Johnston’s of Elgin: Factory visit

August 8th 2016

The following is an extract from my book Best of British: The Stories Behind Britain’s Iconic Brands , published by Prestel. Dedicated copies are available to buy here – Johnstons of Elgin It has survived tw...

Johnston’s of Elgin: Factory visit

The following is an extract from my book Best of British: The Stories Behind Britain’s Iconic Brands , published by Prestel. Dedicated copies are available to buy here – Johnstons of Elgin It has survived tw...

Casual wear - Factory visitsAugust 8th 2016

Sheep to shop – Private White in Manchester

February 20th 2016

This is a nice little video by Private White VC, the superb British brand and manufacturer. It’s heavy on atmosphere rather than craft details, but there’s a lot in there readers will identify with. It als...

Sheep to shop – Private White in Manchester

This is a nice little video by Private White VC, the superb British brand and manufacturer. It’s heavy on atmosphere rather than craft details, but there’s a lot in there readers will identify with. It als...

Casual wear - Factory visitsFebruary 20th 2016

Barbour: Factory and repairs

March 4th 2015

Barbour is not quite the level of craft or quality that we normally feature on Permanent Style. However, rather like US brand Filson that we covered recently, they deserve mention for the beautiful way they age and the...

Barbour: Factory and repairs

Barbour is not quite the level of craft or quality that we normally feature on Permanent Style. However, rather like US brand Filson that we covered recently, they deserve mention for the beautiful way they age and the...

Casual jackets - Casual wearMarch 4th 2015

Quality, embroidery and mechanisation – at Begg

February 13th 2015

The video above shows the key aspect of quality control at most weaving houses. Workers quickly scan the cloth for faults, then either snip off the stray end or – much more laboriously – manually reweave th...

Quality, embroidery and mechanisation – at Begg

The video above shows the key aspect of quality control at most weaving houses. Workers quickly scan the cloth for faults, then either snip off the stray end or – much more laboriously – manually reweave th...

Accessories - Factory visitsFebruary 13th 2015

Begg & Co: luxury scarves, Ayr

December 24th 2014

Begg & Co is not in the most prepossessing location. Ayr is far from a glamorous location anyway, but the factory itself is down a side street, opposite several blocks of council flats. Still, that’s often th...

Begg & Co: luxury scarves, Ayr

Begg & Co is not in the most prepossessing location. Ayr is far from a glamorous location anyway, but the factory itself is down a side street, opposite several blocks of council flats. Still, that’s often th...

Accessories - Factory visitsDecember 24th 2014

How a Mackintosh is made

December 10th 2014

How is a Mackintosh made? With an odd, perhaps appealingly simple process: cut out pieces of bonded cotton and stick them together with blobs of glue, using your fingers. A few weeks ago Luke and I visited one of the t...

How a Mackintosh is made

How is a Mackintosh made? With an odd, perhaps appealingly simple process: cut out pieces of bonded cotton and stick them together with blobs of glue, using your fingers. A few weeks ago Luke and I visited one of the t...

Casual jackets - Casual wearDecember 10th 2014

Robert Noble mill, Peebles

November 24th 2014

We visited Robert Noble in Scotland last month on the strength of its archive. But while that was impressive, perhaps more interesting was the company’s history and perspective as a mill weaving almost exclusivel...

Robert Noble mill, Peebles

We visited Robert Noble in Scotland last month on the strength of its archive. But while that was impressive, perhaps more interesting was the company’s history and perspective as a mill weaving almost exclusivel...

Factory visitsNovember 24th 2014

The inside line: Gaziano & Girling in How to S...

November 19th 2013

It has been a year since I began my column with How to Spend It looking at value in menswear. Nice as it was, we had covered most of the basics – so the editors and I decided recently to change tack. The new col...

The inside line: Gaziano & Girling in How to S...

It has been a year since I began my column with How to Spend It looking at value in menswear. Nice as it was, we had covered most of the basics – so the editors and I decided recently to change tack. The new col...

Factory visits - ShoesNovember 19th 2013

John Smedley: the factory

May 10th 2013

Last week I visited the John Smedley factory in Matlock, and it has quickly become my favourite anywhere. The oldest factory in the world still in production, it is nestled in between Derbyshire hills, with a babbling br...

John Smedley: the factory

Last week I visited the John Smedley factory in Matlock, and it has quickly become my favourite anywhere. The oldest factory in the world still in production, it is nestled in between Derbyshire hills, with a babbling br...

Casual wear - Factory visitsMay 10th 2013

Barbour video: the factory and the aftercare

September 13th 2012

I love this video made in the Barbour factory and the homes of some of its long-term customers. Barbours are great for patination – a fancy word for ‘dirt’ in this case – and I didn’t realis...

Barbour video: the factory and the aftercare

I love this video made in the Barbour factory and the homes of some of its long-term customers. Barbours are great for patination – a fancy word for ‘dirt’ in this case – and I didn’t realis...

Casual jackets - Casual wearSeptember 13th 2012

Alfred Sargent factory

May 4th 2012

I was recently contacted by photographer Steve Lancefield, who is in the process of visiting various British factories and took these of the Alfred Sargent factory in Rushden, Northampton. I’ve visited many in Nort...

Alfred Sargent factory

I was recently contacted by photographer Steve Lancefield, who is in the process of visiting various British factories and took these of the Alfred Sargent factory in Rushden, Northampton. I’ve visited many in Nort...

Factory visits - ShoesMay 4th 2012

Corgi: The machines

February 20th 2012

There are three types of knitting machines at Corgi: old, domestic models; double-bed machines; and single-bed machines. All require hand framing – that is, the worker must pull the carriage up and down by hand. ...

Corgi: The machines

There are three types of knitting machines at Corgi: old, domestic models; double-bed machines; and single-bed machines. All require hand framing – that is, the worker must pull the carriage up and down by hand. ...

Accessories - Factory visitsFebruary 20th 2012

Corgi: Factory visit

February 17th 2012

Corgi is a lovely little company, just outside Swansea in south Wales. It’s been around since 1893 and has the Prince of Wales’s royal warrant. But, more importantly, it’s one of only a few companies le...

Corgi: Factory visit

Corgi is a lovely little company, just outside Swansea in south Wales. It’s been around since 1893 and has the Prince of Wales’s royal warrant. But, more importantly, it’s one of only a few companies le...

Accessories - Factory visitsFebruary 17th 2012

Bresciani – factory visit

December 23rd 2011

Most of the factories I visit present few surprises in the manufacturing process. I’ve seen a lot of looms, from Hattersleys made in 1910 to the latest air-pressure machines that make up most of the production at L...

Bresciani – factory visit

Most of the factories I visit present few surprises in the manufacturing process. I’ve seen a lot of looms, from Hattersleys made in 1910 to the latest air-pressure machines that make up most of the production at L...

Accessories - Factory visitsDecember 23rd 2011

Loro Piana: Quarona factory visit

December 14th 2011

My favourite room at the Loro Piana facilities was the first one they took us too: a vast warehouse, 50 metres or so high and stretching perhaps a hundred off into the distance. We stood on a metal viewing gallery about ...

Loro Piana: Quarona factory visit

My favourite room at the Loro Piana facilities was the first one they took us too: a vast warehouse, 50 metres or so high and stretching perhaps a hundred off into the distance. We stood on a metal viewing gallery about ...

Casual wear - ClothDecember 14th 2011

Fox Flannel: Factory visit

December 8th 2011

When you approach the town of Wellington over a rolling Somerset hill, you are greeted by a row of chimneys silhouetted against the horizon. This is the outline of the old Fox Brothers facilities, which at its peak emplo...

Fox Flannel: Factory visit

When you approach the town of Wellington over a rolling Somerset hill, you are greeted by a row of chimneys silhouetted against the horizon. This is the outline of the old Fox Brothers facilities, which at its peak emplo...

Factory visits - TailoringDecember 8th 2011

Postcard from Spirano

December 2nd 2011

At Bresciani today, in Spirano just outside Bergamo. Lovely socks, and some nice sheep too. They’ll be the socks chapter of my upcoming book. More photos on www.andybarnham.com...

Postcard from Spirano

At Bresciani today, in Spirano just outside Bergamo. Lovely socks, and some nice sheep too. They’ll be the socks chapter of my upcoming book. More photos on www.andybarnham.com...

Accessories - Factory visitsDecember 2nd 2011

Postcard from Switzerland

December 1st 2011

In Coldrerio and Mendrisio, Switzerland, today to visit Zimmerli underwear. That’s the cloth being cut in Mendrisio. Zimmerli will be included in The Finest Menswear in the World as the producer of the best underwe...

Postcard from Switzerland

In Coldrerio and Mendrisio, Switzerland, today to visit Zimmerli underwear. That’s the cloth being cut in Mendrisio. Zimmerli will be included in The Finest Menswear in the World as the producer of the best underwe...

Accessories - Factory visitsDecember 1st 2011

Postcard from Quarona

November 30th 2011

Quality control that resembles an odd art installation at Loro Piana’s knitwear facility in Sillavengo, down the road from the Quarona headquarters. In the area this week for three chapters in my next book: The Fin...

Postcard from Quarona

Quality control that resembles an odd art installation at Loro Piana’s knitwear facility in Sillavengo, down the road from the Quarona headquarters. In the area this week for three chapters in my next book: The Fin...

Casual wear - Factory visitsNovember 30th 2011

Hawick, Vanners and Robert Noble – Duchamp fa...

November 21st 2011

Good friend Eric Musgrave – author of Sharp Suits among other things – has got a great job, going around the country making films of all the factories where Duchamp has its products made. It’s almost as...

Hawick, Vanners and Robert Noble – Duchamp fa...

Good friend Eric Musgrave – author of Sharp Suits among other things – has got a great job, going around the country making films of all the factories where Duchamp has its products made. It’s almost as...

Factory visitsNovember 21st 2011

Breanish Tweed: Unique luxury

November 16th 2011

Breanish Tweed has all the hallmarks of a Harris tweed weaver: old single-width looms stored in draughty sheds; decades of experience in hand weaving; a stunning but hostile location that constantly reminds one of tweed&...

Breanish Tweed: Unique luxury

Breanish Tweed has all the hallmarks of a Harris tweed weaver: old single-width looms stored in draughty sheds; decades of experience in hand weaving; a stunning but hostile location that constantly reminds one of tweed&...

Cloth - Factory visitsNovember 16th 2011

A postcard from Harris

November 11th 2011

Up in Harris, or rather Lewis, this week at Breanish Tweed. More next week. Photo: Andy Barnham...

A postcard from Harris

Up in Harris, or rather Lewis, this week at Breanish Tweed. More next week. Photo: Andy Barnham...

Accessories - Factory visitsNovember 11th 2011

Brooks saddles: Two different sides of construction

August 29th 2011

Last week saw a visit to the Brooks saddle factory in Smethwick, just outside Birmingham. A full report will appear in the end-of-year issue of The Rake, but in the meantime I thought I would take the opportunity to try ...

Brooks saddles: Two different sides of construction

Last week saw a visit to the Brooks saddle factory in Smethwick, just outside Birmingham. A full report will appear in the end-of-year issue of The Rake, but in the meantime I thought I would take the opportunity to try ...

Casual wear - Factory visitsAugust 29th 2011

Naples, Kiton: shoes

August 5th 2011

In the UK, good shoes split into two very clean categories: benchmade and bespoke. With the former, workers use a series of hulking Victorian machines to make the shoes. Each applies force in a different way, whether str...

Naples, Kiton: shoes

In the UK, good shoes split into two very clean categories: benchmade and bespoke. With the former, workers use a series of hulking Victorian machines to make the shoes. Each applies force in a different way, whether str...

Factory visits - ShoesAugust 5th 2011

Naples, Kiton: shirts

July 29th 2011

I mentioned in my previous post on the Kiton factory outside Naples that the shirt manufacturing impressed me post. In fact, it wasn’t so much the manufacturing operation as the handwork that resulted – somet...

Naples, Kiton: shirts

I mentioned in my previous post on the Kiton factory outside Naples that the shirt manufacturing impressed me post. In fact, it wasn’t so much the manufacturing operation as the handwork that resulted – somet...

Factory visits - ShirtsJuly 29th 2011

Naples, Kiton: suits

July 22nd 2011

My most extensive visit while in Naples this week was around Kiton’s factory, which is just outside the city. It is a big, well-aired facility that serves a frankly cracking lunch. I’ve never had mozzarella l...

Naples, Kiton: suits

My most extensive visit while in Naples this week was around Kiton’s factory, which is just outside the city. It is a big, well-aired facility that serves a frankly cracking lunch. I’ve never had mozzarella l...

Factory visits - SuitsJuly 22nd 2011

Dent’s gloves archive

June 24th 2011

Rummaging through the image archive this week, I stumbled across these pictures from my trip to the Dent’s gloves factory earlier in the year. They are from the Dent’s archive, and show five pairs of gloves &...

Dent’s gloves archive

Rummaging through the image archive this week, I stumbled across these pictures from my trip to the Dent’s gloves factory earlier in the year. They are from the Dent’s archive, and show five pairs of gloves &...

Accessories - Factory visitsJune 24th 2011

Factory visit: Bill Amberg

April 6th 2011

Bill Amberg has recently moved to lovely new premises in Queen’s Park, north London. The landlord that owns most of the street apparently refuses to turn it into flats, renting the lot out to small businesses inste...

Factory visit: Bill Amberg

Bill Amberg has recently moved to lovely new premises in Queen’s Park, north London. The landlord that owns most of the street apparently refuses to turn it into flats, renting the lot out to small businesses inste...

Accessories - BagsApril 6th 2011

Factory visit: Tanner Krolle

March 21st 2011

Of course, this isn’t exactly Tanner Krolle‘s factory. The original TK operation was on Mildmay Avenue in Islington, but was sold to Dunhill in the nineties and then knocked down. Dunhill moved its operations...

Factory visit: Tanner Krolle

Of course, this isn’t exactly Tanner Krolle‘s factory. The original TK operation was on Mildmay Avenue in Islington, but was sold to Dunhill in the nineties and then knocked down. Dunhill moved its operations...

Accessories - BagsMarch 21st 2011

Brooks benchmade saddles

February 16th 2011

Brooks leather saddles are next in our cycling series. Unsurprisingly, the construction has much in common with benchmade shoes. Old, iron machines, worked by hand and crucial details finished by hand at every point. The...

Brooks benchmade saddles

Brooks leather saddles are next in our cycling series. Unsurprisingly, the construction has much in common with benchmade shoes. Old, iron machines, worked by hand and crucial details finished by hand at every point. The...

Accessories - Factory visitsFebruary 16th 2011

Factory visit: Dent’s gloves

January 31st 2011

I finally made it down to Dent’s heritage gloves factory in Warminster, and learnt a lot more about the traditional process behind English-made gloves. There were some interesting parallels with several other craft...

Factory visit: Dent’s gloves

I finally made it down to Dent’s heritage gloves factory in Warminster, and learnt a lot more about the traditional process behind English-made gloves. There were some interesting parallels with several other craft...

Accessories - Factory visitsJanuary 31st 2011

Dent’s: How British gloves are made

November 1st 2010

There’s an odd little bit of Selfridge’s between Ralph Lauren and the Kurt Geiger shoe emporium. It contains general accessories – hats, scarves and gloves – and stands out because it is the one...

Dent’s: How British gloves are made

There’s an odd little bit of Selfridge’s between Ralph Lauren and the Kurt Geiger shoe emporium. It contains general accessories – hats, scarves and gloves – and stands out because it is the one...

Accessories - Factory visitsNovember 1st 2010

Factory visit: Alfred Dunhill

April 14th 2010

There’s nothing like a factory you can get to on the Tube. So much less train time involved. The Alfred Dunhill leather factory and pipe workshop are up in Walthamstow; though it could be in Northampton for all the...

Factory visit: Alfred Dunhill

There’s nothing like a factory you can get to on the Tube. So much less train time involved. The Alfred Dunhill leather factory and pipe workshop are up in Walthamstow; though it could be in Northampton for all the...

Accessories - BagsApril 14th 2010

Hand sewing at Edward Green

February 12th 2010

I was fortunate enough to be able to tour the Edward Green factory in Northampton last week. A new building (as they’ve moved around a few times since leaving what is now the John Lobb factory in the centre of town...

Hand sewing at Edward Green

I was fortunate enough to be able to tour the Edward Green factory in Northampton last week. A new building (as they’ve moved around a few times since leaving what is now the John Lobb factory in the centre of town...

Factory visits - ShoesFebruary 12th 2010

Shirt facts upon request

January 4th 2010

Due to popular demand (well, three people) here are some more facts about how the Turnbull & Asser shirts are made up in Gloucester. I know how much you love those little details. – As with a suit, the sleeveh...

Shirt facts upon request

Due to popular demand (well, three people) here are some more facts about how the Turnbull & Asser shirts are made up in Gloucester. I know how much you love those little details. – As with a suit, the sleeveh...

Factory visits - ShirtsJanuary 4th 2010

Factory visit: Turnbull & Asser shirts

December 21st 2009

There are so many facts, figures and geeky points about the construction of Turnbull & Asser shirts that I could be writing about them for days. And you’d be reading for hours. I’ll try to keep the descr...

Factory visit: Turnbull & Asser shirts

There are so many facts, figures and geeky points about the construction of Turnbull & Asser shirts that I could be writing about them for days. And you’d be reading for hours. I’ll try to keep the descr...

Factory visits - ShirtsDecember 21st 2009