The recipe for perfect clothes


I’ve found over the years that fashion is a lot like cooking. To concoct a delicious dish, you have to use the best quality ingredients – and so it is with clothes. Before we go ahead with a new fabric we consider its purposes and uses, and go through a requirement tick list. Durable, long-lasting? Tick. Good drape, weight and feel? Tick. Retains its shape and colour after washing? Tick. I need to be sure it meets our exacting standards and those of our customers, and am always striving for the best quality, whether it’s a super-soft cashmere or a long-fibre cotton, as this is what will ensure it passes the test of time.

Nobody wants to buy a T-shirt, for example, that looks a year old after just one wash or loses its shape. Here at Kettlewell, we’re known for caring about the quality of our clothes and going the extra mile. In the words of our lovely Spring model Michelle, who modelled the pale peach Satin Ruffle Blouse for our SS20 shoot: “I can always tell it’s Kettlewell rather than any other brand I model for because the quality is so good and it feels great against my skin.” As you can imagine, it was like music to my ears.

Michelle wearing the Satin Ruffle Top in Pale Peach

To help our customers learn more about the fabrics we use and how they feel on, I’ve been busy filming some short fabric videos for the website. The idea is that if you know that a certain fabric has structure and texture, for example, or is sheer and fine, you’ll have a better idea of how it falls and whether it will suit you. Ultimately, it might make the difference between pulling an eagerly awaited top out of the Kettlewell bag and thinking, “Oh I didn’t realise it was going to be in that fabric, it’s going back”, and “Oh wow, I love it – it’s a keeper!” Not everyone suits the same fabrics, so it’s worth finding out what works best before you add to basket.

Below are some of the fabric videos that you’ll find in the ‘Fabric & Care’ product descriptions across the website (we’re currently in the process of uploading one for every product so you’ll find more and more popping up over the season). We hope you find them helpful and just what you need to inform your next purchase.

In the videos: Melissa is wearing a Soft Camel Roxy Shirt Jacket with a Light Aqua Silky Roll Neck

Cashmere Gauze Stole

Made in Nepal in a family-run factory and dyed to our exacting standards, the super-soft cashmere is from Himalayan goats that are kept in small herds and left to roam freely in the mountains during the day. I prefer to wash all my cashmere on a cold wool cycle inside a delicates bag (or a pillowcase) even though we do suggest  handwashing in cold water. The more you wear it the softer it gets.

Roxy Shirt Jacket

Durable and made from a bonded faux-suede polyester, this jacket makes a great travel companion as it doesn’t crease (you can literally scrunch it into your suitcase and it will come out like new). Although a man-made fabric, modern polyester has come a long way since the 1970s and there are different levels of quality. We have chosen a higher-grade fibre with improved feel, drape and look. You can even pop it in the washing machine on cool for easy care if necessary - even though it rarely needs washing.

Lace Camisole

Our viscose camisoles are made in Turkey from sustainable Austrian Lenzing viscose jersey. Machine washable, these camis do not pill, and as long as you use colour-friendly detergents (even on the soft white), the colour will last and last. I have Kettlewell camis from a decade ago that still look as vibrant and fresh as the day I first wore them. 

Connie Sweater

This 100% Merino wool jumper in a cosy seven-gauge knit is one of my favourites and can either be hand-washed in cool water or machine washed on a cold wool setting. It’s a timeless style in a beautiful soft knit and is the perfect mid-weight yarn for this time of year.

Caroline Hill on Nov 28, 2020 2:11 PM

I'm still wearing Kettlewell T shirts bought 12 years ago. Absolutely love the fabrics. Whenever I want to buy something new to wear I always start with Kettlewell and am rarely disappointed. I get so excited when the blue envelope comes through the front door.

Judy Philpott on May 30, 2020 9:38 AM

Kettlewell is indeed good quality. The mark of a quality T shirt is that after washing the seams don't twist, the colour remains the same and the garment doesn't shrink. Kettlewell ticks all the boxes here. I have a few tops from John Lewis own brand but they have shrunk and the seams are not straight after washing. Kettlewell tops are worth the money.

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