About 30 minutes from the centre of London, heading into the suburbs, the train begins to roll past livestock grazing on green hills under an open sky. This is Britain, where lush pastoral scenes unfold just outside of urban cityscapes. With the Industrial Revolution, a variety of industries began to emerge in the mid-18th century. They developed in different ways to the east and west of the Pennines, a range of mountains and hills running north to south amid the island’s distinctive topography.
The textile industry, for example, focuses on wool on the east side of the Pennines, where sheep are kept as livestock. To the west of the mountains, the westerlies bring a moderate degree of humidity to the land, which is favourable for the cotton industry that developed here.
Though at its peak a thriving, expansive industry, the British textile trade went through a process of natural selection that culled many of the mills. Those that remain today still produce fabrics shaped by the characteristics of the local area.
Available in MUJI Emporium & MUJI The Galeries, May 2018