Nina Murden - The Lewes Seamstress



Working on alterations to a pair of trousers for an electrical engineer soon to be working on the wind farms being built off Brighton .  Interesting very tough cotton drill fabric, registered as ‘Cordura fabric’, and registered as an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 – a uniform standard of testing and certification at all stages of production,  ensuring  as I have discovered that the materials and the dyes used and other treatments of fabrics does not exceed the maximum allowed content values of harmful substances. So an acknowledgement that clothing production methods and substances potentially do harm the makers of, and the eventual wearer of the garment. “The certification covers multiple human-ecological attributes, including harmful substances which are prohibited or regulated by law, OEKO-TEX GARMENT2chemicals which are known to be harmful to health, but are not officially forbidden, and parameters which are included as a precautionary measure to safeguard health.”




Indestructible petroleum based clothing…  why it’s a problem not a boon.

I wash my clothes and when the weather is ok dry it outside,- I live in a windy spot. My son had a polyester jumper – a cheap thing bought when he was a student.  It got hung on the line one day, but unbeknown to us blew off the line into my neighbour’s garden. Olly just thought he’d left it somewhere. It was a mystery.  My neighbour’s an elderly chap and rarely goes into his garden.  So two years later, I’m talking to him over the fence near the washing line, on one of odd occasions he’s out, and there at his feet is the long lost jumper.  He hands it to me, it’s sort of a bit green with some sort of algae, but other than that no holes or anything.  I wash it, it comes up just fine, I give it back to my son, who carries on wearing it for another year or so, then inevitably he gets bored with it and off it goes to the charity shop or did we take it to the textile recycling?  Anyway,it’s out there still, somewhere! Whereas if it had been wool, cotton, bamboo, hemp or silk, it would have melted into the earth.  But polyester?  No chance.

If nothing in our natural world knows how to break down this stuff we’ve been making thanks to the marvels of science, (cough), then it will stay cluttering up our planet for how long?  Apparently minimum of 20 to 200 years. Not only that but a new study that found washing synthetic fabrics creates teeny plastic fibres that get swept out to see and these can invade the cells of mussels and other creatures, and generally wreak havoc.


Here’s a link to the what fabrics are biodegradeable and what isn’t.

Working with some lovely fabric at the moment, which is being used for some floor length hand made curtains for a returning client,  Dawn Stacey. Being an artist herself, Dawn  has I think, wonderful taste and has chosen ‘Foxglove’ by the talented English designer Louise Body who works out of St Leonards in our very own sunny Sussex. It’s a 55% linen, 45% cotton mix fabric with a really good handle to it. See Louise ‘s other fabrics here:

Foxglove 2