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About John Smedley

We are creators of the World’s Finest Knitwear. Established in 1784, we are the oldest manufacturing factory in the world, crafting beautiful, high quality garments that are designed to last, made in Britain and distributed the world over.

The John Smedley story began during the infancy of the industrial revolution at our factory in Lea Mills, Derbyshire where you can still find us, over 230 years later.
In 1784 our factory started life producing simple muslin fabric and spinning cotton and in 1825 we moved on to producing more complex garments using one of the first ever fully fashioned knitting machines, creating the original.

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Raw materials is everything and anything used to make your product. These can include fabric, leather, trims, hardware and others. Usually these are either sourced by the designer or by the factory, depending on the process stage.
Samples are prototypes made to model design ideas and made in order to finalize the pattern for production. Sampling should take place during the first phase of design (R&D) because you can’t get to selling (second phase) if you don’t have production (third phase). There are a few types of samples usually made, the main ones being prototype/toile, 1st sample, sealed/final sample, salesman sample, pre-production sample.
In sewing and fashion design, a pattern is the template from which the parts of a garment are traced onto the chosen make material before being cut out and assembled. Patterns are usually made of paper to begin with or digitally, and are sometimes made of sturdier materials like paperboard or cardboard if they need to be more robust to withstand repeated use.
Production is the process of manufacturing the final product in multiples, based on an order placed by the buyer. Usually, production takes place after Minimum order quantity requirements are met and sample approved and prices agreed.
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