Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Cottoning on to Why City Is a Key Textiles Centre ; Dubbed Cottonopolis, Manchester Was Once the World's Textiles Capital. Now, Thanks to Government Cash and Young Creative Minds, a Resurgence Is under Way. in the Second Part of Our Made in Manchester Series, Emily Kent-Smith Visited Clothing companiesMade in Manchester

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Cottoning on to Why City Is a Key Textiles Centre ; Dubbed Cottonopolis, Manchester Was Once the World's Textiles Capital. Now, Thanks to Government Cash and Young Creative Minds, a Resurgence Is under Way. in the Second Part of Our Made in Manchester Series, Emily Kent-Smith Visited Clothing companiesMade in Manchester

Article excerpt

Parsnip & Bramble baby clothing WHEN Victoria Henderson was made redundant last January, she decided on a complete career change and baby clothing brand Parsnip & Bramble, was born.

One of Victoria's goals was to keep Parsnip & Bramble British.

Victoria, 34, right, hand embroiders 10 to 20 pieces a day from a studio at home in Chorlton.

She said: "I've always loved sewing but I've never really had an outlet for it.

"Starting a business was really nerve-racking."

Manchester has proved a successful business location, with her products in high demand and orders coming in from as far afield as America. All fabric and thread is purchased locally.

Victoria added: "The word is spreading about my designs. I really try hard to make it a British brand.

"The response that I get is that for something that is handmade and hand stitched it's really good value."

Victoria mainly sells at markets and has only recently come into profit. Keeping things local and reviving the clothing industry in the north is a priority for her.

"We only moved back in January - I can't believe the opportunities there are in Manchester.

"I guess it's historical as well with the mills and cotton industry.

There's definitely an excitement in the air that something is building - there's more and more interest in handmade and local."

The labels on Victoria's clothes proudly read: Parsnip & Bramble Made in Manchester.

ALLIANCE FOR THE FUTURE FORMER Rochdale MP Lorna Fitzsimons is a director of the Alliance Project, founded by Lord David Alliance, the man behind Manchester-born clothing brand Viyella.

The project works with retail giants to encourage them to move manufacturing back to Britain. Mrs Fitzsimons said: "Greater Manchester is still one of the three national centres in terms of our manufacturing."

She added textile design firms were being 'priced out of London' and one of the strengths of this region is its educational establishments.

She praised Manchester Metropolitan's Hollings facility which offers courses in clothing design and manufacturing.

She described Hollings as a 'world class fashion art and design capital'.

Mrs Fitzsimons, below, added: "We are still the leader of the world in terms of niche high value technical textiles."

She added: "You can work on a shop floor with no qualifications at all and end up running a global business - it's an amazing industry for a melting pot of talent."

Family business that knows the bottom line in fashion Headen & Quarmby HEADEN & Quarmby, a sleepwear and underwear factory in Middleton, has been part of Manchester's textile industry since 1935.

Decades on, the Middleton manufacturer, set up by couple Mary Headen and Eric Quarmby remains a family business.

Mary and Eric's grandson David Moore, 44, pictured with employee Emma Hartley, has been at its helm for 27 years. …

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