Words Sarah Langton-Lockton, Amicia de Moubray, Posy Gentles and Nell Card Photographs Amicia de Moubray, Karen Louise George, Rachel Thapa-Chhetri, Benedict McLoughlin, Sian Lewis, Carla van der Meer and Kresse Wesling
Top Hat & Tales
An authentic map of Faversham, its use licensed by Ordnance Survey, features on chunky notebooks, a small tray or desk tidy, each £12.50, greetings cards with a magnet bookmark included, £4.50 and, top of the range, just one in stock, a handsome traditional deckchair with a Faversham map seat, £160. There are, of course, hats, gloves and scarves in all shapes, sizes and colours, and a wide range of books on topics including history, politics, poetry and the natural world, as well as the latest fiction and biography and quantities of affordable and charming stocking fillers.
Top Hat & Tales www.top-hatandtales.co.uk is at 110 West Street ME13 7JB
The Natural Dyeworks
Nettles, rosehips, pomegranate skins and alder cones are just some of the ingredients that go into the pot of Faversham-based natural dyer, Ros Humphries. Ros studied the craft for four years before founding The Natural Dyeworks at the beginning of the year. Her process is entirely natural and acutely attuned to the seasons. The palette – which ranges from sludgy neutrals, through to delicate blushes and rich chocolatey browns – is entirely dependent on what is present in the local environment. Food waste is sourced from The Wasted Kitchen. Having started supplying silk ribbons to florists, the range has recently expanded to include string bags, tea towels and – that festive stalwart – socks. The pairs you see here (£25 each) are made from organic Irish wool, and dyed with onion skins from Ospringe allotment and used tea bags. You’ll find Ros at The Designers and Makers Market at the Turner Contemporary on 14 and 15 December, 10am-5pm. Alternatively, place your orders online via Instagram.thenaturaldyeworks.co.uk; @thenaturaldyeworks
Kate Clarke Studio
Kate Clarke is a designer with nearly two decades of experiences as a book designer and printmaker. She launched Kate Clarke Studio in 2012, selling a colourful selection of screenprinted homeware including trays, cushions, mugs and soft pouches. She has recently combined her love of textiles, books and stationery to create a range of handmade, special edition, creative journals – functioning artworks for anyone who relies on blank pages for inspiration and/or organisation. The journals (£35) are screen-printed at her kitchen table in Faversham and bound by the Stamford Notebook Company. The quilt-like landscape of rural Kent has inspired her designs, which are realised in nudes, cerulean blue, ochre, fudge and blasts of neon pink. Kate will be at The Designers and Makers Market at the Turner Contemporary on 14 and 15 December, 10am-5pm. Alternatively, place your orders online or via Instagram.
www. kateclarkestudio.com; @kateclarkestudio
The Fleur de Lys Shop
‘THERE IS ENGLAND and…… THERE IS FAVERSHAM’ sounds worthy of a line by William Shakespeare but in fact is the wording on handsome generously large mugs available for £6.95 from the Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre, 10-13 Preston Street. All proceeds go towards the Faversham Society. The Fleur as it is affectionately known, also has a good range of publications on local history.
Elvis & Kresse
Ethical entrepreneurs and ardent recyclers, Elvis & Kresse makes elegant bags and gorgeous accessories out of redundant fireman’s hose, which they describe as ‘heroic material’, and which would otherwise go to landfill. Particularly covetable are the capacious Overnight Bag in Red, the Fire and Hide Classic Tote in Limestone, both £260, and the Fire and Hide Notebook in Cognac, £80. For smaller budgets there are key rings, wallets, card holders, luggage tags, belts and laptop and smartphone cases. Buy online or from their workshop in Tonge Mill near Sittingbourne. For opening times and to see the full range of items go to www.elvisandkresse.com.
Stollen hails from Germany, where it is a traditional Christmas treat. Wild Bread’s Sourdough Stollen is a favourite on many a Faversham Christmas food list. Ingredients include handmade marzipan, orange blossom water, raisins and sultanas soaked in rum and brandy, and fragrant cardamom. Naturally leavened with wild yeasts, it is 100 per cent plant based, dairy free, highly nutritious and utterly delicious. Wild Bread’s Sourdough Stollen costs £12.50 from their stall in Faversham’s Charter Markets on Fridays and Saturdays, or from the brand new Wild Bread Bakehouse and coffee shop, which is open from 9am to 4pm from Tuesday to Saturday at Unit 1C, Sidings Close, Jubilee Way ME13 8GE; www.wildbreadbakehouse.co.uk.
Sian Lewis of Ffrangcon uses vintage Welsh blankets to create exquisitely-made, limited edition bags. Each bag is designed to work with the characteristics and pattern of an individual piece of vintage fabric, with shapes created using folds rather than seams wherever possible.
Sian has created the Glitched Collection where she rescues damaged but still beautiful textiles, using visible darning and drawn threads to create random new patterns in woollens.
Prices range from £55 for a crossbody bag, to £136 for a tote bag, to £150 for a large zipped bag. There is also a bespoke service for which prices vary.
See Ffrangcon’s website for more bags and contact details, and also the range of digitally-produced fabrics which include names such as Canterbury Steps and Jewson’s Ivy.
Poppekins has recently expanded its range of illustrations and prints of Faversham with a range of homeware, all decorated with Carla van der Meer’s bright and colourful signature designs.
Melamine trays and coasters, sporting cheerful messages, sell at £17.50 and £4.50 respectively and Carla says her tea towels (£12) will make it a joy to do the dishes.