What Do We Mean By The Term "Handmade"?

Here at Ayten Gasson we are proud of the way we run the company ethically and support the UK manufacturing industry. We are also very aware of how other businesses may use terms and slogans that make it sound as if they are operating in a way that would appeal to their customers when the truth is not nearly as attractive.

So to help you, the consumer, here are a few definitions of terms that are commonly used by ourselves and other companies:

This suggests a small scale operation where the designer painstakingly sews by hand the piece of lingerie in question. What it actually means is that the piece could have been hand crafted (hand cut, stitched and finished) or partially made by hand using machines operated by hand. We also believe that handmade can be used to describe a piece which has been cut, made and finished by one person, and not made on a production line.

Hand Finished
A little more self-explanatory, this refers to a garment that is finished by hand. We use this term when hand tying bows or covering fabric buttons and hand sewing them onto our pieces.

Made in the UK
This term is particularly misunderstood a lot of the time. It sounds as if it means that the garment in question is wholly produced in this country. This is obviously an attractive selling point as customers like to think they are supporting British businesses and designers. In reality it can be that only a tiny finishing touch has taken place in the UK with the vast majority of the process taking place abroad.

UK Designed
Although it is to be applauded that there are more and more British designers getting their work out into the market place, if a company stresses that their product is ‘UK designed’ it could well mean that the majority of their manufacturing process is actually outside the UK.

We are very proud that our pieces are designed and made completely in the UK. Our silk is sourced from abroad (although bought from independent UK stockists) due to the lack of silk factories in this country. Our lace is sourced from the last remaining lace mills or from UK agents who sell remnants salvaged from the Nottingham lace factories before they closed. Wherever possible a UK supplier is used before looking into options overseas.

It is because we care about UK manufacturing and design that we get annoyed when companies - some very prestigious - claim ‘Made in Britain’ credentials without actually supporting businesses in the UK. With any garment we would advise looking at exactly what a company means by the way they describe their manufacturing process before buying.