17 August 2017

THOMAS PINK : MEET THE SHIRTMAKERS

‘Meet the Shirtmakers’ introduces the craftspeople from Pink’s UK shirt maker, Smyth and Gibson in Londonderry, showcasing the passion they have for their unique craft.

The film documents the extraordinary craftsmanship, skills, detail and experience that goes into making Thomas Pink’s 1984, Imperial and Made To Order shirts from a very small number of specialised shirt makers who have worked in the industry for decades. Quite literally, 50 pairs of hands with over a millennium of experience.

For Richard Gibson, the co-founder of Smyth and Gibson, a passion for shirtmaking and a penchant for detail are a way of life. “lots of shirtmakers will tell you that they sew with ‘18 stitches to the inch’, but then they look like a ploughed field,” he laughs. “It’s not about the number of stitches, which is just a setting on a machine, but how flat they are.” He insists that the real tests of the shirtmaker’s skill are the tiny - almost indecipherable - elements such as exceptionally flat stitching, buttonholes being of a high density but also hand-trimmed, and the placket of a patterned shirt being matched to the pattern on the body, the way the sleeve is set perfectly into the body of a shirt and that the fine fabrics used hold no tension. “They’re what elevates one shirt above another” notes Gibson. By wearing such a shirt, you are signalling something about yourself to the world -- that craft, quality and details matter to you.
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