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COMMUNITY

Made in England –
The Original
Fred Perry Shirt

February 2021
Photos by Chazz Adnitt

We head to the midlands to visit two very special Leicester factories and the birthplace of our original Fred Perry Shirts.

At the heart of our Made in England collection, you’ll find our original Fred Perry Shirts. The M3 One-Colour Fred Perry Shirt; the M12 and G12 Twin Tipped Fred Perry Shirts; and the M2 Single Tipped Fred Perry Shirt. Each one is made in the centre of Leicester by UK Piqué and ESP – specialists in the knitting and manufacture of piqué cotton.

Surrounded by the traditional red-brick textile factories synonymous with the city, the UK Piqué and ESP buildings stand proud with ultra-modern architecture in contemporary black brick. The technology used to construct the piqué of our polo shirts however, is more traditional, giving them their distinctively coarse, heavier-weight that makes them closer to Fred’s original 1952 tennis shirts.

The cuffs and collar, knitted with our signature 5-4-4 tipping, are made on the oldest machine we use at Fred Perry and are draw-threaded by hand. This is a highly skilled process which involves removing and grouping individual threads, taking years of practice to perfect.

With the knitting carried out at Leicester’s UK Pique factory, the pieces then go next door to garment makers ESP, where traditional British machinery combines with state-of-the-art cutting technology, to give each Fred Perry Shirt the streamlined silhouette that Fred was so proud of. With each polo knitted, dyed, cut, embroidered, and hand-finished in Leicester, with a dedicated Fred Perry employee overseeing the intricate process, making the Fred Perry Shirt is a real labour of love.

Our Made in England collection curates Fred Perry’s most intrinsic designs and manufactures them here in the UK where it all started. Supporting local factories and manufacturers, meticulous care and expertise go into making each product just as it should be.

Our Made in England pieces make up a very special collection, with carefully-considered pieces designed to be passed down through generations.