Ashculme Textiles was the surprising result of a series of events in the lives of myself, Fiona, and my mother, Roswitha. Firstly it was finally time for us to buy some alpacas for the paddock that had been empty too long. From the word go the alpacas we chose needed to have top quality coats as I was keen to use their fleece. I’ve always loved textile crafts so went about working out what I could do with those lustrous soft coats. I purchased a loom and dug out my mother’s old spinning wheel. Then I started experimenting with a variety of alpaca and sheep fleeces as well as commercial wool as we did not yet have our own supply.
I also dusted off my old trusted friend the sewing machine. After nearly 20 years in childcare I was keen to make children’s play equipment that was both practical and beautiful and would nurture the child’s imagination and creativity.
During 2015 my parents were packing their house up in the UK to join us in the beautiful Riverina region of New South Wales. It’s fair to say my mother has had a sewing needle in her hand for all 8 decades of her life, sewing her first stitches at the ripe old age of three. During her working life she has been at the English National Opera as a costume cutter, and also the royal Shakespeare Company. She also spent many years teaching a variety of crafts such as theatre design, batik and puppet making. In her spare time she has spun, woven, designed, sewn and quilted. Since retirement the quilting has been a passion that is still as strong as ever.
And so it just happened that Roswitha’s love of colour in fabric and mine in the natural softness of an alpaca fleece should join to become Ashculme Textiles. It’s more than just a business. It is about a mother and daughter, having spent nearly 30 years living across the world from each other, coming together to hopefully create something special that will bring a little bit of beauty from our world into the world of other people.