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Luxury automotive OEM, Bentley, celebrated Sewing Machine Day on June 13 by shining a light on the people and technology behind its world-class, industry leading stitching and embroidery. The 120-strong dedicated sewing team at its assembly plant located in Crewe, England, are highly experienced artisans – some having as much as 40 years’ experience.
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. 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%, which has to be accounted for when each panel is cut.
Each Bentley 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.
Bespoke embroidery bringing visions to Life
In a specialist area of the sewing department, Bentley produces bespoke embroidered designs for customers with a unique vision, or to make limited edition models even more special. These intricate and exquisite designs can feature up to 500,000 individual stitches and are requested through Mulliner; Bentley’s personal commissioning division.
The specialist team take several days to create these unique embroidered patterns on a purpose-built, dedicated machine.
Bentley Motors is one of the most sought-after luxury car brands in the world. The company’s headquarters in Crewe is home to all of its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production of the company’s four model lines, Continental, Flying Spur, Bentayga and Mulsanne. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury car brands such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value manufacturing at its best. Bentley employs around 4,000 people at Crewe.