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Quality & Workmanship

Inside our Workshop: Sewing

21st SEP 2022

Reading time: 2 minutes

British designed, British made.

Where you see our sewn labels, you can be assured that each piece has been made to order in our Cheltenham workshop, carefully assembled by our talented team of sewing machinists with a commitment to quality at every stage of production.

Our experienced machinists are a valued part of our small team and highly skilled in sewing, binding and piping our seat and carpet kits. We don’t operate a piece-work production line – each member of staff sees a whole sewing job through from start to finish – allowing for complete control and visibility over the entire manufacture of each the sewn items in their care. With a trained eye for quality, our machinists check every stitch meets the John Skinner standard.

Traditional Machinery

Our sewn items are made on our traditional industrial standard Singer and Seiko sewing machines – some of which date back from the 1940’s and would have been the equivalent machine models as used on the original OEM production lines. These are sturdy and powerful machines, robust enough to cope with the heavy duty materials we feed through them. Despite investing in such modern technology in other areas on our production line, we feel incredibly privileged to still have these beautiful and historic machines as an integral part of our workshop which are used on a daily basis.

Original Sewing Samples

It’s not just our machines that keep age-old manufacturing methods alive, our sewing department hosts an archive of original sewing samples. Collected over the years by Jonathon and his father, these samples provide an accurate historic reference of original sewn manufacture and to this day give useful guidance to our machinists as to how to assemble our various seat kits.

Accurate Patterns

The pieces our machinists sew together have been cut using patterns annotated with decades of notes. Our patterns are the most accurate in the industry and we are constantly engineering them to best suit our production line processes. Recently digitised, our material patterns are cut with millimetre precision and minimal fabric waste on our digital CNC cutter.

Seats of Distinction

It’s our attention to detail that has given us our worldwide reputation for our award-winning seats. We use engineered leathercloth piping for the majority of our seat work – not only was it original, but it’s tougher and more resilient to wear and tear against its vinyl counterpart. And we also use a ‘tuck-and-roll’ pleating method to add genuine pleated flutes to our seat kits where many after-market interpretations settle for flat stitched imitation pleats.

We have so much more to share about how we create our seat kits. You can read it all here – In Detail: Our Seat Kits.