Made in London: Rachel Scott

Made in London: Rachel Scott

This is the second our Made in London series of films about London-based makers by filmmaker William Scothern. This month’s video is about rug-maker Rachel Scott, who has been hand-weaving rugs since 1976 when the carpet on her stairs wore out and needed replacing. “I was trying to think of a way to make a braided rug that would go upstairs,” she explains. “I met a friend in the street, and she said, ‘Welsh wool is the thing’. I hadn’t thought of spinning wool until then. I just started with an old bedstead, which I wound my warp around.”


She was immediately hooked, enjoying the slow pace of weaving, and has been making rugs ever since. “Wool is this wonderful fibre,” she says of the material she works with every day. “It’s so strong and it wears so well. There are 60 breeds of sheep in Britain. We think of New Zealand having sheep, but it only has four breeds.” Rachel works exclusively with British wool, sourcing her fleeces from friends on the Berkshire Downs and the Chilterns – breeds include Shetlands, which provide fine brown, grey and black wool; Manx Logthans, which have soft brown fleeces, Hebrideans which provide black yarn and Herdwicks which have coarse grey fleeces. “The wool is spun directly from the fleece and the yarn is not dyed,” she says. “The colors are the colors of the sheep.”

Now in her 70s, she doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. “An artist can keep going, still doing wonderful work – that’s all one can hope to really emulate,” she says. “It suits me just to keep making rugs. What I’m making now is very similar to what I was making 35 years ago. As long as what I’m making is useful to somebody I think that’s fine.”

Source: design-milk

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