It is OK, Richard does keep his clothes on – he lives in BARE, Morecambe.
For generations the Moriartys of Richard’s family lived and worked as farmers in the low hills around Glenbeigh and had their own little community living on rented land in West Droum where they could grow a few crops and keep their sheep and a few cattle. This wasn’t lush pasture or great growing land but they scraped a living from the hillside until the family dispersed in the first few years of the twentieth century. Richard’s grandfather set up home in Clydebank, Glasgow, whilst others of the family crossed the Atlantic to the USA. The Celtic blood runs deep in the family.
In olden times every community would work together, not in a wonderful easy life but doing what was needed so that all could live as comfortably as possible and so it was that each family would spin their own wool, share the yarn and have their own cloth woven for clothes and blankets – rural craft skills and traditions that were dying out even at the turn of the twentieth century as by then industrialised cloth manufacture was well established and had taken away the small incomes the families could make from spinning and weaving their own produce.
Richard is a hand weaver – he doesn’t use powered looms or even looms with mechanical devices to remember and create the patterns that are woven. Richard’s weaving comes from the heart and the patterns are created by manual selection of warp and weft on small portable rigid heddle or four shaft table looms or by changing shafts on the loom by pressing treadles by foot on his larger floor looms. These are heritage skills that you can’t replicate in a factory.
Richard is passionate about making a stand to protect the planet as well as creating beautiful, ethically produced, pure wool, hand woven tartans, textiles, garments and art work.
Richard mainly hand weaves 100% pure wool produced in the UK from native and rare breed British sheep and uses this to create lovingly made wearable stylish garments and accessories. Occasionally Richard uses small amounts of other fibres such as alpaca which is purchased from small scale local ethical producers, or sometimes the fibre has to come from abroad, as things like camel, linen, silk and cotton are simply not produced anywhere in the UK. He has a number of small portable looms that he uses for demonstrations, sampling and to weave when he is out and about. In his home weaving shed, Richard has a beautiful George Maxwell twelve shaft countermarch loom that was made in the 1950s.
Richard’s love of weaving and of nature shows in the things that he makes and the beautiful pastel colours of the pure Shetland wool he uses in his products. He designs and hand weaves beautiful tartans and plaids as well as other woven wearable art garments and accessories.
Each garment is unique and made by hand.
Richard wants to protect the planet as well as support smallholders and local craft workers; using wool produces no plastic fibres that get washed down to the sea where fish and mammals are being slowly poisoned by plastic biowaste.
Please care about what you wear – wool is all natural and sustainable.
Think about this when you consider what you are buying
- Purchasing a unique product which reflects your appreciation of fine craftsmanship.
- Buying Quality and you will end up owning a product with artistic value as well as the functionality of a beautiful garment.
- Paying for the many hours of care and skill used to produce a genuine handmade item.
- Supporting a real cottage industry.
- Supporting the Arts in your community.