Award-winning company will knock your socks off
A DALE knitwear company which produces a range of hand knitted shooting socks, whose clients include TV show The Crown, has won a prestigious business award.
Five years ago, Lucy Blackmore took over the running of Almost Unwearoutable, a business that prides itself on socks that last, running it from her home at Cooper House Farm, in Cotherstone.
This month it was named the best knitwear company in the Corporate Livewire Northern England Prestige Awards, which recognises small and medium-sized business that have proven to be the best in their market over the past 12 months.
Mrs Blackmore said: “I didn't even know we had been nominated for the award and it’s really exciting to have won."
Criteria included service excellence, quality, innovative practices and ethical and sustainable methods of working.
Mrs Blackmore added: “It has been a tough year. Normally I would attend about ten to 15 fairs, but that hasn’t been possible.
“All of my knitters work from home across the North East. Normally I would visit them every couple of weeks and go with wool, pick up orders and have a chat and a cup of tea. Because my knitters work from home that
hasn’t been possible.”
The body of the stockings and socks are knitted on vintage cast iron machines that have no moving parts and the toppers are hand crafted.
Among her clientele, Mrs Blackmore can count any number of regular shoot-goers as well as a Formula One racing team, armed service regiments, the Duke of Argyll and producers of the hugely popular TV show, The Crown.
She said: “I’m not sure who will be wearing them on the show. They did say they were for the current series, season four and I’m hoping it will be the Duke of Edinburgh.”
Before the pandemic, half of the business came through shows and fairs and half was driven by online sales.
Mrs Blackmore said: “I have spent about two months photographing and uploading all the products on to our website, which is quite time consuming.
“But we have to keep going – and I have been for my knitters as they are all self-employed. My knitters are brilliant and are very skilled. Without them there would be no business. I am always looking for new knitters.”
She added: “One of the unique things that make them Almost Unwearoutable is the nylon threads that are infused through the toes and heels and that makes them really strong.
“But they’re also made for one size and not a range such as four to seven.
“If you have a size seven foot, that is the size of the
sock and that I think is important.”
The socks come in a range of colours with toppers that can be plain, patterned or with a particular motif. Visit almostunwearoutable.com