Chanel and the Tweedmaker
Patricia M Hitchon
Available from 22 September 2012

This is a yarn that unites two cultures. At first glance, the catwalks of Paris and a tweed mill in Carlisle seem to have little in common but the connection has lasted since 1928. This new book by local author, Patricia Hitchon, interweaves the story of the House of Chanel and Linton Tweeds against the backdrop of developments in fashion and textile manufacture over more than a century.

When Coco Chanel was introduced to William Linton all those years ago, neither would have dreamed that it was the beginning of a business relationship to stand the test of time. As the book shows, the creativity of the Cumbrian business was the thread that ensured this happened. Chanelís biography, of course, is well known - a rags to riches tale that still provokes controversy today. The Linton story is less well known. William Linton was a young Scottish widower who crossed the Border to Carlisle with his young daughter Agnes, to found his own tweedmaking business. What singled him out from the beginning was his sense of enterprise and adventure - during WWI, for example, undeterred by the U-boat threat, he made trips to America to win new business. The business grew and prospered - 2012 sees it celebrating its centenary. Throughout that time, its success has been shaped by just two families, the Lintons and the Walkers, who have continued to innovate and develop. In February, they launched their Linton Japan Collection in Tokyo - a far cry from the days when their salesmen travelled the villages of the Lake District buying home-spun yarn. Well researched and sumptuously illustrated throughout, the book unravels a fascinating story of how two contrasting cultures - international haute couture and a local family business - are united by a single product, the diverse and beautifully designed fabric called tweed.

A4 softcover, of 288 pages, illustrated in colour and black and white throughout: Price £20.

ISBN 978-0-9572412-2-0

Online order UK p&p £5.00 ( weighs 1.4 kg.)