Meet the Maker: Edward Green’s Nathan Peach
Who are the people working on the shoes you love? In this series, we take you on a journey to meet the maker! Introducing Nathan Peach, a talented young hand stitcher working at Edward Green.
From Northampton to Seoul and back
Nathan is 21 years old and has his dream job: he crafts masterpieces at Edward Green in his hometown Northampton. His skill set is so special that he travels the world to visit major cosmopolitan cities, to showcase his work to Edward Green clients. People have admired watching him at work from Paris to Milan to Seoul, where he has no less than a rock star status. We have had the pleasure to host Nathan in Amsterdam in 2020, where he demonstrated his hand-stitching in our Boutique, and at the Super Trunkshow. Once travel bans are lifted after the COVID pandemic, he will be happy to take it to the road again.
It runs in the family
Andy Peach, Nathan’s father, has been working with Edward Green since 1997. With over 20 years of stitching experience under his belt, it is safe to say he masters it to perfection. This has made him a legend in the shoemaking world, and famous with an international audience of those in the know.
Fast forward 20 years to 2017: Nathan joined Edward Green fresh out of college, and he has enjoyed every moment. He has had the unique opportunity to learn this intricate craft from his father. “It was weird to be together 24/7,” Nathan said, “but my dad knows so much about hand sewing. It was a new experience to talk to him from a professional perspective.” The Peach duo even shares a workspace at the factory. “We do not have a lot to chat about anymore when we get home by the end of the day,” Nathan jokes. During this last year, it was different, as Edward Green staff had to reduce the number of employees in the factory due to the Covid pandemic and as the men alternated shifts they had lots of catching up to do at home.
Hand stitching the uppers for Edward Green: no machine could replace it
Nathan might be able to do it blindfolded or while asleep, but the hand stitch used to create the stunning uppers for Edward Green’s iconic models Dover, Fulham, Harrow, and Clapham, amongst others, is a tricky and complicated matter. It took Nathan 9 months of full-time training before his work was up to the “production standard”, and he was a quick learner. “It takes 2 hours to hand-stitch the uppers including toe seam for a pair of shoes, I finish 4 pairs per day, so I can complete 20 pairs per week.”
You can see Nathan at work here. He starts with three pieces of leather and marks each apron with a set of dividers. He uses a wheel to mark the leather with dots for an even stitching result. The complexity of the stitch is that it goes halfway in between the leathers, which are only 1,2 mm thick, instead of underneath. Nathan and Andy make their own threads out of polycotton and use boars’ bristles on each end of the thread, Nathan explains. Starting from one side, then the other, he works towards the middle, and voila, the signature stitch presents itself.
The love of shoes
No machine can sew at this angle, so the Peaches will not be out of a job anytime soon. “Clients appreciate the hard work that goes into it, the fact that it is done by hand,” Nathan says.
The amount of handwork and the meticulousness with which it is conducted makes the hand-sewn models by Edward Green, such as Dover and Harrow true masterpieces. While it may not be visible immediately to a passer-by on the street, the stunning details provide a daily spark of joy to those men lucky enough to own and wear these shoes.
Nathan: “I grew up watching my dad do the hand sewing so of course, I became interested in shoes as well.” His first pair of Edward Green shoes were Dover in Burgundy Antique, the most iconic model in Edward Green’s collection if you ask Nathan. Though he admits to wearing sneakers often, these Dovers are still his favorite shoes for the right occasion.
Photos and videos by: Nathan Peach, Super Trunkshow Amsterdam (by The ShoeCare Shop & Shoegazing), and The Hand