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  • 23.12.20

    Merry Christmas From Carr & Westley

    23.12.20

    Meet Harley, The Newest Addition to C&W

    The Carr & Westley team would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and take this time to thank you for your ongoing support throughout these difficult times. We are very excited about the New Year, as we've been working hard on developing our new Spring Collection, and we can't wait to show you!

    Please note, we close our offices at 5pm on Wednesday 23rd December, if you need any assistance please email us on sales@carrandwestley.co.uk or leave an answerphone message on 01732 850280 and we will do our best to get back to you on Tuesday 29th December. We will then re-open officially from Monday 4th January 9am-5pm.

    In the meantime, if you wish to place an order please use our website www.carrandwestley.co.uk, any orders placed after 23rd December will be dispatched on our return (Monday 4th January).

    Wishing you all a healthy & happy holiday.

    With very best wishes,

    The C&W team
    & our newest addition, Harley the dog

  • Winter 20

    We Are Open As Usual

    We are overjoyed to present our Winter 2020 range. 76 pages brimming with outfit ideas including the largest selection of luxurious warm winter coats to date.

    Request the new winter catalogue to see for yourself.

    We know that these winter months may be an unsettling time for many but once again we would like to offer you the reassurance that we are only a phone call away. At Carr & Westley, we are happy to be open as normal and if you have any questions about our ongoing service, or would just like to hear a friendly voice, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01732 850280. As a small family business and manufacturer we know that by working together, we’ll make it through stronger than before.

    As always, Carr & Westley collections are put together with the customer in mind. Our wonderful Windsor Trouser has been especially popular this season. Thoughtfully created in our Kentish design studio, these trousers are offered in 5 lengths, offering a personal fit to suit every shape. Designed, knit and sewn in the UK, we are very proud of the sustainability.

    Our lovely local team are of course following government guidelines and taking extra measures to continue operating safely. Our returns period remains extended to 60 days, giving you that extra flexibility. We offer free contactless delivery in the UK through our partnership with Royal Mail.

     

  • A MESSAGE FROM ALL OF US AT C&W 

    24/03/20

    As the current Coronavirus situation continues to unfold, it is affecting each of us in different ways and is likely to continue to do so over the coming weeks and months. Our thoughts go out to anyone who has been directly affected.
    As a business, we continue to monitor the situation, keeping the health and wellbeing of our customers, staff and wider community a priority. Our online shop (www.carrandwestley.co.uk) & order lines (01732 850280) are operating as normal. We also understand that you might not be able to access your local Post Office as you usually would, so we have introduced a flexible returns policy. To make things easier and safer for you, we are pleased to offer the following:

    Continue reading

  • C&W - Special Offers Coming Soon - Celebrating 100 Years

    We would like to take this opportunity to announce that in the month of June C&W will be releasing some special offers to celebrate our 100 year birthday. Keep an eye out on our Blog, Catalog, Facebook page, Instagram & website for more details!

    100-years 100-years
  • Measure Up!

    Measuring imageOne of the biggest problems people encounter when purchasing clothes from online retailers is making sure the size and length is right so that garments fit as well as possible.

    We’ve put together the following guide on how to measure, whether you’re doing this yourself or someone is helping you with the process:

    Bust & Hips – for tops and trousers, measure around the fullest part of the bust or hips with no allowance for extra fullness.

    Dresses & Skirt lengths – measure from the top of waistband or nape of neck and down to the hem.

    Corsetry – measure next to the skin.

    With skirts and trousers with elasticated waists, remember that the garment measurements will actually be narrower than the measurement on your hips. This is because of the stretch that's needed in the garment waistband to keep the skirt/trouser in place.

    When you read 'no allowance for extra fullness', this means the manufacturer size will have already factored in space for extra movement in their sizing metric. So, whilst you might have a bust of 36 inches and therefore fit a size 14, the actual garment might measure 40 inches around (the extra movement has already been factored in).

    The sizes detailed in our catalogues and on the Carr & Westley website are based on British standard sizing and should only be used as a guide. In the event of a garment differing in size, this information is given next to details of the particular piece of clothing.

    If in doubt regarding your size, please call 01732 850280 to speak to one of our experienced staff at Carr & Westley who will be happy to advise.

  • How A Carr & Westley Skirt Is Made

    At Carr & Westley we take pride in being one of the last bastions of British manufacturing. Our skirts and dresses have been made in this country since 1919 and home-based manufacturing is a legacy we are proud to uphold in today’s heavily outsourced world.

    From our workrooms in Kent, we still put the same passion and detail into the production of our clothes as we did 90 years ago. To give you an insight into how our manufacturing process works, we’ve put together this short article that details the production process of a Carr & Westley skirt – from conception to the wardrobe.

    Product Design

    product-design

    The first part of the skirt manufacturing process is creating a design. Our designer will sketch out a number of rough designs for the new season and these will be made up into product samples. With a range of product samples to choose from, our designer and management team will select five or six designs that they want to put into production and include in the next catalogue.

    The chosen design of a skirt is influenced by a number of factors. The most influential of course being seasonality. Summer skirts are usually designed from lighter material with flared hems and rarely feature pockets to maintain smooth lines. Winter skirts are more robust and many are designed with full linings for warmth and comfort.

    Once the design of the skirt has been finalised, we have to decide which material to make it from.

    Choosing Material

    choosing fabricTaking the finished skirt design, our production team undergo ‘material sampling’. Material manufacturers from all over the country send us fabric samples in 6x6 inch squares. These samples come in a variety of patterns with different fibre contents and washing instructions. We can receive up to fifty different samples before we whittle down to three or four for each design.

    The materials we choose for sampling are determined by a number of factors. First and foremost, we want it to look good. Is the pattern right for the season? Is it a unique and distinctive design? Next, we need to make sure that its weight, fibre content and texture is suitable for the time of the year. Summer skirts are generally made from light material like cotton. Winter skirts a denser, wool-heavy material.

    With three or four sample fabrics chosen, we make up a working prototype of the product. From the different fabrics, we can observe how the material looks, sits, stretches, washes and endures through everyday use. At the end of this testing phase we choose a final material and put the design into production.

    Photography

    Catalogue PhotographyOnce a skirt design has been approved and a final sample made up, we have to photograph it for our catalogue. The catalogue production team will take the sample out on location for what we call ‘lifestyle photography’. After lifestyle photography, we then shoot the product again in our studio against a white background for inclusion on the website and examples of all available colour ways.

    With the skirt photographed and included in the catalogue and website, it awaits its first customer order.

    Receiving An Order

    When a customer orders the new skirt online or via the phone, a product ticket is generated in our workrooms. This tells the manufacturing team which model has been ordered and in which size, colour and length. The ticket is passed to our team in the cutting room where the first stage of manufacture happens.

    The Cutting Room

    Cutting TableFrom the order received our cutting team have to select the correct material and then cut chosen dimensions from the roll. The material is cut from design specifications which can mean marking out and then trimming a number of separate panels, accounting for pockets and additional design features. If the skirt design includes a lining, this will also be cut here alongside the main material.

    Unlike many other manufacturers, all our skirts are made to order. This means that when a skirt order comes through, we actually make it from scratch. This process is not efficient, especially by today’s automised standard, but it is traditional and allows a flexibility not granted by other manufacturers. It allows us to offer five different skirt lengths – a real rarity in today’s clothing trade.

    Stitching

    Sew TableOnce the panels, pockets and other features of the skirt have been cut they are passed onto the stitching department. This is where the pieces are put together like a jigsaw.

    In the stitching room, we sew the skirt panels together and adjust the waistband and hem to specification. If the model includes them, pockets are finished here along with other design features. Finally, the C&W label is sewn in along with the product size label and fibre content. With all the components of the skirt pieced together, it is pressed, packed and ready to send out to the customer.

    Working As A Team

    Team PhotoWe have to work as a team throughout the manufacture of a Carr & Westley skirt. Many of our workroom staff have been with the company for a long time and have formed strong personal bonds because of it. We believe that these relationships and our respect for traditional manufacturing techniques have helped us maintain a unique level of quality. We are proud of our team and proud to be different.

    Click here to see a range of Carr & Westley made products.

  • New Year, New Look

    Carr & Westley BrandIt's the start of a new year and at Carr & Westley, we are very excited to annouce the launch of our brand new company identity.

    As you will see from the logo at the top of the page, we've had a bit of a spruce up.  Our new branding is a reflection of the values that have made C&W the company it is today with a modern twist.

    We are still the same trusted, family-run business with a commitment to excellent customer service.  We still make Carr & Westley and Anna Victoria branded products in our factory in Kent.  The purpose of our new branding is simply to merge our rich heritage with a passion for design and life.

    We are really excited about this coming year and hope you love what we have in store for you.

    Here's wishing you a very happy new year from everyone at Carr & Westley.

  • Community - Tunbridge Wells Life

    Tunbridge Wells LifeAt Carr & Westley we value the importance of community and also like to embrace any technology that brings people together. If you have everbeen in our area, you may recognise the streets of Tunbridge Wells from our catalogue photography provided by David Bartholomew. David has been shooting our clothing collection for a number of years and he has just set up a brand new website that aims to improve community spirit and communication within this vibrant South East town.

    If you live in, grew up in or ever visited Tunbridge Wells we recommend you take a look at Tunbridge Wells Life.  David has put together a fantastic resource of everything Tunbridge Wells.  In the Galleries section you'll find a visual library of some of the Towns most important sights. In the News section you can see what's going on in the town on a weekly basis - find a tour to discover the real town, or check out what events are happening in the near future.

    The website celebrates all that the Town has to offer in a structured, easy-to-use way. In the Directory section you'll find a list of 'go-to' bars and pubs, communal societies, popular businesses and places of worship. It's also a great resource if you have mobility issues and would like to know what dedicated access areas are available around the town.

    Researched and maintained by a friendly, enthusiastic team who are passionate about what they do, Tunbridge Wells Life offers you the most complete resource on what Tunbridge Wells has to offer.

    We'd like to congratulate David on his website and look forward to seeing it evolve with every week.

  • Hadlow Folly

    Hadlow FollyToday we have been out and about taking photos for our next Winter catalogue in our home village of Hadlow.

    Mentioned in the Doomsday book, Hadlow is situated in the Medway Valley, approximately 25 km south-east of London. Residing in the Kentish countryside, we are surrounded by many historical buildings, including hop ousts and a medieval church.

    Carr and Westley itself is located in a converted water mill where we have been making our products for the last 70 years - moving down from London to avoid WW2 bombing. There are many interesting buildings here but perhaps the most interesting is the Castle Tower for which Hadlow is well known.

    The Castle Tower, or May's Folly, is a really unique and unusual piece of 19th century architecture. Of Victorian Neo-Gothic design, the tower was conceived by the naval architect Ledwell Taylor and built by local landowner Walter Barton May in 1835. It is one of the tallest folly's in Britain and had no original purpose other than for decoration. However, during WW2 the building was used as a lookout point for the Home Guard.

    Following the war, the tower fell into disrepair but was saved from complete demolition in 1951 by the painter Bernard Hailstone.

    In 1987, however, the grade 1 listed tower was badly damaged in a great storm with the lantern, gables, buttresses and roof suffering heavily. After the storm it's condition worsened rapidly and as a result it was added to a list of the 100 most endangered sites in the world in 1998. Following a series of local council meetings the public set up the Save Hadlow Tower Action Group (SHTAG) in a bid to get the building repaired.

    Although the tower was originally built for ostentation not habitation, it had been partly converted for residential use in the mid-1970s. This meant it was necessary to acquire the building through Compulsory Purchase before any restoration funding could be granted and refurbishment work started. As a result of SHTAG campaigning, in 2011 the Vivat Trust agreed to commit to the restoration project in its biggest development project to date. Upon acquisition, the Trust developed a scheme to convert the tower into premium holiday accommodation in conjunction with public access (a condition of lottery funding). Other restoration donations came in from the English Heritage, the Architectural Heritage Fund, Kent County Council and the Country Houses Association.

    The £4 million restoration is now well under way and we are all looking forward to seeing the results. If you ever find yourself in the area, Hadlow Tower is well worth a visit and of course do pop over the road to see Carr & Westley :)

    You can read more about the Hadlow Tower Restoration Project here.

  • Welcome

    Afternoon Readers,

    Welcome to the official new and improved Carr & Westley blog, as your reading this your obvisouly starting to find your way around the new website!  We will be using this blog to post updates on the goings on at C&W HQ and include information on our latest special offers and catalogue changes (maybe even the odd C&W discount code).

    Please feel free to contribute and share.  This is a resource for you…

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