Behind the scenes at the UK’s number one hosiery brand!
We love our hosiery super brand client PrettyPolly – and not just because we share the same name (sort of)!
Courtaulds, the company behind PrettyPolly, is Britain’s largest producer of lingerie and underwear. They’re also now the only hosiery company that still manages their whole manufacturing process from knitting to packaging in one site and on British soil.
Pretty Polly is currently flying high off the back of announcing their new partnership with Virgin Atlantic and also being awarded CoolBrand® status. We were lucky enough to get a behind the scenes tour at Pretty Polly HQ to find out how a brand that has been creating tights since 1919 still manages to be the UK’s number one hosiery brand.
It all starts with the yarn… Coulthards buys in 215 tonnes of yarn each week to produce around 900 pairs of tights a week from its Belper based factory in Derbyshire. Who knew the tights we know and love started out as white yarn?
Knitting but not as you know it… There are 472 knitting machines in the factory all programmed with design patterns to produce the vast Pretty Polly range from nylons, to sheers to the innovative patterned designs such as House of Holland that have created a whole host of celebrity fans.
But it’s not just robots making our tights… 470 staff work in the factory meticulously managing and overseeing every step of the manufacturing process.
Steamed & Stitched! Once the tights are knitted they’re steamed for 20 minutes to shrink them down to size ready for stitching.
A clever machine sews the two legs together with the gusset and body before the tights are organised and arranged by hand ready for the dying process in the Pretty Polly Dye House.
Ready for packing… Once the dying process has taken place the tights are whisked off for a thorough quality check and sent off to the packing department. Amazingly, many of the Pretty Polly tights are still packed by hand!
The whole process to produce a pair of Pretty Polly tights from start to finish takes approximately 4-5 weeks with about four hours of manufacturing going into each individual pair of tights. It’s good to know the UK’s favourite hosiery brand is still setting the standards across the globe!