The Closing Room, one of our factory’s busiest departments. Over 100 members of staff are responsible for ‘closing’ the uppers that have been passed on from the Clicking Room above. Closing involves a range of highly skilled operations such as, hand-sewing, punching, raw edge staining, fitting, machine stitching pre-prepared sections together to form the upper and eyeleting. The Closing Room machinists are highly skilled and require excellent hand and eye coordination in order to complete each operation to the highest quality expected to be seen on a pair of Crockett & Jones shoes.
Many of the processes within the Closing Room are intricate and painstaking. For example, each section of leather requires raw edges to be stained, matching the colour to the upper leather, not a side can be missed!
Hand Stitching is the most highly skilled job in the closing room and to put into context how niche a profession Hand Stitching is, each pair takes 2 1/2 to stitch and Crockett & Jones relies on just one hand-stitcher, Ned. Ned is a marvel. To sit and appreciate his works, gives you time to truly understand the rarity value of his work... and the patience required.
He uses a 40+ year old curved awl to precisely make a stitch hole that does not pierce the full substance of the material (therefore concealing the stitch). He feeds a boar’s bristle (or piano wire) to which he attaches a wax thread (which he also makes). The result is a hand stitched upper of the highest regard.
Once the uppers are complete, after passing through each and every pair of hands in the room, they are sent down to our basement (which doubled as a bunker for the staff during the World Wars) via a rather claustrophobic lift... The basement houses our last stores and is where the uppers are married up with a pair of lasts and its insoles, ready to continue its journey through to Lasting & Making.