Over thirty four years ago Wendy Keith was asked to mend a pair of men’s shooting stockings. She grimaced at the prospect. The given pair had shrunk in a 30% wash, and the wool had ‘matted’ – but the experience gave Wendy an idea. That idea has blossomed into a highly successful and creative business with satisfied clients all over the world for over 30 years. She began by sourcing a few hand-knitters who had knitted ‘sailors socks’ close to the dock-yards at sea -ports such as Gosport, during the Second World War. This took time and great patience to achieve the quality required by the perfectionist.
With an instinctive and deep love of the countryside Wendy has combined her flair for design, and her commercial experience, to become a market leader in the production of hand-knitted shooting stockings, accessories and other distinctive country knitwear with a choice of yarns such as wool/mix (machine wash) to the wonderfully sensuous Cashmere, Alpaca and Merino.
Flying the British Flag
Not withstanding the temptation over the years to source abroad, Wendy always insisted that ‘Flying the British Flag’ is vital to the future of her business. In 2014, Wendy has again extended her British Organic Collections, and include Rare British Sheep Breeds. The Award for the Best Organic Collection at Olympia in 2010, was sourced with the kind permission of HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, from their own organic Sheep at Highgrove Home Farm, Gloucestershire.
Spearheading a large and very talented team of expert, two and four-needle hand-knitters, and embroidery artists – all working from within the boundaries of Great Britain, Wendy and her administrative team produce knitwear of the very highest quality.
Her designs are to be found in the best fashion houses and boutiques across the world. From James Purdey & Sons to Holland & Holland Ltd, William Evans to Cabbages and Roses, to name but a few.
Wendy has striven tirelessly to produce an entirely British Organic Wool Garment, and is fast becoming one of the market leaders for luxury organic accessories. Each Hand-knitted garment is fully traceable to Organic Farms, where the wool then carded and spun in a fully certified organic environment.
All these processes are conducted under strict Organic guidelines. The welfare of the sheep raised on the organic farms, such as Highgrove, Home Farm, the home of Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and Duchy Farms, where the fleeces of the Organic flock of the are used by Wendy Keith Designs, with the kind permission of His Royal Highness.
Each garment is carefully labelled, using sustainable products, with the name of the Organic farm along with the date of the shearing of the wool. The name of the hand knitter is recorded on the label.
With a shared passion of the Organic scene, Cornish Organic Wool, owned by Matt and Julia Hopson, have given us brilliant support in every way.
New and exciting ideas are being developed to bring the British Organic garments into the forefront of the British Fashion Industry.