Having spent a good portion of my life growing up in rural Virginia, I am always proud when others recognize the great craftspeople in that tiny corner of the world. I was particularly pleased to see that American-made accessories label The Hill-side shares my appreciation through the debut of their “Old Virginia” collection, which relies exclusively on custom woven fabrics from the Virginia foothills.
Consisting of scarves and ties, this line is created from textiles manufactured on a single shuttle loom that dates back to the 1930s. In addition to producing selvedge detailing at both edges of the fabric, this particular loom is notable for creating a very special pattern known as a “modified herringbone”.
This distinctive weave functions like a traditional herringbone pattern, but incorporates various colors of yarn that are interspersed– almost sporadically – across the warp. The result is a decidedly unique fabric that juxtaposes different hues, tones, and textures throughout a given yard of fabric. This emphasis on character and individuality is a nice foil to the underwhelming homogeneity of mass production.
After scrolling through their lookbook, be sure to check out The Hill-side’s video that documents the weaving process. While I’m obviously partial to the visual aspects of the Old Virginia collection, the audio is the most profound aspect of the film. Between the dulcimer music, the ticking machinery, and the voiceovers, it offers an intimate (and nostalgic) glimpse into the life and values of these craftsmen.