owner of the London Cloth company, yet only weaving for six years, has already made deals with Ralph Lauren and the Star Wars franchise. What can this early success be attributed to? A cat. Well, not exactly, but Daniel jokingly contributed his success to his cat Flo Rida, or Meow Shut-up if you prefer, who greeted us as we walked in, asking for food. In reality, his success can be attributed to much more, as he is a very dedicated and driven weaver and textile artist.
As a self-described second generation hipster, he came into the craft of weaving after going to college for sewing and thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny if I could do the sewing, but also make my own fabric?” With a collection of 12 sewing machines and a knack for compulsive machine buying, Daniel eventually started his collection of weaving machines with a loom. Each of his machines have a unique character and story behind them. For example, one was found in a pool in the basement of a town building. As he went over how each of his machines worked, he discussed how they evolved from one to the next. Each time he acquired a new loom, it was not necessarily to make the process faster, but to make it easier to do. Because the process was made easier, one person could run multiple machines at one time since they required less skill to monitor. However, the machines still require a lot of skill to get running and to keep running as Daniel does.
The biggest setback that Daniel said he had was the money flow. He makes a great deal of money when he sells a piece of his custom (bespoke) fabric, which at the cheapest sells for about 10 pounds perkilo, but the money doesn’t last long. When he has bills to pay, buy supplies, or fix the machines that burn out the electrical components every so often, the money seems to just drift away. He talked about many nights that he sat by the machines crying when something went wrong. However, he pushes on and continues to perform his craft that he is surprisingly apprehensive to call just that.
Daniel mentioned in another interview on his website that the machines actually killed the craft of weaving, so what he does is more industry. Either way you look at it, after putting in about 70 hours per week and even sleeping in a little room above the work floor just to keep a good pace going, Daniel puts his all into his projects. Even though he may come off a little insecure about his success and would not want his future children to follow in his footsteps, his passion pours out of him when he is showing off his pieces of work.
Anyone around him in his element can tell that this job makes him happy. “Weaving’s a really good idea, isn’t it?”