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Posts tagged as 'Made in England'

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Behind the Scenes - The Walsh Factory

Introducing the Walsh Lostock Shoe to our ongoing Friends of Fred project.

Fred Perry took a visit to the Walsh Bolton workshop to meet the small team, Pete, Jon, Lynne, Michelle and Harry and to watch the Lostock manufacturing process from start to finish.

Walsh trainers are considered the original specialised running shoe. Founder, Norman Walsh began his training as a shoemaker in 1945, just three years later he was asked to make sprinting shoes for the 1948 Olympic Games in London. Following the creation of Walsh footwear brand in 1961, Norman collaborated with numerous athletes to create world leading performance styles.

Walsh Gb Multi

This season’s casual style Lostock shoe draws influence from Walsh’s performance roots. Crafted from durable nylon and suede, the classic three colour sports upper features a lightweight EVA sole unit and a Walsh label on the tongue and side wall.

Walsh Footwear Leather Tabs

At the very beginning of the process Pete creates paper patterns for the uppers, once he is happy with the design and sizes, he goes on to make a set of templates, known as knives. The knives, made from metal, do not look too dissimilar to a giant biscuit cutter. There can be 8 knives for every upper and every size requires its' own set. The knives fix to a special machine which presses them into sheets of material to create the individual parts.

Lynne stitches the pieces of nylon and suede together to create a flat shoe. A mould is then used and heat applied, to stiffen the heel (officially called 'closing'). At this point the shoe starts to take form.

 Walsh Footwear Closing

The upper is slipped around an anatomical mould of the foot known as a last. A lightweight insole is inserted; the shoe is then mechanically bound to the last and into its' final recognisable shape.

Walsh Footwear Lasts

Walsh Footwear Last

The final part of the process is known as 'soling'. The sole is glued to the upper and the complete shoe is fed onto a conveyor belt, which leads into a big oven. The shoe comes out, cools down and gets given the final treatment - a tag, laces, a tissue paper wrapping and a box.

Walsh Footwear Swingtickets

For this seasons' Friends of Fred, the handcrafted Lostock shoe is available in two colour options, Regal and Rosso (show below).

Walsh_Lostock  

See the full Friends of Fred selection online and in our Laurel Wreath Collection shops now.

 

Behind the scenes at the George Cox factory

Fred Perry are pleased to announce the release of two new exclusive George Cox footwear styles, as part of our on-going Friends of Fred project. Established in 1906 in Northamptonshire, the home of British shoemaking, George Cox has built a reputation for their uncompromising craftsmanship and traditional values on quality. Keen to see the process involved in making each shoe; we took a visit to the factory to see British manufacturing at its best.

Shoe Cutout 1 

The company, famed for its creeper styles, utilises a production process known as Goodyear Welting. The hands-on nature of this construction means that the shoes take much longer to produce than those made using wholly mechanised techniques. Whilst many modern manufactured shoes have their soles simply glued on, the Goodyear welting process involves several stages of sealing with each shoe individually finished by a skilled craftsman. Whilst at the George Cox factory, we witnessed the production of the new women's Friends of Fred Gibson shoe from beginning to end.

Friends of Fred - Behind the Scenes at the George Cox Factory

Friends of Fred - Behind the Scenes at the George Cox Factory

Friends of Fred - Behind the Scenes at the George Cox Factory

Firstly, the suede or leather hide is selected and the upper shoe pattern cut out by hand. In footwear production this initial stage is known as 'clicking' and calls for great skill and precision. Once the suede has been cut to shape, the pieces - including the lining - are stitched together and then stretched and shaped over the last. Each shoe style has a different last, created with individual characteristics, and it's this shaping tool that replicates the anatomical information of the foot and gives the shoe its sturdy, recognisable finish.

Friends of Fred - Behind the Scenes at the George Cox Factory

Friends of Fred - Behind the Scenes at the George Cox Factory

Friends of Fred - Behind the Scenes at the George Cox Factory

A welt (a strip of material) is then stitched to the upper and inner sole holding all the pieces firmly together. Next, the bottom of the shoe is compacted with a special filler to create a flat surface, whilst also adding insulation. Now the whole upper part of the shoe is complete, the soles are carefully trimmed and stitched to the welt. The final stages of making the shoe involves the stitching, fixing and attachment of the heel; overall polishing and one last examination, ensuring everything is as it should be before carefully boxing.

Friends of Fred - Behind the Scenes at the George Cox Factory

Friends of Fred - Behind the Scenes at the George Cox Factory

End Product

For the Autumn/Winter Friends of Fred selection, George Cox have created two suede styles: a men's lace-up creeper and the women's Gibson style (pictured) available in sweetcorn or black.

See the full Friends of Fred selection online and in our Laurel Wreath Collection shops now.

Friends of Fred - Welcome Porte Monnaie

Fred Perry are pleased to welcome Porte Monnaie to our Friends of Fred selection for Autumn; an on-going project that looks to British labels and craftsmen that share our appreciation of the design and making processes, along with a particular attention to detail. Port Monnaie specialise in the creation of handcrafted wallets, combining both innovative and traditional materials and a minimalist approach to design, that results in a unique and considered product. Three exclusive designs have been produced especially for Fred Perry, including the Tipped Wallet, offering a playful take on our traditional tipped shirts.

Friends of Fred - Porte Monnaie Wallets

Founder and lead craftsman Nick Bond studied menswear design at London's Central St Martins, before taking an interest in the construction of lightweight, functional accessories. 'Porte Monnaie' literally translates to 'purse' or 'wallet'; with Nick's designs taking an almost architectural blueprint that is reminiscent of traditional origami shapes. The clean lines and precision applied to each wallet reflects Nick's own personal taste, with his live-work studio nestled in East London a perfect example of this aesthetic. The sky-lit space is neatly dressed with artfully stacked shelves and a wooden work bench, set against a back drop of carefully compiled mood boards, paints, pots and brushes.

Friends of Fred - Nick Bond of Porte Monnaie

What makes Porte Monnaie wallets so special is the truly manual process of their production. The backbone of the wallet is produced using flash spun high density polyethylene fibres; a cutting-edge material that has a paper like tactility and is fully recyclable. Each design is hand printed or painted and takes a week to dry before being finished using locally sourced russet leather. Though the construction of each wallet is a delicate process, the unique fabrication is surprisingly strong, making these handmade wallets ideal as gifts or investment pieces.

Friends of Fred - Porte Monnaie

Once complete, every wallet is carefully wrapped in Porte Monnaie tissue paper and presented in a black card box with a gold embossed lid.

Porte Monnaie Packaging

Porte Monnaie wallets are available now online and in our Laurel Wreath Collection shops.