Triplstitched is a new British shirting brand that uses vintage machines to make its contemporary casual shirts in north-east London.
Matt Cottis, whose IYA Studio also works with Folk (see previous feature) is one of four partners who set the brand up this year. A key part of its appeal is using young British illustrators to create patterns for its range. For launch, Triplstitched will feature the work of Jack Cunningham and recent Falmouth graduate Josh McKenna. Cunningham has created a range of images based on the industry term ‘cut, made, trimmed’, which denotes that a garment is wholly made in one factory (we’ve also used one of his icons for this month’s cover) while McKenna’s pattern references the Cockney rhyming slang term, ‘apples and pears’, emphasising the brand’s London origins.
While committed to producing shirts of the highest quality (Triplstitched also makes for a range of existing high-end brands), Cottis hopes the collaborations
with illustrators will imbue the brand with some fun: the apples and pears print is their take on the Hawaiian shirt, he says.
An important part of the brand’s appeal also comes from those vintage machines. In their own way they tell a tale of the shifting fortunes of the global rag trade. Originally built in Britain and the US to serve a domestic clothing business, the machines were shipped out to Hong Kong when it became a manufacturing centre. Now, Hong Kong itself has been superseded by mainland China so the machines have made their way back to London to be used at the top end of the market.
One of them is a triple needle machine capable of stitching with up to six different colours of cotton at a time. This provided not just a name for the brand but also a distinctive detail on the final shirts, which have three rows of stitching on the seams and back yoke. Hence, Triplstitched.