At the Tailoring Academy, we believe that students should receive a full education and acquire, alongside their practical training, a sense of responsibility and accountability for their work.
Traditionally, apprentices receive training in only one area of the craft: they must choose between different pathways and become trouser or coat makers, or cutters. From an employer’s perspective, this secures a succession of specialists as part of their in-house production. From an employees point of view, however, following years of commitment, they often haven’t had the chance to acquire skills needed to move on or set up their own company.
We therefore adopt a more holistic approach and teach BOTH pathways (the entire bespoke skill set) to ALL students: graduates leave the course with two acknowledged qualifications, as fully rounded specialists.
We believe that practice is essential for any craft and encourage our students to spend time in the workshop outside teaching hours. During term time, students have the facilities exclusively to themselves each Friday. The programme starting in September 2019 will provide 1,000 hours of guided tuition and individual practice in total.
Pattern construction is an important part of our curriculum, and students learn to draft individual paper patterns from scratch. The Tailoring Academy is the first UK training facility to follow the renowned German Müller & Sohn construction system (in English), which allows a truly individual pattern draft for each customer.
Finally, to provide students with practical experience in measuring, fitting and consulting individual customers, we pride ourselves of our ‘Community Tailoring’ scheme: students take on bespoke commissions from members of the community, and work with them through all stages of the bespoke process. Participation is voluntary but students are encouraged to take this opportunity to practice their skills and generate some income at the same time.