MYB Textiles Guest Blog: Amy Steel, our HWU summer intern blogs about her experience working at MYB Textiles…
After being introduced to Morton Young and Borland textiles through a recent university project, I was thrilled to be one of two Heriot Watt Fashion students to be offered the chance to work alongside the in-house design team for six weeks!
The MYB mill has been situated in the beautiful Ayrshire countryside for over a century and is most definitely worth the two+ hour commutes from Edinburgh. Upstairs, the building has been renovated into a stylish and modern workspace and is home of the company’s design studio which also doubles as a sales office. Here, a close-knit team of five lovely ladies work to produce incredible patterns using CAD software such as ScotWeave and then market them, all from one room!
As interns, our main task was to build up the MYB Textiles’ archive, which contains beautiful samples, original weave sheets and working annotations for several ranges of material created by the company. I am so grateful for the opportunity to even look through the numerous designs and I have learnt so much from being able to handle the pieces and observe development decisions as well.
MYB are renowned for their lace and madras produce but I have since learnt that the on site machinery is capable of weaving everything from fine sheers as well as heavier fabrics. This means that the company manufacture a variety of textiles, which include; cottons, linens, plain weaves, luxe silks, damask and even baby blankets. As if this wasn’t impressive enough, MYB have recently woven a selection of their madras designs purely in Trevira yarns in order to create flame retardant sheers. (See the “Campbell Sheers” collection on their website here: ).
A favourite that I came across is the outcome for Christopher Hyland (2014) – a range of sparkly madras’ that could easily be worked into garments despite primarily being created for interior purposes.
AN ASSORTMENT OF SAMPLES FOR CHRISTOPHER HYLAND 2014
All of the above are produced on the lower floors of the mill, where tradition still plays a key part in the manufacturing process. We spent any free time we had exploring the mill, learning about all the different stages of manufacture from the rest of the MYB team. Each step is crucial to ensure that every length of fabric is of a high quality and therefore a lot of work is done by hand.
Below is a mix of photos from our time at the mill, which I hope demonstrate the hard work and craftsmanship of the entire team.
FABRIC WAITING TO BE DARNED BY HAND
This was one of my favourite things about interning at MYB, the variety and extent of what they have achieved is incredible but I am so excited for their future. The company have already started collaborating with talented fashion designers and have also trialled designs with upholstery companies, (I found these fabrics particularly stunning and simply refused to cut them into samples).
Going in as a fashion student was increasingly interesting as I could see so many different, alternative final products and I am certain that MYB will have on-going success in so many different markets for years to come. The company have so many good intentions – they support upcoming designers and even donate their gorgeous materials and yarns to university students. Where it is possible they also cut down on fabric waste by recycling.
The company sustain themselves by training up individuals via an apprenticeship scheme, meaning that all the staff have ever-growing skill sets and are all incredibly talented. I honestly cannot thank the wonderful team at MYB enough for this entire experience – I have learnt so much from them about lace production and design development, as well as gaining a commercial insight, which I feel will benefit me greatly throughout my future career.
Amy Steel Twitter : @_amysteel_