My hunt for style had uncovered many manufacturers making menswear in Britain, but I'm always excited to discover those making in my home-town, London. Drake's is a menswear business I've been aware of for a while. I have one of their superb Fair Isle sweaters and have often visited their website to drool over scarves, knitwear, ties and pocket squares of an exquisite beauty and design.
|Ties and colour at Drake's Haberdasher Street factory in London|
I was invited to visit their London atelier in the appropriately-named Haberdasher Street in Clerkenwell, East London, a few weeks ago. There I was offered a bespoke tie and watched as skilled crafts people made a silk tie from a beautiful Macclesfield-made ancient madder. I followed the tie around the workshop, from cutter to machinist to pressing and final checking, chatting to the workers. As with all factories I visit, the pride in their skills and the final product is palpable.
|The cutter starts on my tie|
The products Drake's make are the result not only of these workers' skills, but of fabrics of outstanding quality and of design skills that take their menswear to a level that all UK manufacturers should aim for. Essentially classic, their menswear is contemporary in style, making it ideal for the older man looking for something special.
I'll be writing about Drake's AW14 collection in a future post. You too can have a bespoke tie made, or select from the off the peg range. See Drake's website for more information or to buy online.
|The machinist starts on the tie and then moves to other workers further assembly and stitching|
|Checking symmetry and angles|
|The labels are stitched on before final checking and packing|