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Letters to February 14, 2009

The round-up of Letters to the Editor.

Design course can help plug the skills gap

The Fashion Design Technology Academy (FDTA) is a new skills training centre where theory and work-based training forms the curriculum.

In response to the need for skilled tailors and creative garment technologists, a two-year flexible modular programme offering Edexcel’s BTEC Level 4 Professional Diploma Award in Apparel Design Technology is provided.

It aims to equip  individuals with technical skills and expertise in outerwear garment development and manufacturing within
the disciplines of bespoke/couture.

Class sizes are small, at between eight to 10 students, to offer one-to-one tutoring and hands-on experience in menswear, womenswear, bespoke/couture and production tailoring. Students will be taught by lecturers and practitioners with years’ of industry experience. There is also an appointed independent assessor from Savile Row to ensure industry standards are met. Students who complete the course successfully will be entered for the prestigious Merchant Taylors competition.

The course starts in March 2009. For further information, call 07964 719141 or email

Sandra Kotei, founder, FDTA, Savile Row, London

Collar the right UK shirt maker

In Stephen’s Helpline (Drapers, February 7), a reader asked Stephen Spear for help in finding a UK shirt manufacturer. Sadly, his advice fell short, as the company recommended, Morrison McConnell, does not manufacture anything in the UK.

As its website says: “Morrison McConnell designs, sources and distributes a number of leading clothing brands.”  The word “manufacturing” seems to be missing, and a phone call to its office confirms the firm does not manufacture in the UK. 

You then go on to suggest Russell & Hodge. While this company makes its own brand made-to-measure and bespoke shirts, it is not really geared towards proper manufacturing as its price points for its handmade product would be almost impossible to work with.

However, an actual shirt factory does still exist in the UK – Rayner & Sturges. Sadly, you missed it.

David Royce, London

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