Cuffs, collars, sleeves, and yokes

The Kent shirtmaker. Just about the last of its kind. It stands at the top of the road on a leafy hill, twenty miles outside London, in a Victorian-era workhouse, where over three narrow floors, shirts — and some neckties — of unimpeachable quality are hand-cut, sewn, and finished.

The hand-made shirtmaking business is a staggeringly labour-intensive one, and has gone on, much the same, on these premises, for very nearly one-hundred years. The scale of operation here has been pared-back in recent months, and the focus now is on small runs and bespoke finishing, for which there is still a healthy, mostly domestic, demand.

There’s plenty more to say about the shirtmaker in Kent — maker of the Kelly collar shirt, among others — and about its characters and contraptions, and it is all done here.