Where does the wool in Inigo Scout blankets come from?
Only the finest natural fibres are used to make Inigo Scout products. Cashmere from Mongolia and China and merino wool from Australia are lovingly cultivated to ensure they maintain their outstanding quality and durability.
Merino wool is an entirely natural fibre, grown year round. It is biodegradable, sustainable and completely renewable, with Merino sheep producing a new fleece every year. Merino wool fibres are extremely fine, which makes them much more flexible than traditional, coarser wool fibres. Merino feels soft and gentle next to your skin and unlike synthetic fabrics, merino is an active fibre that reacts to changes in body temperature.
Cashmere is one of the finest, most luxurious natural fibres in the world. It is renowned for its extreme softness, warmth and lustrous quality. The finest, lofty fibres are taken from the underbelly of goats. It is the dramatic fluctuation in climate throughout the year that helps the goats to grow their beautifully downy under-fleece. The goats endure extreme temperatures of excessive heat, rising to above 40˚C in summer and freezing, icy cold dropping to below -40˚C in winter. The natural crimp of cashmere fibres helps them to interlock during manufacturing processes and allows the fibres to be spun into very fine, lightweight fabrics. After processing, cashmere yarn retains its loftiness which makes it warm and snug without becoming too weighty. Its extreme warmth, light weight and delicate softness against the skin, makes cashmere the perfect fibre for Inigo Scout blankets.
How are Inigo Scout blankets made?
Inigo Scout is incredibly proud to have it’s blanket art woven by Johnstons of Elgin, Scotland. Inigo Scout works with the most experienced of craftspeople using state-of-the-art jacquard looms to create the world’s most beautiful blankets.
There are in the region of 30 different processes involved in transforming raw fibre into Inigo Scout blanket art. Expert craftsmen and women take pride in every thread, every twist, every yarn and every stitch. From raw fibre in the wool store through dying to blending, carding to spinning, warping to weaving, knitting to teasling and cutting to folding – it all happens in our own mill in the heart of Scotland.
Our dedicated dye technicians have worked tirelessly over the years to perfect our signature colour recipes, according to the character of the raw materials. Some of the dyes that we use today were developed as long ago as 1856. There are currently around 6500 shades in our colour library, ranging from soft subtle tints to strong, vivid hues.
Like natural human hair, the chemical dying process can leave the raw fibres in a felted and matted state. The fibres are teased out over a series of spiked rollers and sprayed with a light coating of oil to prepare and protect them in subsequent processes.
Blending, Carding and Spinning
Our tried and tested practises in production have allowed us to master our craft. We ensure that each process is carried out to the highest of standards before moving onto the next stage.
Blends can be made of different colours of the same fibre or of different types of fibre, e.g. extra fine merino and cashmere. After the fibre is expertly blended into a colour or a luxurious mix of fibres, it is fed into a carding machine which works like a giant comb to straighten them in preparation for spinning. Carding converts a continuous web of fibres into individual ribbons known as rovings, it is a process which has changed very little over the years.
Rovings are then spun to transform them into yarn. They are twisted together to give them strength and prepare them for weaving. The yarn is expertly checked by hand at regular intervals throughout the carding and spinning process to ensure it has an even consistency.
Warping, Weaving and Washing
Johnstons of Elgin have been harnessing the wisdom gained from over two hundred years in textile manufacturing. Our dedicated craftspeople weave and knit their passion into all of our legendary textiles.
Weaving begins with laying out the warp of the pattern. The warp consists of the threads which run vertically from the top to the bottom of the cloth. When the warp is ready it is wound onto a circular beam and transferred to the loom for weaving. Weaving is the introduction of the weft yarn, the thread that run horizontally across the cloth.
Inigo Scout blanket art is woven on a Jacquard loom which are able to stay true to the abstract and non-patterned work of our featured artists.
Next our blankets are carefully washed and milled, using water from the river Teviot, in Hawick.
When cloth has been woven, its appearance is rough. There are many processes involved in transforming the cloth into a luxurious finished product, many of which have remained unchanged for hundreds of years.
We use only the softest, natural Scottish water to scour our fabric, ensuring that it is gently restored to its natural, super-soft state. Scouring removes the oil applied to protect the fibre during the manufacturing processes, while milling shrinks and thickens the fabric. After wet finishing, the fabric is dried by passing it over rollers in a Tentering machine.
Some processes are better left untouched. There is a special raising process only carried out on cashmere. The dried heads of the Teasel plant are placed between metal bars, which are fixed around a large revolving drum. When the Teasel heads are wet they become flexible and the hooked ends gently tease out and align the cashmere fibres to produce the characteristic ripple finish.
It is the exquisite hand finishing and personal attention to detail, from labelling to hand stitching, that ensures each and every blanket that leaves our mill is perfect.
Is Inigo Scout a registered charity?
No. We are a new breed of social enterprise like TOMS shoes and Warby Parker. We believe in a new way of doing business where the desires of the purchaser and the needs of those less fortunate can simultaneously be satisfied. We champion a new kind of brand and a smarter business model where every purchase has a positive impact. We partner with Knit For Peace, a registered charity, who fulfil our Get One. Give Ten. donations and project.
What is your relationship with Knit For Peace?
Knit for Peace is a registered charity, run by the Charities Advisory Trust. We have a contracted partnership with Knit For Peace. At regular intervals throughout the year we give Knit For Peace proceeds from Inigo Scout sales which amount to at least enough to pay a local craftsperson to knit 10 (ten) blankets for children in their community who are in need of warmth. These proceeds also fund the training of local people to knit if they do not already know how to do so.
Knit for Peace is an initiative of the Charities Advisory Trust. Reg. Charity No. 1040487. Reg. Company No. 289576
Why is Cape Flats the location of Inigo Scout’s Get One. Give Ten. project?
Knit for Peace is active in a number of locations around the world. The Cape Flats is the newest of these ventures and as such was the perfect opportunity for Inigo Scout to help get off the ground and support ongoing. Inigo Scout hopes to support more and more projects with Knit for Peace going forwards, wherever the need may be, with no particular geographical location as a priority.
Can I hang my Inigo Scout blanket on a wall?
Yes. Inigo Scout blankets look beautiful hung. There are a number of ways to do this, including mounting and framing, clipping and railing. Please do not use tacking or carpet underlay rods (as are often used to hang floor rugs with tough backing) as these will damage the wool. If you would like help working out the best solution for you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am an artist. Can I get involved?
We support artists at any stage of their careers, from new starters to global superstars! Indeed, a core motivation for Inigo Scout is to help art and artists thrive and more easily find a way into peoples’ homes and lives. We obviously have a limited number of blanket designs in production and available for purchase at any time, but we are always keen to receive enquiries and portfolios through email@example.com. We work with artists in different ways, from commission upon sale to up-front buy out to a mixture of both.
I represent a store or a gallery. Can I sell Inigo Scout product?
Yes. We would love to hear from you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a stylist or interior designer. Can I feature Inigo Scout product?
Yes. Our product is designed to be different, to stand out, to bring something special to an environment, both visually and emotionally. Please contact us at email@example.com
Will Inigo Scout be producing more blankets?
Yes. As Inigo Scout grows we will expand our range. Sign up to our newsletter or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to stay informed.