Archive for January, 2020

With our new focus on supplying made to measure suits for gamekeepers and private guns, it is my intention to visit as many shoots as possible where we are already supplying in order to learn more of what is required from the clothing in the conditions prevailing along with offering interesting articles to you our readers. With this in mind I would like to offer many thanks to Liam French the head keeper at Grimston Park in Yorkshire for an invite to spend a day on a 200 bird shoot and take a few photos whilst enjoying the activity going on around me.

Not being able to shoot myself, due to permanent sight damage from a stroke in my thirties has meant these days have been few a far between, but having enjoyed this one so much I will be sure to do many more.

The weather could not have been better for me with a fabulous clear blue sky and surprisingly warm sun. It felt more like Apres Ski afternoon weather in the Italian Dolomites rather than a January day in Yorkshire! The downside for the guns was that these were not good shooting conditions with the strong low sun. From my inexperienced eyes the drives seemed to go well with a great variety of angles and heights ensuring good sport all round. There was certainly no problem in providing the bird numbers on offer.

It was very interesting to watch the skill of the Gamekeeper moving birds around using the beaters to restock an area  ensuring a worthwhile drive . And of course the guns were well looked after with drinks and quality nibbles to keep the energy levels up. For much of the day I was lucky enough to spend time with the pickers up, who were sweeping round the outer areas of each drive to ensure all the game was collected in order that it would find its way into the food chain. The dogs were a pleasure to watch going about their instinctive business but with the help of superb training from their proud owners. The only down side to a great day out was having to avoid the pub afterwards due to being on the Dry January challenge.

For hundreds of years flat caps and other headwear has been an important part of a British mans wardrobe. If you look at old photos from the early 20th Century almost all men would be wearing some form of hat. Manufacturing would have been almost entirely within the UK and the fabrics would also have been made within our shores. Sadly over the last 30 years the majority of cap manufacturing has been moved to the Far East where fabric is woven cheaply and the caps are stitched by a workforce who are paid really low wages and often work in poor conditions without the protection of the health and safety we enjoy here. The main driver for this cheap production is the price of the cap and the competition between major high street retailers.

There is an alternative. Our caps may be a little more expensive than the high street but for what extra you get, it is a price worth paying. We weave our own exclusive luxury tweeds in Huddersfield, and even apply a special finish to the fabric to make it waterproof. The fabric is then delivered just 15 miles to our small cap factory where the cutting is done by hand to tried and tested patterns, before being stitched and finished with the Ratcatcher Yorkshire woven label. This really is a bit of old fashioned heritage manufacturing with the smallest carbon footprint.

Gamekeepers suits not only need to look smart and uphold the image of the Estate or shoot, but must above all fit well and be comfortable to wear because lets face it, if the Gamekeeper is not feeling relaxed then the whole shoot will suffer. Furthermore this outfit is a business cost and has to give value for money by looking good after many hard days in the field.

After many years of offering off the peg high quality Gamekeepers suits we decided to move our focus to mainly made to measure to ensure the perfect fit and comfort of wear. Lets face it, we are all slightly different in dimensions so one size never fits all. Our other USP is having our own exclusive collection of superb fit for purpose tweeds which are available year after year, ensuring replacement items can be purchased to keep the suit working for the Gamekeeper as long as possible.

Whilst most of our business used to be done at country and game fairs around the UK, we have found that direct visits at the convenience of the Gamekeeper works best all round. Furthermore it gives us an insight into the Gamekeeping world and the individual challenge of the particular location in question.

Weaving our tweeds in Yorkshire and then stitching the Gamekeepers suits in the same county not only gives us control over delivery and quality, but it also makes us Bloody proud to keep manufacturing alive and kicking on our own doorstep.

So if you want a great product, excellent value and made in Yorkshire, then ring us to make a fitting appointment.

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