The Ribbon Man of London by

Issue 58 · On the Mountain · February 4, 2013

The Ribbon Man of London

Issue 58 · On the Mountain · February 4, 2013

Wayward, an emporium of vintage haberdashery on England's south coast, is run by Andrew Hirst, who has been selling antiques "forever." He used to be in the habit of buying the entire contents of defunct shops and selling them on as a job lot. One day he bought a huge pile of ribbons but couldn't sell them. He'd spent all his money on them and found himself in a Jack and the Beanstalk situation. By sorting through the pile and selling ribbon by the meter, he had something which people did want: The Wayward shop is in St Leonards-on-Sea and Hirst can also be found at Portobello Market (100 yards past the flyover) on Fridays.

Photographs by Andrew Hirst.

Above: Spools of gold and silver bullion thread for embroidery. Also excellent for threading through tree decorations, in our experience.

Above: For recreating an old haberdasher's shop or decking out film and stage sets, Andrew Hirst is the man to see.

Above: Andrew says that when he puts things together "they can look very pretty" but other times the effect is of a junk shop. He is a firm believer in breadth of choice.

Above: Bolts, ribbons and boxes, collated with Andrew's eye for color.

Above: Metallic trims are a specialty, traditionally used for the military and in couture.

Above: The John Lewis haberdashery department is good but not this good.

Above: Elegance is in the eye of the beholder.

Above: There is no shortage of antique linens to be had at Wayward, which is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Above: The proprietor is in. Andrew Hirst's vintage Alvis car outside the shop in St Leonards-on-Sea, next to Hastings.



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