"Like most manufacturing industries the constant push for efficiency has driven innovation in machinery to reduce the costs of labour and speed up production. Shirt making is no different and by the late 1950's and early 1960’s, East coast America was the global focal point for the production of button down shirts as Ivy League style dominated.
Classics such as our Reece S2 button hole machine and Union Special wide flat felled chain stitched armhole machine were developed to create the characterful look seen in such brands as J Press, Brooks, Sero and Gant. In the 70's some factories went with a European look with their collars and started to move away from the traditional American button down. The reduction in popularity of the button down combined with the rise of the Far East market started their demise leading to the closure of a number of factories.
What happened next was that many of those machines were shipped out to Hong Kong to start another wave of production which lasted until 1990 when mainland China opened up and production moved again. However this time China was one step ahead and had started making its own machines. So these machines, old American and, by then, also Japanese, lay in limbo in Hong Kong unwanted.
It was here that these old Reece, Union Specials and Juki's have been discovered, restored and shipped back to London to form the core of what we do.
We used a master pattern cutter to cut classic curved three dimensional patterns with high armholes, “s” shaped collars that sit properly over the shoulder and features like curved yokes to give our shirts a distinctive traditional look but with a modern athletic shape. Our twist on the classic comes through using our triple needle machine on the back yoke and on the side seams.
As you will see the majority of our shirts are button downs. This is just a personal preference but we hope to expand our range in the future to include other collar shapes and sizes. We also produce shirts for some of Britain’s finest luxury brands who appreciate the characterful finish and quality as much as we do."