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By John E. Robbins (Editor-in-chief)

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Secondly, England is at a higher latitude than various other lavender-oil-producing areas such as the south of France or Tasmania, so the longer summer days and cool noons remove the more volatile elements of the oil, making it pleasanter and less sharp. You could clearly do worse than buy British in this case; and if you pay a visit to Norfolk Lavender’s farm, you will not only be supporting UK industry, but you’ll learn a whole lot more about how the product is made. Interesting fact: If Norfolk Lavender’s rows of lavender were planted in one long row, they would stretch from Heacham, Norfolk to Hyde Park Corner, London.

In the early part of its existence, a major chunk of its output was black lisle stockings, which formed a key part of women’s attire during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. From the early 1900s to the end of the 1920s, the company produced traditional pullovers, and during World War One supplied balaclavas and gaiters to the British troops. Due to wartime shortages, there was not enough wool yarn to create knitted college scarves, so the company decided to develop a woven wool material, leading to the distinctive vertical striped style of college scarves today.

In 1991 she visited the factory, and the following year Launer was awarded the royal warrant for other leather goods as well. They recently created a handbag for the Queen to mark her eightieth birthday. Launer sells its products in Great Britain to well-known stores such as Fortnam and Mason, Harrods, Pickett and John Lewis, and it also exports to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. The brand has featured on Japanese TV, and Crown Princess Masako of Japan has bought Launer bags. She is in good company – the Duchess of Cornwall, Dame Judi Dench, Baroness Thatcher and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, have all purchased Launer handbags in the past, making them vital accessories to some of our most famous English icons.

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