This time yesterday I'd just ridden through some fabulous countryside in the warming morning and arrived outside an innocuous Unit 2 on an industrial estate just outside the coastal town of Cardigan.
A good number of people milled about outside with the open space behind a roller door enticing and welcoming us. This is the manufacturing home of Hiut Denim. There are many explanations of the brand elsewhere so to me this is the company that makes the best jeans I have found, makes them 110 miles from my house, stands by their products and knows how to make the small be big.
"Come and get a tea or coffee" sounded out from inside the building, and in we went.
Onto the Grandmasters; the ladies who with great charm had fielded the tens of staring faces and accompanying questions from our attendance. I'm sure there are many synonyms for describing what these ladies do, and how they do it but to be blunt they're bloody good at making jeans. That's Jean by the way, she made my jeans. She's lovely. Elin (2nd right) provided us with a blow by blow narration of the process and kept us in order
Here is one of the machines which does one of the many processes that go into making the jeans. Amanda is just out of shot here working on sewing the yoke into the jeans. Two things occur on this machine as firstly the denim is folded and then sewn. Amanda has to get things lined up correctly, modulate the speed of the stitch and then snip the free off. All I could focus on was the thread oscillating as I was astounded by the skill involved.
There was limited clearance stock to be purchased if we so wished and I took fancy of a pair of raw organic jeans and decided they'd make nice shorts for summer so planned to cut them off once home. Word of this spread (thanks for dobbing me in, Emma) and Claudio volunteered to do them properly. After a quick measure they were marked up, checked and cut
Clare handed out maps and we wandered down to the Theatr Mwldan for some outstanding live music from a 14 year old lass (edit to add, her name is Hana Evans ) followed by David describing the plans ahead for the company. Ladies, your time is coming with stretch denim. Other plans were presented and the ambition of the company is both measured and also bounding.
It was a great pleasure to meet the people who made my jeans, other customers and in total a great quality company with real full vision of making small big. The lure of the pub for discussions was strong, but the lure of the evening road back was stronger.
1 week ago