All in the Finish

It’s often the final touches that take the very good to the remarkable – it’s all in the finish

Dear Reader,

To once again return to Riddle’s little excursion in May – well, it was good fun and the Editor got to drive a Jag – one point stood out in many of the workshops and firms we visited, the critical importance of the finish.

This may seem obvious, surely the final touches are the most obvious to the final consumer? Well, yes but it goes deeper than simple aesthetics. The finish is not just for mere appearances, it is the final touch that allows the material – be it a cloth or a leather – to perform. Be it returning natural oils to leather to ensure its suppleness and water resistance are restored at the end of the shoe making process or precisely drying and cropping the surface fibres of a cloth to ensure there is no warping or shrinkage during garment making, finishing is so much more than just meets the eye.

It is the eye that so often is more accurate than any machine; that blend of experience and willingness to constantly improve which marks out the finest craftsmen. Be it a artisan checking the final sheen on a Northampton shoe, the side panel of a Aston Martin or going painstaking through a roll of cloth inch by inch for flaws, it is this passionate and precise workforce on which so much of the country’s luxury success is – and will be – founded.

Best wishes,

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