Johnstons set to knit way to world record

A HAWICK-BASED knitwear design team is poised to break a new record by knitting the longest cashmere scarf in the world for the prestigious Selfridges store in London.

The designers at Johnstons in Mansfield Road are creating the large scarf in Selfridge's signature yellow – to match its signage and famous carrier bag – as part of a 'Handbag Heaven' promotional weekend in the Oxford Street shop.

Selfridges' accessory halls are home to some of the most exclusive ladies' brands, including Johnstons, and as part of the glamorous event the flagship store will have its designers in-store handknitting the scarf.

Commenting on the event, Johnstons managing director James Sugden told the Hawick News: "We are delighted that Selfridges, our long-standing brand partner in London, have afforded us this platform to promote knitting, cashmere, accessories and, above all, Made in Scotland."

And alluding to further boosting an already improving market, he added: "The increase in accessory sales we are enjoying, particularly as the weather is now colder, is very good news, not just for Johnstons but the whole industry."

Accessories designer Gillian Henny has already been knitting the scarf, based on one of their classic styles, at every spare moment. And last weekend it had reached 50 feet long, and was growing by five feet per day.

Selfridges accessory buyer Laura Davidson said: "We are thrilled that Johnstons cashmere is creating a huge scarf in our signature shade – it will certainly be an impressive sight. Oversized knitwear is a key trend this season, and at Selfridges we don't do things by halves, so the longer it gets, the better."

Johnstons staff have confirmed that as well as knitting the Selfridges scarf, they have been in touch with Guinness Book of Records officials, who said that it is on course to be the longest cashmere scarf in the world.

The 'Handbag Heaven' event at Selfridges in London, tomorrow and Sunday, will also feature the Johnstons design team modelling the autumn/winter 2007 collection. While male and female promotional models will browse the accessories areas with exclusive offers displayed on serving trays.