E1: Made in London
Rock some capital style with a jacket designed, woven and hand-made within the E1 postcode.
You'd be hard-pressed to buy a jacket that is more exclusive, or crafted with more care and attention, than one bearing the E1 label. Conceived, designed, woven, hand-made and sold in very, very limited numbers – all within a few finger spaces of each other on a London A-Z – these jackets capture the passion, style and creativity of the capital's East End.
"I started the project to prove it’s still possible to make something that is hand-crafted and bespoke in this day and age,” says Gresham. “It’s an interesting project that has flourished thanks to an immense love for each stage of the creative process and a desire to offer something that little bit different. That love has brought about a fantastic product."
WOVEN IN CLAPTON
The yarns for the jackets are woven in Clapton by the London Cloth Company team using traditional methods on Victorian pedal-powered looms. The looms lend themselves particularly well to producing jackets and waistcoats with trousers planned for future collections.sleeve notes
The weaver is completely self-taught. He bought the looms several years ago from a factory in the north and spent two years learning how to operate them.
The weaver powers the looms with his feet – no planet-wrecking unsustainable fuel sources required here!
We are currently sourcing high-quality fleeces from UK breeders who only rear incredibly rare breed sheep. Future E1 collections will be made using only British heritage wools.
After weaving, the fabric must be finished (cleaned) before being made into jackets. The E1 label is so exclusive that just 30-metre batches of wool are sent to the finishers (normally they deal with thousands of metres a week).
SOLD IN SHOREDITCH
The jackets are truly unique to the Gresham Blake London store. The initial idea was conceived in the studio above the shop, and the jackets were sketched, designed and crafted in the same space. To complete the circle, the jackets will only be available to buy from this store. It doesnít get much more Shoreditch than that!sleeve notes
The E1 Project will initially see fewer than 50 jackets made. Gresham has designed six different fabrics and only eight jacket styles will be made in each fabric.
The majority of the jackets are available off-the-peg, but we have decided to keep a small amount of fabric back for anyone who wants a truly bespoke version.
Once these super-limited edition jackets have sold out they will not be remade. Gresham will instead be introducing new fabrics to the E1 label. The result? A highly exclusive jacket available in extremely small numbers.
HAND-MADE IN ALDGATE
Once the fabric has been ëfinishedí itís delivered, on a roll, to a small workshop in Aldgate where the majority of Gresham Blake bespoke suits are produced. Here the cloth is cut exclusively by hand before expert craftsmen apply their specific skills to tailor different parts of the jackets.sleeve notes
The entire manufacturing process of the E1 collections ñ the cutting of the cloth, the intricate sewing of the lining, even the btnholing is done here by hand, with immense attention to detail.
Unlike large scale projects where the front and back of the jackets are cut in pairs by laser, E1 jackets are cut by hand, with each piece cut separately. This ensures each jacket is entirely unique.
Because of the economies of scale the E1 project is a challenge to pull off. "It's about the small independent tailor taking on the big British mills," says Gresham. ìEveryone who owns a piece of the E1 label owns a little bit of independent London.î And a little bit of the city's sartorial heritage too.