After a long search for suitable new premises, Emma Harris Lingerie is relocating to a bigger atelier in a third floor mill and expects to grow into a ten-strong team over the next year. As well as employing more machinists the extra space means EHL founder Claire Emma Harris will be able to fulfill her long-awaited plan of founding a sewing school. “We are planning to either employ and retrain local skilled machinists, or take on school or college leavers through an apprenticeship scheme,” she says.
Claire founded Emma Harris Lingerie in 2008 in Derbyshire, the historical heart of the once thriving UK textile and manufacturing industries. The label is dedicated to reintroducing artisan sewing skills to the luxury lingerie market and producing ‘lingerie to cherish’ from high end fabrics, trims and components, especially silk and Nottingham lace, thus giving back to the industry.
According to Claire, “finding skills is very difficult as even a highly skilled lingerie machinist would need to learn our specific manufacturing methods. I don’t think it’s a job you can simply walk into. Moreover, I need more than just a skilled machinist: I need a machinist who can sew to a high standard, at a good level of speed and has a knowledge of garment make up. It comes with time and patience!” As well as designing, hand cutting and producing all pieces, Emma Harris Lingerie‘s atelier also manufactures lingerie and nightwear for other independent British brands.