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Production Log

The Rolltop · Batch 2

Just 50 bags are being made for Batch 2 of The Rolltop. No more will ever be made to these specifications. Most have already been claimed, though a few remain available

Production began on 28 September and will last roughly 5 weeks.

Week 1

All fabric is cut — that's in 3 colour canvases, 1 lining colour, 2 sizes, and for 20 pattern pieces of each size. Cutting everything first is decidedly the most efficient way of working, though I don't envy the organisation required behind it all.

Week 2

Basic production begins, with the primary pieces being sewn together. The webbing arrives from Italy! It's gorgeous.

Thus far, I'd been using placeholder webbing — webbing from the previous run, or that was similar in colour that I could source elsewhere. I'd known for quite a while that my previous suppliers weren't reliable, and though their product was reliable, it wasn't remarkable.

So, back in February (a week before Lombardy and the Western world felt Covid's strength), I went to Milan for a trade show. I walked for the equivalent of 6 miles up and down aisles anxiously looking at thousands of webbing samples without seeing the item I wanted. But — as so often happens — thankfully found the dream webbing at literally the last stand.

The webbing I've ordered is structured without being too firm to pull through the G-gook; smooth without being slippery; and custom-dyed to the exact shades I've requested.

Left: Webbing shown on top of a White Cliffs bag in-progress.

Right: The beige webbing on top is the shoulder strap, made here in England; the webbing underneath is  for the closure straps and from Italy (and perfectly dyed-to-match).

Week 3

The last of the padding arrived! The first half arrived the previous week, but a slight mix-up in fulfilment meant the wrong depth was delivered. Thankfully, as it's made in Essex, this meant just a two day set-back. (Never have I been more grateful for local manufacturing!)

With the padding all on site, production has been in serious flow. White Cliffs is the first colour underway, and already side panels, interior panels and side seams are being bound closed. But they're not quite complete yet. The hardware (strap adjusters and g-hook) is still in production up in Cheshire, and will be added last.

Week 4

Production is in full swing, with many bags now even completed!!

At least, in terms of sewing.

However, in all honesty, we've hit a hurdle. The single item left to arrive is the hardware — the g-hooks for the closure strap, and the strap adjusters. They're being manufactured in Cheshire by a company that I've been working closely with for months now. 

The problem? Local lockdowns due to Covid. And limited availability of raw materials (again, due to Covid). Everything should have arrived to their factory for production three weeks ago, but has yet to arrive. Thankfully, arrival is set for the end of the week, with production prioritised for us the moment it's on site, and turnaround two weeks from that point.

I'll keep updates posted here.

Meanwhile, I give you pics.

Two label types per bag, shoulder webbing, and a pile of side pieces for black bags.

Stay posted. More to come.

View The Rolltop


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