SSEAMS Magazine issue 004

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BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE CLOTHES YOU WEAR

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Welcome to our special edition! As SSEAMS celebrates its 5 year anniversary, we reflect on the year that is 2022 And, what a year it has been so far! If we gave it a theme, it would be, CHAOS! Our age old industry is officially being put through the wringer dealing with its environmental impact, rising raw material costs, cracks in the supply chain and an exceptionally busy brand marketplace, combined with a complex retail space.

Our SSEAMS team has worked across all corners of product creation but one that has got our attention is manufacturing. The relationship between brand, maker and mill is closer than ever before and the test of successful innovation requires this 3 pronged collaborative attack! A topic close to our hearts is quality and durability, and how we can work together to achieve the finest durable garments to last the test of time to protect our environment.

Enter front of stage, Alexander Manufacturing, a tailoring and handmade coat maker, based in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. A jewel set in central Scotland with a team spanning 50 years of coat making and producers for numerous luxury British and international labels. They also hold a secret recipe (!) and own the IP for the legacy of Thomas Hancock, founding father of the British Rubber Industry and Inventor of Vulcanisation to you and I, the process of applying a rubber substance to seam seal without sewing

took the cameras in and captured a day in the life of the factory Come on in and take a look behind

scenes

see

WELCOME
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who really makes the clothes you wear... Special thanks to John Barbour whose camera skills make this issue shine! Enjoyissue4! ISSUE 004 PAGE R2

Alexander Manufacturing is a Luxury Scottish garment manufacturer specialising in coat making for the fashion and apparel industry, located in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. Experts in tailoring and coat making, with a very unique specialism producing vulcanised handmade coats. Years and years of experience make this team of craftspeople truly remarkable.

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The Alexander Manufacturing team 2022

Owner Nadia Alexander invested in the facility following a desire to support Scottish garment manufacturing and to play a role in producing the highest quality garments, Made in Scotland. Customer engagement and high standards of client service balance the production experience.

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Production Manager, Ann Clark, works alongside a truly talented team of skilled workers covering all aspects of coat making; handmade coat makers, machinists, cutters and finishers
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"Now is the time to invest in onshore garment manufacturing and support the skills and craftsmanship before we lose it forever. Our Coat Makers have produced outstanding garments for many leading international labels over the years and we aim to retain those skills, and add to them, within our house here at Alexander Manufacturing."

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Material matters

On a regular basis, clients require more than the traditional CMT process. The Development room was created to service clients throughout the product creation process including fabric and trims sourcing support.

The factory has built a materials hub carefully curated by the creative team with a primary goal of low carbon footprint sourcing from the best of British mills. Cloths such as wool flannels, cashmere, silks and cottons.

Strategic mill partners include; Lovat Mill, MacNaughtons, English Cloth, Marton Mills, Halley Stevensons, to name a few.

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"Precision garment engineering." The AM standard. ISSUE 004 PAGE L11
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Darren and Peter lead the first production stage of cutting demonstrating on a daily basis years of experience on the cutting table Tailored shears are often used to cut by hand the specially made rubber bonded (vulcanised) cloth: a process patented by Thomas Hancock in 1843 The art of waste reduction and optimisation of every millimetre of fabric stays true today in 2022.

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The handmade table

Michael, known as Mescho, and David are leading Scottish handmade coat makers with over 50 years in service, skilled in the craft of making coats based on the heritage and innovation created by Thomas Hancock and Charles Mackintosh dating back to the 1840's, and still alive today.

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The two coat makers work on the handmade section at Alexander Manufacturing.

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The glue

A specially formulated rubber solution is used to glue together and waterproof all seams ensures 100% protection from the harshest of Great British weather Made from natural rubber with a few secret ingredients

The Index finger is the most important tool used in the hand making. Skills require a minimum 3 years to learn.

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The tape

Vulcanised cotton tape is applied by hand over the glued interior seam to ensure a fully waterproofed garment.

Traditional tools finish the garment. The roller is a hardened steel cylinder with a flat edge and attached to a wooden handle so that the coat maker can roll by hand applying pressure along the interior taped seam to ensure the tape is firmly bonded to the glue

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Sewing & Finish

Supervisor's Alison and Louise lead the machinist side of the room. They have a wonderful story to tell as they met their husbands through working in garment manufacturing.

The machinist team work closely together from the start of production through to its completion with meticulous quality checks through the finishing and hanging process.

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"Our coats should be passed around the family from one generation to the next."
Quality checks ensure customer satisfaction.
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Alexander Manufacturing is a progressive garment maker whose affiliation with Thomas Hancock's 1843 vulcanisation invention is celebrated in the factory today. In short, Thomas Hancock founded the British rubber industry, inventing a machine that could work rubber scraps into blocks. Hancock also worked with Charles Macintosh, Scottish chemist and inventor of a waterproof rubber impregnated fabric.

As the custodians of the Thomas Hancock name and his innovation, the team believe THIS is the time to build on the heritage and reimagine today's interpretation of the brand.

A truly remarkable and experienced team will lead the newly defined brand direction. Strategic brand partners will be identified to support the product strategy and brand marketing plans. The planning starts now.

For more information, contact: info@alexander manufacturing com

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IMAGE

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Matthew Abbott Ruth Kelly
CREDITS AND THANKS TO JOHN BARBOUR FOR PHOTOGRAPHY & SPECIAL THANKS TO ALEXANDER MANUFACTURING Contact the SSEAMS team and say hello@sseams co

PUBLISHED IN SCOTLAND

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Special issues throughout the year

Behind the scenes of the emerging industry players Audience; Garment lovers and apparel makers united A community perspective; supporting each other and encouraging collaboration

By issue, audience numbers between 15 to 20k and grows through community sharing

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