Latest News | 29 May 2024

New mural celebrates knitwear firm’s landmark anniversary

John Smedley
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A beautiful mural has been created to mark the 240th anniversary of knitwear manufacturer John Smedley.

The Derbyshire firm has partnered with leading mural artist Melissa White, who has created the spectacular floor-to-ceiling painting, which tells the story of the business.

Recently unveiled at London Craft Week, the collaboration is a celebration of John Smedley’s legacy and longevity, paying homage to its artisanship and heritage.

The artwork respects John Smedley’s past and present, containing 70 distinct references from the firm’s history.

Set against a backdrop of the undulating Lea Mills countryside, which is peppered with dry-stone walls, each illustration represents an individual strand that forms part of the wider John Smedley narrative.

Melissa White, who visited the headquarters near Matlock, which the company has called home since its inception, said: “My visit to the mill left me with heartfelt appreciation for the familial legacy within the fabric of the John Smedley brand.

“There is so much history and community within its walls. This reliable continuity gives me faith in the product and trust that everything is made to the finest quality, bolstered by 240 years of fine-tuning and passion for the craft.”

According to the firm, the artwork, layered with stories and designed to delight viewers with something new each time, is a metaphor for John Smedley today.

Jess McGuire-Dudley, deputy managing director at John Smedley, said: “We’re always looking to surprise our customers; all eyes on the future, we’re never standing still.”

Today, the family-run company, founded by John Smedley in 1784 and holder of two Royal Warrants for its world-renowned premium knitwear, is committed to responsible production methods to safeguard the company and protect its artisanal craft.

Ian Maclean MBE, managing director at John Smedley and eighth-generation family member, said: “We’re going through a process of radical change to update our machinery and processes, making positive moves towards reducing CO2 emissions on the way to Net Zero.”

To mark the firm’s milestone birthday, the mural will be translated across some of John Smedley’s knitwear and silk scarves.

Jess said: “The painting is a beautifully multi-faceted piece of everyday luxury, much like our products.

“We’ve taken the design and knitted this into sweaters, creating a wearable artwork — it’s a timeless ode to our brand that can be worn for many years to come.”

A video has been created, which gives an insight into how the mural was created. To view it visit .

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