Published on June 14th, 2018 | by Subhash Nair0
Bentley Celebrates Sewing Machine Day
Bentley is celebrating Sewing Machine Day by shining a light on the people and technology behind its world-class, industry-leading stitching and embroidery.
The 120-strong dedicated sewing team in Crewe, England, are highly experienced artisans – some having as much as 40 years’ experience to their credit. As is Bentley tradition, the longer-serving members of the team are charged with passing on their knowledge and experience to the apprentices.
For Bentley, the humble sewing machine has always played an integral part in the brand’s near-100-year story. The hand-crafted interiors synonymous with the luxury British marque have – since 1919 – been created thanks in part to these machines and, of course, the craftspeople who operate them.
Bringing the story of the sewing machine right up to date is the new British-designed Bentley Continental GT. The Grand Tourer’s striking ‘Diamond-in-Diamond’ interior pattern features both stitching and embroidery, and is a highly intricate, modern take on a classic style.
The inner diamonds are embroidered using specially-designed, state-of-the-art machines that balance high speed with faultless quality. Eighteen months were spent developing the embroidery, individually optimising and programming the exact alignment of the 712 stitches that make up each diamond shape – an unrivalled attention to detail. It takes more than seven hours to produce a complete Diamond-in-Diamond-stitched interior for the New Continental GT interior and nearly 300,000 individual stitches.
The embroidery process always begins at the bottom of each diamond, for the best finished appearance. During the stitching process the embroidery actually causes the leather panel to shrink by 12 per cent – which has to be accounted for when each panel is cut.
Each interior is crafted from nine Northern European bull hides, stitched together with 2.8 km of thread. Every leather panel is initialled on the reverse by the Bentley colleague who made it – a personal hallmark of quality.