Hat Tip to Aprons

Re-make/Re-model at Lock & Co.

The oldest family-owned company in Britain is R. J. Balson & Son (1515), a Dorset butcher's shop that's been serving West Country faggots (see here for Tweedy's patented Faggotini) to customers for over 500 years.

Founded in 1676, the world's oldest hat shop Lock & Co. has put in some miles in too. I'll get to the connection with butchers in a minute, but did you know that Lock and Co. can apply all sorts of professional tender loving care to your beloved hats? Anything from a steam and brush (complimentary for Lock hats) to a re-block that will have the felt of your crumpled hat fitting perfectly over your bonce again.

They can even perform a bit of customization to change the look of your hat. Here, Lock's Master Hatter shapes the crown of a hat into a 'pork pie'. (Butcher connection #1).

Patrick Thomson Aprons

Apart from the pork pie (hats), what else do butchers and hatters have in common? Those worth their salt wear aprons when they they're doing their job. The apron — one of the oldest types of garment — serves to protect, but also represents an expression of dedication to a chosen craft.

As with all uniforms, the apron reassures the customer that a job is to be tackled with competence.

You, too, can give the vital impression of competence when you're engaged in domestic chores or gardening. It works when you are barbecuing, right? With an apron, from the moment the strings are wrapped around the waist the tone is set.

Look no further than a Patrick Thomson apron to give the strongest projection of your capabilities. Patrick (top picture by Michael Sinclair)  had worked for over thirty years in the fashion industry before specialising in aprons and other functional accessories. Trained at the Royal College of Art, with experience as a cutter, pattern maker and designer, Patrick wanted to get back to fundamentals of his profession and make his own things by hand.

He uses a designer's eye and a craftsman's skills to produce aprons in sturdy materials from his workshop in Gloucester, such as the Gardener's Apron in waxed cotton drill (below).

The Gardener's Apron — available from The New Craftsmen — has large and small pockets at the front, including an essential reinforced secateurs pocket and a mobile phone pocket so that you can check on your seed delivery. The apron is secured by herringbone tape.

The video below lays out Patrick's fit for purpose 'vision for the apron' with Sue Crewe, previous editor of House & Garden, who had a bespoke gardening apron made by Patrick to her specification  — incorporating knee pads — and to the satisfaction of Patrick's 'passion for detail'.


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