There’s a texture to the wearing of the jackets – a sensory feeling our three owners talked about– so we wanted that to come out in the location, mood and texture of the film.
We also loved the factory sounds, the contrast between factory and landscape, the production versus to weather and so focused on that to add an extra dimension.
We hope it’s a ‘seamless ‘ edit that weaves together our particular story. Watch our film ‘A Jacket for Life’ on our Vimeo channel.
You can also view it here.
There’s a great atmosphere of people who know what they are doing at Barbour’s South Shields factory. As well as making new wax jackets, about 14,000 jackets are also repaired,reproofed or altered by the Customer Services team of 11 people each year and demand seems to be growing.
It’s an intimate relationship watching one operator like Denise trying to ‘get inside the jacket without anyone knowing you’ve been inside it’ and a lifetime of experience which allows her to bring them back to life.
On the factory floor it takes over 40 pair of hands to produce one new jacket. The process starts in the cutting room, with rolls of 55 metre long waxed cotton, which are cut into 4.6m lengths. Each length makes three jackets.
With over 150 people on the factory floor dedicating time to each part of the process there’s a rhythm and sound which appeals to us as film-makers. It’s also a feast for the eyes.
We’ve always admired the fact that Barbour’s classic wax jackets are still hand crafted at Barbour’s factory in South Shields near where we live.
The 118 year old family business is well known for producing beautifully functional clothing and the quality of their jackets mean that for some customers it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.
Reading Barbour’s blog about the work of their Customer Services team at South Shields who alter, rewax or repair over 14,000 items a year made us wonder why some customers prefer to keep repairing than buy new and who wears a Barbour that’s over 30 years old?
As documentary film-makers it was too tempting a story for Magali Pettier and Jan Cawood of Tin Man Films and so we decided to find out more.
It’s been a joy filming on location for our upcoming short documentary about why people are so attached to their Barbour wax jackets.
We’ve met the small team who expertly repair, alter and reproof approximately 14,000 jackets every year at Barbour’s South Shields factory.
We’ve also met a few customers around the UK who have owned jackets for over 30 years and are now busy editing.
We hope it will become a seamless story that weaves all the threads together. We’ll begin the story by sharing our film-making diary with you about how and why I and Jan Cawood of Tin Man Films (www.tinmanfilms.co.uk) came to make this film.