In the run up to Christmas, the David Nieper factory is working round the clock to keep up with demand for its knitwear, with staff reaching a woolly landmark of their own after painstakingly hand-linking 25million knitted stitches to produce more than 15,000 premium quality jumpers.
David Nieper uses only highly skilled, traditional methods to link each piece of a knitted garment together by hand with the skilled seamstress then signing the competed garment as a mark of quality. Today, David Nieper is only one of a very few fashion companies still designing and manufacturing in the UK.
Christopher Nieper, managing director of David Nieper, said: “In the last year, we have knitted more than 15,000 pure merino and cashmere/wool jumpers for our knitwear capsule collections. Making in Britain is the secret of our success and a reason why we’re bucking the trend. Many companies have long since abandoned the UK and manufactured offshore simply for cheaper labour, but by doing the opposite and staying committed to making in Britain for over 50 years, investing in quality and local skills, we are proving that you can be successful if you manufacture in Britain.”
David Nieper has been designing and manufacturing lingerie, nightwear and women’s clothing in Derbyshire for more than 50 years. It added a small collection of knitwear 15 years ago and has always used UK suppliers to produce its designs. But as its original knitwear suppliers closed or outsourced knitwear production overseas, David Nieper made the decision to invest in local traditional skills by bringing knitwear production home to Derbyshire, rather than go abroad.
Christopher Nieper concludes: “We’ve never manufactured overseas. By training and retaining skills and craftsmanship right here in Derbyshire, we are able to design and create ‘Made in Britain’ knitwear that is highly prized for its quality, especially abroad.”
“We are finding that customers are increasingly favouring locally made goods, it’s more sustainable, greener and keeps British jobs, They’re turning away from fast, imported fashion and choose quality clothing that is made to last and by doing everything here; we produce just that, and even make individual alterations so each customer gets an almost ‘made to measure’ service.”
To create its new knitwear division, David Nieper invested in five new knitwear machines, now running 24 hours a day, and recruited six new members of staff – all trained in the traditional skills of linking and seaming as well as running high-tech quality knitwear machinery. In the past six months a further 15 more new people have joined the family firm and the company is seeking more fashion designers, seamstresses and pattern cutters to join its expanding 200+ team in Alfreton, Derbyshire.
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