In the theme of using crowdsourcing to get obscure materials back into manufacture, I thought this story would be of interest to many. While I have not used Mythic Crafts products because I have my own slate frames made, I found the description of their move back to the UK interesting and worth it to talk about.
They are looking to develop a backlog of orders to give them the capital to buy the professional equipment for production after a move from North America to the UK. The voltage difference between the two regions made it impossible to bring the equipment with them. Also in the discussion of their frames and trestles, is a nice discussion of woodworking production that explains quite a bit more why saving some businesses or getting them up and running well is so difficult. Worth a read through for those of you who are interested or want to understand some of what goes into our 'stash'.
In the last several months I have been inundated with comments from people telling me I should buy Golden Threads and keep it running. While it is a nice thought, this Indigogo posting by another company makes many of the points that run through my head immediately as a manufacturing engineer/entrepreneur. The transport of equipment across country boundaries is more than difficult and mind boggling costly, and the electrical systems aren't compatible. The USA is one of the highest tariffed countries when it comes to anything related to textiles - so it would be very difficult to get the equipment in or deal with the product if it was still made in the UK. I deal in small quantities all the time to make it easier. That is why you need to have an expert in import and while Access Commodities is a needlework business - their core competency is import. And then there is the expert labor - the main issue. All the thread making companies like this have had great difficulty finding people to apprentice - and becoming the new owner doesn't make that go away. If we could solve that problem - there would be no problem.
What would be interesting would be having a thread company put out pre-buys of runs of thread or linen...that would be interesting! I can imagine that someday this is how things go forward.