Cotton Care Guide

Cotton is a versatile, comfortable and breathable fabric and is easy to look after. At TOAST, we love cotton for its ability to take dye and retain bright colours and intricate prints.

Obtained from the fibres surrounding the soft seed pods of the cotton plant, cotton is a natural and biodegradable fibre that has been used since antiquity. The fibres are cleaned and spun into threads before being made into a variety of fabrics, from denim and corduroy to poplin and twills.

How to wash

Cotton can be washed at 30 degrees in the machine with similar colours. Try to wash your cotton less frequently to maintain the shape, colour, and quality of your garment.

How to dry & store

Reshape your garment whilst damp by holding the side seams together and shaking. Cotton is best dried flat or hanging to prevent the need for ironing. If an item requires ironing, then it is best to do so whilst slightly damp or using the steam setting.

Hang your cotton clothes away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.

Corduroy Care Guide

Corduroy is a material favoured for its durability and velvety touch.

There is no real consensus on the origins of corduroy, but it is thought to have been invented in the Egyptian city of Fustat, where a heavy cotton cloth with a raised sheared nap was created, similar to that of velvet or moleskin.

The cloth was brought to Europe in medieval times by Italian and Spanish merchants. It was used to line gowns for warmth and for a fashionable, padded look. The ridges or ribs – known as “wales”, came about as a means of strengthening the fabric and extending its lifespan. Corduroy can have anywhere from 1.5 to 21 wales per inch, though it is typically between 10 to 12.

At TOAST, we like corduroy for its supple, velvety feel, and its casual, practical look.

How to wash

We recommend to wash your cord inside out and with buttons and zips closed, on 30 degrees or on a cool setting.

Try not to overload your machine to avoid friction. Abrasion to the surface of cord can damage the pile and alter the texture.

How to dry & store

For the best result, shake out cord garments after washing. Smooth down the seams, pockets and plackets and hang to air dry – this will avoid the need to iron your garment.

To store, it is best to hang your cord up.

Denim Care Guide

Denim is a sturdy and durable material that can last for a life time if it is cared for well. It has a distinct twill weave and its double set of yarns make denim extremely hardwearing.

Originally used for sails on boats, denim then went on to be worn as protective workwear by farmers, railway workers and miners. The denim was favoured by workers for its strength and comfort, and characterised by its indigo blue outer.

At TOAST, we like denim for its functional, supple hand feel and the beautiful way in which it ages.

How to wash

We recommend to wash your denim as sparingly as possible, as it will subtly fade overtime.

The gentler you can wash your denim, the better, mirroring a handwash as much as possible. The wool and delicate settings on most machines are best for this.

Before washing, always close zips and buttons and turn your denim inside out, as this will stop the colour from running and will protect your machine drum.

Wash with just a small amount of mild detergent, on 30 degrees or on a cool setting.

When washing, do so with similar colours, and try not to overload your machine to avoid creasing, especially for black denim.

Try to avoid spot cleaning stains and marks, as this can remove areas of colour from your denim, especially for dark indigo.

How to dry & store

When drying your denim, try to avoid wringing, as this can weaken or crush the fibres. Avoid tumble drying and quick spin cycles, and this will preserve the colour and strength of your denim, and stop creasing.

We suggest letting your denim dry as naturally as possible. For best results, gently roll up and press out any excess water. Flatten the garment into shape and line dry or air dry. This will prevent, or at least reduce, the need to iron the garment, whilst retaining its strength.

If necessary, iron when damp on a high steam setting.

Denim can be hung or folded. When hanging, fold over at the knees with the waist hanging down to the floor.

Indigo Care Guide

Many of our accessories, workwear and handmade garments are dyed with indigo. At TOAST, we like using indigo for its deep and rich colour, and for the way it naturally ages.

The history of indigo is culturally diverse and regional traditions are readily identifiable. There are exquisitely beautiful resist-dyes from Japan, ajrakh block printing from Gujarat, bold tie dyes from Cameroon and pleated linen biaudes – smocks – from rural France.

Dyeing with indigo demands of time, labour, resource, precision and skill. The mills we work with to create our indigo-dyed fabrics – one in Japan, one in Turkey – are innovative and, while focused on tradition, thoroughly modern in their approach.

How to wash

Over time, indigo garments will beautifully fade. Because the indigo does not penetrate through the whole yarn in the dyeing process, there will be colour rub at first.

Although indigo is an extremely powerful dye, we recommend washing your garment as little as possible, to avoid fading.

When washing, always turn your indigo garment inside out as this will stop the indigo from running and will protect your machine drum.

Wash with just a small amount of mild detergent, on 30 degrees or on a cool setting.

When washing, do so with similar colours, and try not to overload your machine to avoid creasing. Creasing can create lines on your garment that can be hard to remove.

Try to avoid spot cleaning stains and marks, as this can remove areas of colour from your garment, especially for darker indigo.

How to dry & store

Dry your indigo garment as naturally as possible, without artificial heat.

Similar to denim, try to avoid wringing, as this can weaken or crush the fibres. Avoid tumble drying and quick spin cycles, and this will preserve the colour and strength, and stop the indigo from fading.

For best results, gently roll up and press out any excess water. Flatten the garment into shape and line dry or air dry. This will prevent, or at least reduce, the need to iron the garment, whilst retaining its strength.

Iron when damp on a high steam setting.

Folding can leave creases that are difficult to remove. Try to hand your garment on a padded hanger.

Knitwear Care Guide

All of our knitwear at TOAST is made from natural fibres - from fine merino and heathery wool spun in Scotland to recycled Italian cashmere.

Wool is an extremely sustainable and warm yarn, obtained from the coats of sheep, goats and alpacas. As long as sheep have grass to graze on, they will always produce a yearly fleece, making wool an entirely renewable source, and one hundred percent natural. At the end of its life, wool can return to the soil and quickly break down, providing the earth with nutrients for the future.

Wool fibres are strong, naturally insulating and antibacterial. They can easily be dyed into a range of rich colours. At TOAST, we like wool for its versatility, its cossetting warmth and its diverse history and heritage.

How to wash

Woollen garments hardly ever need washing, as the fibres are breathable and do not absorb odours.

Wool should only be washed when absolutely necessary, and it will last longer the less frequently you wash it. Wool benefits from airing or freezing, which can be just as efficient as washing.

When washing, always use a mild detergent specifically for wool. Wash by hand with cool water, avoiding stretching and pulling whilst doing so. Never leave your garment to soak for too long as this can cause pilling and shrinkage. Rinse through thoroughly with fresh water.

For cashmere garments, hand wash in cold water with a mild detergent. Do not rub the garment together when washing as this can cause felting or alter the texture. Rinse the garment well in clean water and gently squeeze out, without stretching.

We recommend never using a fabric softener when washing your garments, as it can cause pilling.

How to dry & store

Dry the garment flat and placed in its normal shape. If you hand wash your garment, place the damp garment flat on a clean towel, roll the towel up and squeeze out any excess water. Avoid twisting and wringing dry as this can alter the shape of your garment.

To speed up the drying process, you can put your towel-wrapped garment on top of a radiator to warm through.

When storing, never put your wool and cashmere garments away unclean, as this will attract moths. They are drawn to the bacteria, and unclean wool and cashmere garments provide the ideal environment.

To avoid moths, don’t fill up your drawers too much, and take your items out of storage regularly. Placing conkers, cedar wood balls and lavender in your wardrobe can help deter them.

Always fold your knitwear, as hanging can stretch and pull the garment, and cause holes in the shoulders. Draw liners can also help to deter moths.

Pills from both wool and cashmere garments can be easily brushed out with a comb.

Leather Care Guide

At TOAST, many of our shoes and accessories are made from natural leather. Each different type of leather has subtle variations in colour and texture, and many have been tanned using vegetable dyes – a more environmentally friendly process of tanning that is recyclable.

Leather is durable and hardwearing, and over time it develops a beautiful patina that darkens gradually.

Looking after your leather

Before exposure to moisture, you can apply a leather/suede protector to your shoes or boots (we recommend Scotchgard) to prevent rain marking the leather. However, many scuffs and marks can be renovated by polishing with the correct products - your footwear will look all the better for it.

Many of our shoes and boots are made with leather soles which provide a beautiful finish but may be a little slippery until they are well worn in. Do take extra care when walking, especially on stairs. Leather soles are a natural product and are porous in wet conditions. Leave wet shoes to dry naturally, never by artificial heat. The addition of a rubber sole and heel pieces by a cobbler will help extend the life of your leather soles and will provide extra protection.

When you’re not wearing your shoes or boots, fill them with tissue or newspaper to help keep their shape.

How to clean polished & matt leather

You can clean your polished leather with a neutral cream polish or a correctly matched traditional coloured polish. We recommend Kiwi shoe polish which comes in a range of colours. Apply with a soft brush and polish off with a different soft brush. A final shine can be given by buffing with a soft cloth.

Be sure to never use a polish on matt leather because you will make it shiny. Instead, we recommend using a saddle soap to clean your matt leather footwear. A good saddle soap is Belvoir Glycerine.

First, clean the footwear with a damp sponge to remove any dirt and allow to dry. When dry, take a very slightly damp sponge and rub it on the saddle soap to get a covering of very slightly soapy residue that you can then apply (if your sponge is too wet, the soap will get very foamy and the final effect will not be so good).

Always leave your leather to dry naturally.

A natural leather wax can be used on accessories to treat the leather and give it a burnished shine.

Linen Care Guide

Linen is made from the durable fibres of flax plants. One of the strongest fibres in existence, flax naturally resists bacteria and is very hardwearing. The Ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians were the first to develop linen. It was initially reserved for the wealthy, because of the labour-intensive process of growing the crop, combined with the skill required to weave it. It was often left at its natural oatmeal colour or bleached white.

The flax plant today is mainly grown in Northern France and Belgium, and every part of the plant is used in production, down to the seeds and oils. Due to its biodegradable qualities, linen is favoured by many for its low impact on the environment. At TOAST, we like linen for its crumpled, worn-in feel, its light weight and coolness during summer months.

How to wash

Linen is a strong fabric that becomes softer with wear and wash. Most linen can be washed in the machine, but finer linen might require handwashing.

Always wash your linen inside out to prevent the surface fibres from breaking. Wash at 30 degrees or on a cool setting.

Linen is a very absorbent fabric, so for a better wash try not to fill the machine too full, to allow your garments to soak up the water properly.

How to dry & store

Avoid tumble-drying your linen. We suggest line drying your linen on a hanger, as soon as you can after washing. Reshape and iron your garment inside out and whilst damp - both of which will reducing creasing.

Be careful of pressing around creases and seams with the iron as this can weaken the fabric, and avoid extremely high temperatures, as this can scorch linen fibres.

Silk Care Guide

Silk is a luxurious and fine yet strong fabric with a natural sheen. Discovered in China, the oldest example of silk dates back to over 8,000 years ago. It was once reserved for emperors and the elite, and was initially used as currency as well as clothing. Different colours of dyed silk were used to differentiate status and societal roles.

Silk is produced by many insects, but it is mainly made by the Bombyx ‘silk’ moth. Ironically, the silk moth is closely related to the same type of moth that can cause havoc and damage to our most precious silk garments and collections.

The farming of silk, known as sericulture, has been practiced for thousands of years, predominantly in China where the production process was long guarded as a national secret. At TOAST, we like silk for its luxurious hand feel and for its ability to keep you warm in winter and cool in summer.

How to wash

Silk is a very delicate fabric that should be cleaned with care and attention. We recommend that our silk is dry cleaned, and that the care labels are carefully followed.

If the care label suggests handwashing, do so with cool water and with a mild liquid detergent, rather than powder. Silk should never be soaked in water for longer than five minutes.

When handwashing, the water used must be cool as heat can damage the silk, shrink it and alter the texture. Rinse through thoroughly with fresh water.

How to dry & store

Silk should be left to dry in the open air and away from direct sunlight, as this can damage the fibres and cause the colour to fade.

Should your garment require ironing, do so with the garment inside out, on a low temperature and do not use steam.

It is best to hang your silk up. Try not to keep your silk garments in plastic covers, as these can harbour heat and moisture. Store in a dry place and use canvas garment bags where possible. Be careful of snagging your silk on jewellery or zips.

Velvet Care Guide

Velvet is a soft, luxurious fabric that is thought to have originated in the East during the Middle Ages.

Velvet was traditionally woven from silk, enhancing its trademark lustre. It can also be made from cotton, wool and viscose, each resulting in a slightly different texture and sheen. Often, one type of yarn is used for the back, and another for the front, known as the pile. The raised loops and tufts of yarn are perfectly distributed to give the fabric a luxurious density and distinctive feel.

At TOAST we like velvet for its sumptuous and soft feel, and for it's soft shine that catches the light.

How to wash

When your velvet requires cleaning, we recommend to dry clean. This will protect the fabric finish as well as the interior structure of the garment.

You can freshen your velvet garment by using steam, or leaving in a steamy bathroom. This will help remove odours, lift the pile if it has been crushed, and remove creases. Always steam your velvet garments inside out and allow to air dry at room temperature.

How to dry & store

Velvet should always be hung, not folded. Folding will leave creases that are difficult to remove. Use a sturdy, preferably padded, hanger to prevent shoulder marks and avoid sagging.

For long-term storage, always use a breathable, washable fabric storage bag.

Viscose Care Guide

Viscose is a biodegradable material that can be produced from a variety of plants such as soy, bamboo and wood pulp.

Viscose was discovered by British chemists, and was the first manufactured fibre to be produced in large quantities. It was initially marketed as a more affordable and accessible alternative to silk.

Viscose fibres and yarns are usually woven or knitted into smooth and soft fabric. This makes them ideal for hot, humid climates. At TOAST, we like viscose for its drapiness and movement, and for its ability to carry intricate prints and rich colour.

How to wash

We recommend that viscose is washed by hand, as it is prone to shrinking. Some viscose is dry clean only, as the twisting that occurs in the washing machine can cause damage to the fibres.

When washing by hand, use cool water, or water no warmer than 20 degrees.

How to dry & store

Line dry your viscose and reshape it whilst still damp, and avoid tumble drying. Allow to air dry flat or on a padded hanger.

Be careful not to wring or twist your viscose. You can easily iron back to shape whilst damp, as viscose grows with steam.

Cotton bags that allow airflow are ideal for storing viscose clothing.

Block Printing

Block printing is a centuries-old craft. Though it might be the simplest and slowest of all textile printing methods, it yields some of the most beautiful results.

The technique demands precision and patience: each block is skilfully hand carved then carefully, laboriously, lined up by eye upon the fabric. It is these human processes that result, inevitably, in slight irregularities. A machine-printed fabric might, by contrast, be perfectly executed, yet it is somehow always a little flat, lacking the inherent liveliness of a hand printed piece.

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Ikat

Ikat is an age-old technique of patterning cloth. The word itself derives from the Malay-Indonesian ‘mengikat’, meaning to tie or bind.

The making of the pattern consists in the precise tying and dying of the threads before weaving. It’s a process demanding skill, patience, organisation and precision yet its beauty, antithetically, lies in the impossibility of perfect execution and the consequent hazy, slightly blurred edges of the motifs.

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Kantha

The kantha cloths, typical of Bangladesh and West Bengal, are an ancient tradition of resourcefulness and fine stitchery. The word kantha itself derives from the Sanskrit for ‘rags’, a reminder of the humble materials from which each kantha is made.

Layers of old, discarded saris and dhotis form the kantha, held together through intricate rows of running stitch. Embroidered stitches unite the multiple layers of salvaged cotton to form an un-wadded quilt, and characterise the kantha with a pleasing regularity.

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In the Studio with Potter Grace McCarthy

East London-based ceramicist Grace McCarthy has been making functional objects for eight years. She grew up with an appreciation of traditional craftsmanship – her father was a carpenter and often made pieces for the house. She still remembers her first lesson in pottery while studying for her Art Foundation course at Oaklands College, St Albans, when she found an affinity for the material. “It was incredible to have something so malleable, that you could do so much with it,” she explains.

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In the Studio with Philippa Thomas

Printmaker Philippa Thomas is drawn to bodies of water. She’s currently based between Bristol, a city beside the River Avon in the southwest of England, and the Isle of Skye, with rugged landscapes and fishing villages. Not so long ago, she was based on the canals of the Cotswolds. “Pictures I make are often of the sea,” she says. When she was a child, her family spent a lot of time by the ocean. “It's a very happy place for me.”

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In the Studio with Molesworth & Bird

In Molesworth & Bird’s Lyme Regis studio, captivating seaweed specimens sprawl across paper in shades of dark olive and moss through to plum and rhubarb. The otherworldly fronds are reminiscent of trees and branches found above land, but their sense of movement is changed, from growing under the surface of the sea. Gathered from the Jurassic coastline where Mary Anning once searched for fossils, some specimens are so delicate and lace-like, they are mistaken for watercolours when pressed. “They just sink into the paper,” Melanie Molesworth explains. “We have to persuade visitors to the shop that they are very much real.”

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Studio Kettle | Time to Make

Studio Kettle founder Alex Jones makes every rain hat and pint bag by hand, using either waxed cotton or waxed wool. The shape and proportion of both give a clear nod to classic fishing togs, without feeling like caricatures from the past. Coated with a special type of dry wax that doesn’t feel sticky to the touch, they gradually become more characterful over time. Made without buckles, zips or buttons, the deceptive simplicity is what makes these pieces so sought after. “They’re designed for daily use, not for people to feel precious about them,” Alex says. “You can fold up the bag or hat and shove them into a pocket without worrying about them creasing or looking worse for wear.”

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Geoffrey Fisher | Working with Wood

Geoffrey Fisher has always worked with wood. It is a material that speaks to him, that he feels intrinsically connected to and this is obvious from the objects he creates. Whether it be his functional table brushes, iconic trooks (mix tree with hook), toast tongs, catapults or bee hotels, all display an appreciation for, and understanding of, the forms of nature. When we meet, sun is streaming through his workshop windows and music is playing, loudly. “It's Nora Fischer,” he says cheerfully, turning the volume down a little, “she reinterprets 17th century lyrics. I love it!”

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The Leach Pottery: 100 Years On

“You have to throw about 600 of these until you can make them properly,” says Roelof Uys, lead potter at The Leach Pottery in St Ives, which sits on a hill just as the town starts to peter out into the rugged Penwith Moors. He's talking about an egg cup, a chunky little stoneware pot just shy of five-centimetres in height, with an earthy green glaze covering most of it and an unglazed, biscuit-brown bottom. “Everyone who comes here to make pots has to start their throwing training with these,” he explains. “They're fiddly and difficult, but once you've mastered them, it's easy to learn other shapes.”

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In the Studio with Potter Tim Lake

Nestled in the Upper Tywi Valley in north-east Carmarthenshire, Wales, is a little village called Cilycwm. It’s here potter Tim Lake lives with his family, working in his studio at the end of the garden. “We're in a beautiful part of the world,” he says. “A wide open valley with dramatic hills all around us. It's very rural and quite rugged in parts.” He describes it as a wilderness, and was drawn there after living by the sea for two decades, craving more space and the countryside. “I was drawn to this area and it really does feed into what I do.”

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Woven from Waste | Maria Sigma & Candice Lau

When she was growing up, Athens-born weaver Maria Sigma would spend the school holidays with her maternal grandparents on the island of Andros. Nowadays, she draws boundless inspiration from the island’s smiling coves, with their clear waters and clusters of white-washed Cycladic houses, but at the time she was “quite bored, and always looking for ways to pass the time, like drawing, painting and crochet.”

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A Walk in the Marshes | Lucy Rutter Pottery

There is a stillness and simplicity to Lucy Rutter's hand-thrown ceramics. Dipped in pale, faintly luminous glazes through which gritty specks of clay can still be seen, each piece is unequivocally functional. And yet perched on a table or draining board the taut, tapering lines and arched handles of her vessels look alert, as though the clay still holds some of the energy that went into its making.

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The Painterly Potter | Liz Vidal

It was a happy accident that led to the creation of Liz Vidal’s most requested design. “About two years ago a customer asked for a pot with three different glazes on, so I tried it and it just looked so beautiful,” says Liz of the pattern that has become her signature: a trio of overlapping glazes, which create an alchemy of new shades making each plate, jug or bowl a true one-off. “I love how everyone sees something different when they look at a piece – a landscape, a sunset, even the pattern of Argyle socks!”

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A Natural Colour Story with Wax Atelier

It seems romantic to think of a time where many wealthy households and churches had their very own chandlery. Long before electricity, these small yet crucial rooms would be closely guarded by a chandler and used solely to make and store candles, providing a constant source of light. Looking out of Wax Atelier’s workshop window in Barking, East London, it feels like a serendipitous coincidence that the building next door is, infact, a church. With dipping racks hanging from the ceiling and large vats of wax slowly bubbling away, the workshop is home to contemporary chandlers Lola Lely and Yesenia Thibault-Picazo.

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In the Studio with Ceramicist Nicola Gillis

Ceramicist Nicola Gillis struggles to part with some of the pieces she makes. Occasionally, a beaker, mug, plate or bowl evokes an indefinable feeling that makes the item hard to part with. It might be something about the openness of the form, the way it nestles snugly in the palms, a particular undulation in the glaze or the position of a dimple. “What I want,” explains Nicola, “is for every piece to make me feel like this.”

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Amelia Pemberton of Darn | Time to Make

From a converted barn in a quiet, rural village near Redruth in Cornwall, Amelia Pemberton runs her label Darn, creating vibrant pieces to wear or decorate the home. In the studio space, sketches and paintings are pinned to the walls, while in the sitting room, fluid, cheerful silk scarves float from the beams, diffusing the light that passes through them.

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In the Studio with Mike Watt of Rural Kind

In the midst of excavating the floor of his former school (now workshop) in Carmarthenshire, Wales, Mike Watt found a coin dating back to 1863. “Apparently when they were building back then, they'd occasionally put a coin in the foundations as a good luck token,” he explains. Over 160 years later, the building is now home to Rural Kind, Mike’s company that he runs with his wife Nia.

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The Art of Community Weaving with Five|Six Textiles

“It looks like the recordings of a seismograph,” says Emma Wingfield, describing the emergence of pattern when ikat-dyed yarn is woven into fabric. Emma is one part of Five|Six Textiles, a collaborative venture with master weavers in the artisanal village of Waraniéné in Ivory Coast. Though not exclusively ikat, many of Five|Six’s textiles are made from this distinctive cloth by virtue of the Dyula community who make them – (the Dyula, a Mandé word meaning “merchant”, are artisanal traders who, traditionally, specialise in ikat).

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Dalia James | New Makers

Dalia James is one of the five New Makers that TOAST will be supporting and nurturing throughout the year. She creates her striking weavings in her studio in east London using biodegradable fibres and a vibrant colour palette.

“I dip-dye the yarns by hand, so even though the structure of a weaving can be the same, no two will ever be identical,” explains weaver Dalia James. She creates unique pieces on three looms in her east London studio. Her space, which she moved into thanks to a grant from the Arts Council, is in a building with 25 other units, so there is a great sense of community. 

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Tracing West African Textiles with Entrepreneur Mariama Camara

“Textiles are in my DNA, it was always meant to be,” says New York-based designer and entrepreneur Mariama Camara of her affinity for cloth. Growing up in Guinea, she remembers watching her mother, grandmother and aunts work with traditional fabrics, and her great-grandmother was among the most successful tie-dyers in the Kindia region of Guinea. In 2001, Mariama moved to New York and followed her older sister into modelling. “It was the best way to get to know the city and learn the language,” she says. “It shaped my character and made me the entrepreneur I am today.”

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Handwoven Ikat | The Process

To create the ikat fabric used in this piece, weavers work under master artisan Bikshapati Kolaan in the village of Yellanki in Andhra Pradesh, south-east India. Following the path of his father, he has been weaving for over 40 years and now passes down his expertise to his son. As the owner of GO Sujathaa Handlooms (formerly Shri Surya Handlooms), Bikshapati trains local people in the art of handweaving. He has been creating ikat fabrics for TOAST alongside them since 2019.  

The cotton yarns are carefully bound together before being dipped in dye – the areas which are tightly wrapped are protected from the colour, creating unique patterns. Then, the dyed yarn is woven on traditional handlooms. This process puts less pressure on the fibres than mechanised processes, resulting in a soft fabric. 

In the Studio with Pottery West

“I think we both found salvation in ceramics because it is so process-led and technical, and we're still constantly learning the technicalities of our craft, which is, on one hand, almost pure chemistry with the glazes, and with the throwing and other aspects, improved greatly by repetition and sheer hard work. We're more or less completely self-taught in making ceramics.”

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Workspace | Andrea Roman Ceramics

“I mainly work with stoneware clay sourced from Staffordshire in the UK adding molochite, iron or sand to create different textures and finishes. I like to mix different shades of clay together to generate a marbling effect resembling distant landscapes of sedimented formations. I love how tactile the clay can be and it's very important for me to highlight the attractive qualities of the clay bodies I work with, always leaving a large portion of the surface untouched by glaze.”

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Organic Shape | Ceramics with Cara Guthrie

Cara Guthrie, whose ceramics are part of our new House&Home Collection, works in a high-ceilinged, light-filled studio in Glasgow. The space is part of an old whisky factory, just by the river Clyde, and other artists and makers occupy the floors. It is a sunny August day when I visit and the large skylight above is filled with cobalt blue. “Even on a grey day the studio is bright,” says Guthrie, making a pot of tea in the makeshift kitchen. Guthrie is barefoot and clearly at ease in her surroundings, “I just can't believe how lucky I am,” she says, smiling. “To have this space, and to be a full time potter!”

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The Hidden Life of Trees

The largest settlement in Dartmoor National Park with a population of just over 4,000 people, Ashburton, Devon, has been home to furniture designer Ambrose Vevers his entire life. His parents bought 20 acres of mixed woodland in the seventies and added a further 20 acres for Christmas trees in 2006. “I walk into these woods and can see the trees growing and I feel very connected to this land. Using these materials for my woodwork makes absolute sense to me. I actively manage this woodland where I coppice, fell and replant trees.” For Ambrose, sourcing sustainable, local and honest materials is the most important aspect of his work producing contemporary, made-to-order furniture.

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Wonki Ware | The Story Behind The Pottery

“We are very authentic about our processes at Wonki Ware, from the very beginning to end. We teach traditional pottery techniques, and work with clay that has been dug out of the ground. Everything is done by hand - creating a result that I believe can never be replaced by machines. Most of our pieces are created using a slab-rolling process, which is easy to teach and doesn't have to be perfect to look brilliant. The process of working with clay can be really revealing, it tells you a lot about each of the artisans, how they are as people and the subtleties to their characters.”

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Samuel Alexander | New Makers

“I enjoy the process of making more than the outcome,” says woodworker Samuel Alexander. He began creating wooden spoons and vessels as a form of cathartic therapy around seven years ago. “I describe it as an energy release,” he says. “Whether that is positive or negative energy, through making you use the muscles in your body to create something outwardly. I make my pieces as calming as possible to look at, as the process is me searching for a sense of calm.”

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New Makers 2022

For the fourth year running, five makers demonstrating excellence in skill, originality and craftsmanship have been chosen by a TOAST panel. We offer business and marketing advice, as well as a platform to sell their pieces until the end of this year, with full profits being returned to them.

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Kingsley Walters | Time to Make

Above Holborn Viaduct in central London is an old office building, now an open-plan studio space for creatives including Kingsley Walters, a leather worker and canvas bag maker. Rolls of leather await his expert hands and an array of finished bags occupy the walls and shelving, while a loop-stitched denim banner created by a friend hangs from a trestle table. “I want my friends and people of my generation to wear my stuff,” he says. This is the reason why he tries to keep the prices of his pieces as low as possible. “Everyone is still becoming,” he says of his friends, “so they won’t spend a grand on a bag!” 

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Rose Pearlman | New Makers

“I’m drawn to anything that is rhythmic and soothing,” says textile and accessories designer Rose Pearlman. “With continuous repetition, I can see my pieces slowly start to take form.” As rug hooking can be easily returned to throughout the day, Rose started using the technique when looking after her young son; finding it an expressive medium, she began to make functional objects for the home. Now, she uses the punch-needle technique to create not only rugs, but cushions, wall artworks and bags. For TOAST, she has created two bags: one from recycled cotton and the other from raffia, each with an incredibly tactile nature. 

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The Making of our Organic Indigo Denim

Founded in 1953 in Kayseri, Turkey, Orta began as a spinning and weaving mill before turning to denim production in 1985. TOAST has been working with them for the past five years, driven by their use of organic, locally sourced cotton and the quality of the resulting fabric they produce. “Our goal is to create ethical, long-lasting and good quality denim that has a low, even positive, impact on the environment,” says Sedef Uncu Aki, director at Orta.

With a holistic approach to responsible production, every stage of the process at Orta is assessed for its impact. Arguably, none is more important than the water usage in indigo dyeing. “We have created a system called Indigo Flow, which uses up to 70 per cent less water than other methods, and it's the cleanest way of dyeing,” says Sedef.

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An Expression of Stitches with Amy Goacher

Knitwear designer Amy Goacher’s studio is set up in the light-filled conservatory of her home in Worthing, a seaside town in West Sussex. A couple of knitting machines sit on the tables, and shelving is filled to the brim with different shades of yarn. Amy is currently working on adding hand-embroidery to archival TOAST sweaters, which are part of the Autumn Winter 2022 collection. “It’s been a very experimental process, and the patterns developed quite naturally through creating different test pieces, until I found the right expression.” Each of the sweaters, knitted with fisherman ribbing, will be revitalised using remnant yarns from the TOAST production process and Amy’s personal collection.

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The History of Corduroy

Corduroy chimes perfectly with the conker-brown and mustard shades, deep-lapel collars and wide, high-waisted trousers of the 1970s. During the decade, it was buoyed by the sartorial choices of Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot (who between them could render anything iconic).

Today, corduroy is a celebration of quirky glamour. It is practical without being drab; plush without being flashy. 1970s intellectuals doubtless appreciated corduroy for its durability as well as its looks. What they would also have known and what has been almost forgotten since is that its status as anti-establishment badge of cool was no accident. In fact, for much of the 19th century, corduroy was a symbol both of working-class identity and political radicalism.

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The History of Corduroy

Corduroy chimes perfectly with the conker-brown and mustard shades, deep-lapel collars and wide, high-waisted trousers of the 1970s. During the decade, it was buoyed by the sartorial choices of Jane Birkin and Brigitte Bardot (who between them could render anything iconic).

Today, corduroy is a celebration of quirky glamour. It is practical without being drab; plush without being flashy. 1970s intellectuals doubtless appreciated corduroy for its durability as well as its looks. What they would also have known and what has been almost forgotten since is that its status as anti-establishment badge of cool was no accident. In fact, for much of the 19th century, corduroy was a symbol both of working-class identity and political radicalism.

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Welsh Weaving with Melin Tregwynt

Down winding lanes dappled with shade from wild, overgrown verges is Melin Tregwynt, a woollen mill on the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales. The site has been home to a working mill since 1819 and was originally used to mill corn. Melin Tregwynt began to process wool towards the end of the century, and today, the weaving room remains full of looms creating distinctive double-cloth fabrics rooted in the long tradition of Welsh textiles.


“My first memory of the business is wondering why there were all these people in the house,” Eifion Griffiths, whose grandfather Henry bought the mill in 1912, says. He remembers watching his father working in the mill, and his mother in the shop, which was in the parlour room at the front of his childhood home. Until a few months ago, the mill was owned by Eifion and his wife Amanda. In 2022, to mark the 110th anniversary of his family purchasing the mill, the company has now evolved into an employee ownership trust, with benefits shared equally between each of the 42 employees.

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Bluefaced Leicester Wool

Our Bluefaced Leicester Wool Sweater is made from fine undyed wool from Bluefaced Leicester sheep, sourced from farms in north-west England then scoured and spun locally. 

The sheep are thought to be the British breed with the softest wool. It is bought directly from the sheep farmers by our yarn supplier, then processed from field to fibre within 150 miles of the sheep farms. 

The yarn is then knitted by a family-owned Scottish company that was established in 1929. It’s still located on the original site, close by to the sea on the easternmost point of mainland Scotland. 

Image courtesy of Upland Yarns.