thu 25/07/2024

We Made It: Cameron Balloons | reviews, news & interviews

We Made It: Cameron Balloons

We Made It: Cameron Balloons

Business is ballooning for a Bristol company that trades in hot air

The steady thrumming of needle through fabric: a seamstress at Cameron Balloons in BristolEmily Tyrrell

An air of busy calm greets me as I walk onto the top floor of Bristol’s Cameron Balloon factory. Considering this company is the largest manufacturer of hot air balloons in the world, my novice expectations of behemoth machinery raging back and forth in huge production lines are somewhat undone by the sight of six women sitting at industrial sewing machines, dotted around the farthest edges of the vast room, quietly stitching.

No cacophony of machinery, just the steady thrumming of needle through fabric, bobbins spinning, the occasional tut as unwieldy material is hefted further in from the huge mounds stretched out before each machinist. Read the rest of the article on the Bruichladdich website.

Read other articles in We Made It, our series on craft in partnership with Bruichladdich


What's this got to do with arts?

Hey 'Hot Air', interesting question. Do you not think that craftsmanship is an art form? In the way that sculputre and textiles are an art form? Anyone can make a vase, but only a true craftsman like Grayson Perry can make a vase like he makes a vase.

Hey, Helen, not really, though there's often a blurred line between arts and crafts. It depends on the design, doesn't it? And there doesn't seem to be an in-house artist here. Odd that I have to go over to a whisky site to try and read the rest (difficult with greyish text on black background).

Dear Hot Air, Many thanks for your comment. We run a regular series of articles about craft in partnership with Bruichladdich under the title We Made It. The articles alternately appear on Bruichladdich's site and ours. To see more from the series, click on the We Made It tab in our toolbar or on the tag to the right of the article. You can read all about coracles, ballet costumes, brass instrument repair, piano manufacture, glass blowing and other stuff, not least the Beardytron. There's much more to come too. Best wishes, theartsdesk

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters