Tender has its roots in antique workwear and machinery, especially from the Great British Steam Age. An important face of Tender’s English–made clothing is the nurture which is put into the clothes: in their research, design, manufacture and wear. Tender’s goal is for the owner to live with their clothes, wearing them hard, but respecting their provenance and the stories they have to tell.
One of the reasons that Tender’s clothes have their own special feel is the selection of machines used. Even lightweight shirts are produced on heavy machines designed for workwear and industrial purposes. By retooling and adjusting to allow for the fabric weight, garments come out with uniquely twisted or puckered seams. Longer stitch patterns give a feeling of practicality, but also avoid damaging the fabrics with unnecessary punctures and allow slight flexibility in the seams, helping the clothes to mould and form even better to the wearer’s body over time.
Type 718 The Round Rib Diving Pullover
Knitted in a heavy fisherman’s rib stitch, forming rounded peaks and troughs. The collar is folded and linked on at full double thickness, forming a pillowy edge. The neck hole is cut round as a wide crew neck, and the wide collar fills this in forming a closer fitting neck.
Cuffs and hem are knitted continuously from the main panels, with an increased tension to give them shape.The shoulders and arm– holes are fashioned straight, and linked together
Type 477 Didcot Shirt
The Didcot Shirt is a descendant of the Railway Collar Jacket, produced in very small numbers in 2012. Both garments take their collar design from a British Rail uniform overshirt discovered in the archive of the Great Western Society at Didcot.
The shirt is technically collarless, but a wide shaped facing is sewn onto the outside of the neck, pointed up at the placket, making the shape of a standard shirt collar. Hand pockets are sewn into the side seams. The sleeves are pleated into false cuffs, and the hem is finished in a gentle curve.
Type 462 Millwheel Shirt
The Millwheel Shirt is formed around the idea of rotational symmetry. The front chest pocket is tucked into the outward–facing button placket, as with the Butterfly Shirt, but on one side only. The under placket is sewn inwards, and the back pleat is taken out in one direction only (rather than a more usual symmetrical box pleat).
The direction of the back pleat and the front pocket line up when rotated around the centre axis of the shirt, like the blades of a millwheel. The sleeves are pleated into false cuffs, and the hem is finished in a gentle curve.
Type 131 Lost Jeans
In 2011, an early Tender retailer ordered eight pairs of jeans. At this time there were only two fits, 132 and 130, and they wanted 130s with a slightly straighter lower leg, but not quite the full straight wide leg of 132s. The new shape was accordingly numbered 131.
As it was a small order, cut by hand, the adaptation from 130s was drawn directly onto the cloth as it was laid out on the table– there was never a paper pattern for this style. The eight pairs are long gone, but over the years various references to them have emerged online.
A couple of months ago Tender was contacted by an early customer and old friend of the brand very kindly asking if theyd like to have his worn–in logwood dyed 131 jeans back. From these, and a similarly worn pair of 130s in the same size, they were able to reverse engineer the pattern for these Lost Jeans.