About Taut® at Derby Central
Who are we, what do we do, why do we do it, and why you should be wearing Taut®.
Taut® is a design and manufacture company located in the north of England, right in the heart of Yorkshire. Based in a converted textile mill, we are proud of the fact we are carrying on the tradition of British garment manufacture, albeit in a small way, in an area steeped in history.
Yorkshire has long been famous as a centre for textiles and excellence in textile manufacture as the industrialists of the 19th century took advantage of the soft water supplies and growing wool and cloth trade.White Rose Mills, the Home of Taut® about 50 years ago when it was a textile mill.
Fast forward a hundred years or so, and Taut® filled a gap left when large sewing factories shut down, as companies moved their operations to the east to exploit exceptionally cheap labour and fabric costs.
Back then, we were designing bespoke garments for a number of different people, from dance schools to sports teams. As the majority of bulk manufacturing had gone overseas, we used our ability to create garments based on what people were asking for, in small numbers, to establish a small but, we are proud to say, highly regarded brand.
Right from the beginning, our ethos was quality first. We could never compete with cheap garments made in volume using basic fabrics, often abroad. We have always sourced premium fabrics, and refused to compromise on anything just to make more profit.
We learnt very early on in our development, that compromising on quality materials, especially fabrics was at best short sighted, and at worst self destructive.
We once lost a large customer who wanted us to use fabrics which were half the price of the ones we were using, to reduce the cost to them, but we refused to put our name to them.
Similarly, we could make more profit if we used mesh or airtex fabrics for our boutfits but we don't. We could give them innovative names, and label them as sports fabrics and breathable but we don't. We could 'forget' that the most destructive thing in Roller Derby is velcro, but we don't.
We had designed a dress for netball, and this had caught the eye of a couple of Roller Derby Leagues, Leeds Roller Dolls and Hellfire Harlots. Pussy Rollmore from Leeds came to visit us, introduced and explained all about Roller Derby.
At this time, most leagues in the UK were either wearing cotton tee's, or uniform sourced from The US.
The first league we made uniform for was Hellfire Harlots, who took a set of home dresses in red, and away in purple.
Shortly after this, Lincolnshire Bombers contacted us. They wanted a uniform, however they were quite specific about what they wanted. This was right up our street, and so after seeing images of the type of top they were after, we developed our first bespoke derby vest.
Soon after this, we were thrilled to be contacted by Team England, who asked us to design and manufacture the uniform worn by Team England in the first ever Roller Derby World cup in Toronto, 2011.
The uniform was a fully piped vest, made from Meryl, in both white and red colourways, and can be seen here: Roller Derby Three Colour Derby Vest.
The natural progression for us was sublimation Printing.
Everybody wants their identity, and nothing is as flexible as sublimation.From the specific colours, to the intricate logos used by many leagues, sublimation offers total customisation that fabric and heat press could never match.
Working with a UK manufacturer, we developed and tested a fabric which gives the best protection against velcro we are yet to see.
It isn't cheap, but then uniform shouldn't be a disposable product!
Taut® now supplies leagues with uniform not just across the UK, but throughout Europe and beyond.
Our products are seen worldwide, from the televised top seeded teams competing for The Hydra at champs, to scrimages in your local leisure centre.
Our referee tops ship all over the world, and we have made enough armbands to supply the derbyverse many times over (it feels that way!!)
To all of you, from all of us at Taut - Thank you for your support past, present and future,
Head of design