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We are busy weaving fabric and making new products for you to buy and enjoy!
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Naming our textile collections

"How do you name your fabric collections?" Good question, often asked.

Here at McLean & Co. we focus on local. We focus on history and tradition. We focus on craftsmanship. We focus on sustainable. We focus on slow...

Because of this, when it came time to start naming our NZ wool fabrics it was an easy decision to focus on the history and tradition of our town, Oamaru, with its connection to the wool industry here, past and present, and its connection to the United Kingdom, the homeland of many of Oamaru's early settlers.

We decided to name our hand woven wool textile collections after our local Oamaru streets. Google Oamaru street names and you may notice they occur in other Southland and Otago towns too. If you live in, or have travelled around the United Kingdom, you may come across the same names. I'll tell you why...

Oamaru town was laid out in 1858 by Otago’s provincial surveyor John Turnbull Thomson, who named our streets after British rivers. He was born in 1821 in Northumberland, England.

After studying mathematics and engineering he travelled to Penang, and then onto Singapore where he was appointed government surveyor and engineer. Following recuperation from ill-health in England he immigrated to New Zealand, arriving in Dunedin in 1856 where he was appointed chief surveyor of Otago. During 1857 and early 1858 he surveyed the whole of Otago, on horseback. His first map of the interior of Otago was published in 1860.

Apart from his work as surveyor, engineer and architect Thomson was an accomplished author and artist.

After he retired Thomson and his wife and nine daughters lived in Invercargill where he lived until his death on 16 October 1884.

You can read more about the fascinating life of J T Thomson here:

This plaque in Ranfurly remembers J T Thomson, who explored and surveyed, large areas of the southern South Island, including the Maniototo region.

Read more about J T Thomson here.


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