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A Glimpse Inside the Historic Scottish Mill that Produces Britain’s Iconic Scarves

By Joe Tan

 
Behind the Scenes: Burberry cashmere production processes

Each cashmere scarf by the British luxury label is worked on by 18 artisans and undergoes 30 intricate production processes, which includes the combing of raw cashmere and the hand-cutting of imperfections on the final product. Additionally, the scarves are treated with spring water from Scotland’s renowned River Lossie — which is also used to create some of the world’s most famous whiskies.

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Behind the Scenes: Burberry’s use of traditional Scottish textile looms

The production processes, some done by hand and others on traditional machines, are carried out at family-run Scottish establishments run by some of the finest textile manufacturers in the world, who have honed their expertise through experiences working with Burberry.

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The iconic British fashion staple

Left: Burberry The Classic Check Cashmere Scarf in Archive Beige, S$810. Right: Burberry The Classic Check Cashmere Scarf in Charcoal, S$810.

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The iconic British fashion staple

Left: Burberry Monogram Cashmere Jacquard Scarf in Black White, S$1,150. Right: Burberry Monogram Cashmere Jacquard Scarf in Bridle Brown, S$810.

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The iconic British fashion staple

Burberry Reversible Check and Logo Cashmere Scarf in Archive Beige, S$1,150.

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The vast operations behind the world’s storied luxury labels are often collectively referred to by the term Maison — a French word that translates to “house.” Naturally, the word brings to mind intimacy, warmth and the closest unbreakable relationships between people. This accurately describes Burberry’s longstanding partnership with their team of world-class Scottish textile craftsmen from family-run establishments, who are responsible for producing one of Britain’s most recognisable fashion offerings — the Burberry cashmere scarf.

Rarely, if ever, is there a single product so timeless and so ubiquitous that it has come to be synonymous with a fashion house. And in celebration of this key fashion piece so integral to the label’s identity, Burberry is providing a glimpse of some of the intricate processes that go behind its making with the release of exclusive images showcasing its production in a 200-year-old Scottish mill. What remains private to all, however, are the hands-on approach by the 18 artisans who work in stages to lend their mastered expertise in crafting a cashmere scarf worthy of the Burberry standard – this includes the combing of raw cashmere, inspecting its looming process, and hand-finishing the final product. Another interesting point to note too is that the scarves are treated in its finishing process with spring water from Scotland’s River Lossie — which is used to create some of the world’s finest whiskies and is highly regarded as one of the world’s softest water.

Reflecting the zeitgeist, the British luxury label is also using this opportunity to highlight their continued efforts toward sustainability via their charitable arm — The Burberry Foundation, founded in 2008. This includes spearheading a more sustainable cashmere supply chain across its production, by partnering with green organisations such as the Sustainable Fibre Alliance that works to protect grasslands, and providing decent allowances for cashmere goat herders. At the end of the day, though the specifics of these 30-step production processes remain largely a guarded industry secret, these images cement the emphasis of craft within the house of Burberry, and a viable possibility of a greener future for fashion production worldwide. 

Burberry Cashmere Scarf, from S$810.