Visiting Barbour’s Simonside Factory at South Shields
There’s a great atmosphere of people who know what they are doing at Barbour’s South Shields factory. As well as making new wax jackets, about 14,000 jackets are also repaired,reproofed or altered by the Customer Services team of 11 people each year and demand seems to be growing.
It’s an intimate relationship watching one operator like Denise trying to ‘get inside the jacket without anyone knowing you’ve been inside it’ and a lifetime of experience which allows her to bring them back to life.
On the factory floor it takes over 40 pair of hands to produce one new jacket. The process starts in the cutting room, with rolls rolls of 55 metre long waxed cotton, which are cut into 4.6m lengths. Each length makes three jackets.
With over 150 people on the factory floor dedicating time to each part of the process there’s a rhythm and sound which appeals to us as film-makers. It’s also a feast for the eyes.