Power of the gilet




shop-now-buttonThere’s a lot of power in a sleeve. Leather jacket? Cool. Leather vest? Put down the Sons of Anarchy box set. The same applies to padded jackets. Slice the arms off an otherwise on-point garment and you may as well accessorise with a combine harvester and the smell of pigs.

But leave that thought firmly behind you as the Gilet shakes off it’s bumpkin airs and emerges as one of the most must have items in your wardrobe male or female. Available in a variety of finishes, there is one for every shape, style and preference. We look at how some of the best worn gilets are shaping up.

  1. Layer Takes The Cake

A gilet is a statement. So don’t double up with mouthy shirts. In fact, feel free to ditch collars entirely (which also ensures you’re not tempted to pop yours) by opting for a long-sleeve tee or unfussy knitwear instead. Then just add an overcoat when your thermometer begins to frost up.

Puffiness does no favours for your now streamlined silhouette; down is your friend here, keeping your torso toasty without lumps.




2. Put On Mute

Rugby songs go hand-in-muddy-hand with coruscating colours. Unless you know the words to Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, neutrals are a better bet. Brights are as ill-advised

Subdued tones like black, grey, navy and stone are visually less punchy and have the added advantage of mixing well with the rest of your wardrobe,

  1. Keep It Casual

As those Pitti peacocks prove, you can wear a gilet with a suit. But it’s a power move. Approach it like a relaxed take on the waistcoat, one that sits well under equally chilled-out tailoring. Your jacket should be unstructured – don’t double-down on padding – and the gilet’s fabric and colour should complement, but not match. It’s not about pretending you’re in a three-piece.


4.Be Season-Appropriate

Leave ruddy cheeks to rural pubs. Deployed right, the gilet is a layering godsend that helps you hit that sweet spot between numb fingers and a sprinkling forehead. In winter, opt for densely padded versions that keep heat in, but won’t have Bill Murray coming at you with his proton pack.

When it’s bright outside you can be a touch lighter yourself.







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Welcome aboard Tulchan

Welcome Aboard Tulcan


Established for over 30 years Tulchan womenswear have developed a commitment to offering customers a stylish look with beautifully fitting garments, using natural fibres wherever possible. Nestled between the shores of the Lake District and the peaks of the Yorkshire Dales, Tulchan take inspiration from the beautiful environment that surrounds us. A welcome addittion to Otterburn Mill and a perfect endorsement for the wholesome approach we take to providing a selection of clothes that reflect the very environment that surrounds us.

Designers from Kirkby Lonsdale create all the garments you love from right there; the unique print and product lines are created with love in Lancashire.

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All about the glorious Harris Tweed

Harris Tweed
Heritage and History from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland have woven a beautiful intricate cloth the world knows simply as Harris Tweed.

1934 saw the alternation of the Trademark Definition allowing the use of island millspun yarn in addition to handspun and enabled the industry to make a huge leap in production.

Over the decades Harris Tweed was embraced by the world, from Royalty and landed gentry to Hollywood icons and the finest designers of couture, this humble cloth, produced by the skilled craftsmen and women of the Outer Hebrides, became a wardrobe staple, a must-have item for discerning customers across the globe.

In its rise to prominence, Harris Tweed scaled Everest and graced the Silver Screen, sailed the Sever Seas and showed off on red carpets and catwalks.  By the middle of 20th century the Clo Mor (gaelic for Big Cloth) had secured its status as a true and timeless classic textile.

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Join the team at Otterburn Mill

Otterburn Mill based in the heart of Northumberland are looking for a sociable outgoing person to join our coffee shop team.

The ideal candidate will be comfortable engaging with a wide range of customers and ensuring everyone gets a warm welcome. We pride ourselves on a friendly service to go with our range of home cooked produce, meals and snacks.

Front of house person required for Weavers coffee shop, at Otterburn Mill, Otterburn

  • Part time
  • No split shifts
  • Daytime hours

For further details or to submit your CV please e-mail julie@otterburnmill.co.uk


The Man behind our Bank Holidays

John Lubbock

It’s fair to say that bankers are not exactly the toast of the town these days. However we do have alot to thank this particular banker for. We love a busy bank holiday here at Otterburn Mill, nice to see folks out and about enjoying themselves.

If you’ve been out in the sunshine today, perhaps sizzling some meat on the barbecue, or relaxing on the beach. It’s a banker you have to thank. A dead one, admittedly for it was Liberal MP who got the ball rolling back in 1871 by tabling the Bank Holidays Act of 1871. Aiming to ease the pressure on workers with an extra four days off. At that point on Easter Monday, the first Monday in August, Whit Monday, and Boxing Day.

Take a bow John Lubbock MP

Lubbock was the son of a London banker. He was a a banker himself before becoming elected the Member of Parliament in 1870, and again in 1874,for Maidstone in Kent.
The fine fellow had four main political agendas, one of which was securing additional holidays and shorter working hours for the working classes.

Room with a view

Seriously how many people can look out of their window at work and see this?

Tranquility in the wonderful Northumberland country side, warm cheese scones and fresh coffee. Yup Folks, this is seriously work. Honest.

One door closes yet another opens

The end of an era at Otterburn Mill

The End of an Era

Many of the Mills were privately owned, like Otterburn Mill and, during the second world war, substantial profits were made.

After the war, engineering materials were in short supply. Resulting in a lack of investment in modern textile machinery and systems until the late 60’s/early 70’s. By then, the investment required was too large for many companies to afford.

This general lack of investment allowed world wide competition to overtake the UK woollen trade. Although rearguard action was taken by some textile companies through amalgamation, the lack of marketing and capital investment took their toll.

The Mill at Otterburn suffered from a lack of investment. It had to close manufacturing in December 1976.

The machinery lay idle until John Waddell sold the business and premises to Euan Pringle. A member of yet another famous family of Scottish woollen manufacturers, in 1995. Since that time, the site has undergone a substantial period of redevelopment to produce the facilities you see today.

The Mills archieve

Not many have heard of the Mills Archieve but they aim to preserve and protect records of our milling heritage, to make them freely available to the public. There purpose is to become the national centre of excellence for learning, understanding and research on mills, milling and the historic uses of traditional power sources.


seek and acquire historical and contemporary records of mills and milling;
store, care for and keep together collections placed in our care;
encourage research into our milling heritage;
make as much of our material as possible available for public inspection;
provide facilities for research and education at the Archive and on the Internet;
offer advice and support to collectors, promoting future deposits;
build close links with existing organisations holding mill material, with a view to sharing information and possibly resources;
actively encourage an interest in mills by developing and promoting education and information programmes based on local communities and on the need for lifelong learning.

There worth a look https://millsarchive.org

The end of an era
New opportunities can be tinged with anticipation and sadness as one chapter draw to a close.
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Rio Ready? The Start of Rio Olympics 2016……….

Rio Olympics 2016

Rio Ready? The Start of Rio 2016……….

Well, maybe not quite. It takes me all of my resolve to get out for my morning run, never mind the commitment of the athletes involved in Rio 2016. You can’t really escape the media coverage of the Olympics and it kinda got me thinking of things. I was wondering to myself where and what the five rings of the Olympics were all about? So a little on-line research brought up the following. (This is the short answer!).

The five rings represent the flags of the majority of countries that participate in the Olympic events. Blue, yellow, black, green and red, as well as the white in the background. These colours were found in the majority of the nations’ flags.

Designed in 1912 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, it was initially delayed from becoming the official symbol of the Olympics by the beginning of World War I. Finally debuted in the 1920 Summer Olympics, the rings commonly symbolize wholeness and continuity, combined together to indicate peace and fraternity. Up until 1951, the official International Olympic Committee handbook stated that the five rings represented the major regions of the world.

So there you go, you may have learnt something today.

Want to learn more?

The Rio 2016 Olympic games has it’s own site as you would imagine so you can learn more https://www.rio2016.com/en

What is a Cornish Boiler?

Unfortunately it’s not something tasty and wrapped in pastry, but it is a throwback to our milling days. Although not operational the coal fired boiler was used to produce steam to heat water for washing the textiles and wool. The boiler worked on a water jacket principle with a maximum working pressure of 50lbs/sq.in

In the first half of the 20th century tramps regularly s beside the boiler for warmth.