This week is London Craft Week and I’m delighted to have our full range of colourful umbrellas at Burlington Arcade as part of Future Icons Presents.
Umbrellas really are an essential accessory, and I wanted to share a few facts about what makes ours so special!
☂️All Pipet umbrellas are hand made in London by James Ince Umbrellas 1805, a family run business established over 215 years ago. They are recognised as the longest established manufacturer in the UK.
☂️The making of Umbrellas and Parasols is on The Heritage Crafts ‘Red List of Endangered Crafts’. There are less than a handful of Craftspeople currently known in the UK i.e those using traditional techniques that would have been recognised 50+ years ago.
☂️Historic areas of significance for making were London, Sheffield and Manchester, with the craft still practiced today in London, Croydon, Manchester, South Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire.
☂️Umbrellas were first introduced to England in around 1709, but Jonas Hanway is noted in 1750 as the first Englishman to carry an umbrella regularly. He was pelted by Coachmen since they saw his craze could endanger their own means of livelihood.
☂️Umbrellas used to be made with heavy whalebone or cane ribs, and covered in a waxed or oiled cotton fabric. Lighter weight silk fabrics and iron stretchers were later used. Nowadays the canopy is made largely from a variety of polyesters with strong metal frames that are a combination of steel and fibreglass, providing both strength and flexibility.
You can find out more information on the endangered crafts Red List at the Heritage Crafts Association heritagecrafts.org.uk
Info source: Heritage Crafts Association.