UK Made Shoe Laces, Boot Laces, Insoles and Shoe Polish
Fabmania: Quality British made shoelaces and bootlaces
Fabmania – http://www.fabmania.com – The largest manufacturer of laces in the UK – Order shoe, boot and trainer laces direct from their website.
They also sell round elastic cord online and (in minimum quantities) made to order braid and cord, tape, ribbon, woven tape, elastic and webbing, piping, treasury tags (India tags), etc. – all made at their factory in Leicester. Fabmania were previously named Hancock and Roberts Ltd.
For British made shoe and boot laces also try e-bay – I bought my most recent trainer laces from “thankshoe” and another supplier is “theshoelaceplace“:
Shoe String were a bit evasive when I asked them if they manufactured anything themselves in the UK, but I get the impression they do manufacture some of their laces in house in the UK. You’ll need to check if what you are interested in is made in the UK. Their other shoe care products are all foreign made. The name Show String has changed to ‘Fresh Step‘ since I first wrote about this company. They are not manufacturers themselves but their Shoe String laces are made in the UK wherever possible. Since my last comment the company have kindly got back to me with more detail on 31 January 2017 as follows. “Shoe String laces are made in the UK wherever possible. However braids can be sourced from a multiple of locations worldwide, for example many raw materials are simply not farmed or produced in the UK eg cotton farmers. For 100% UK manufacturing you would need to stress this with the order and how far you require UK sourcing of material, this will then limit the choice or the manufacturing cost. For this reason we can sometimes seem evasive as it is not 100% straight forward in giving the answer to a direct question. Technically as with car manufacturing we could announce UK manufacturing because of the processes performed in house to produce a shoe lace. The Shoe String brand Insoles range we manufacture is however 100% UK insole material. The ranges of Shoe Care and polishes Victor de Banke offer here from Market Harborough are Woly Swiss brand now made in Poland and Hungry. Famaco manufactured in Paris since 1931 (family business still today) we are proud to represent these 2 high quality brands that reflect the diversity and range of laces and insoles we manufacture” – http://www.shoestringuk.co.uk – https://www.freshstep.co.uk
Possibly Ragray Textiles make shoe laces in the UK, but you would have to contact them to check. They also manufacture elastics, braids, cords, tapes, webbings, etc. and it says made in the UK on the home page of their website – http://www.regray.com
Boot Buddy mud removing tool is made in the UK. They say on their website “We wanted to manufacture in GB and so we found a small family run operation to begin making our prototypes but they were so good we began our full manufacturing with them and here we are today…The Boot Buddy.” This will be great for cleaning wellington boots, walking boots and outdoor sports shoes. They also have coming out soon (as of November 2018) the Paw Buddy and Paw Buddy dog shampoo which will hopefully be British made too – https://bootbuddy.com
Patons shoelaces (William Paton Limited) was taken over by Punch in 1990 and, as far as I know, no longer manufacture in the UK.
Kiwi (now part of American company SC Johnson) also used to manufacture shoe laces and shoe polish in the UK but as far as I know no longer do so. Kiwi was formerly an Anglo-Austalian company. In the UK they had a factory in Ealing. Kiwi also had manufacturing plants in Australia, India, France, Canada, South Africa, Spain and Pakistan. In 1984 Kiwi was acquired by Consolidated Foods Corporation, which in turn changed its name to Sara Lee. In 1991 the UK division of Sara Lee acquired the Reckitt & Colman, who used to have a factory in Hull and used to manufacture for Kiwi too. Sara Lee / Kiwi also took over K&M Candles plant at Honley in Yorkshire, which has subsequently been closed. In 2010 Kiwi SC Johnson purchased the Kiwi brand. See the history of Cherry Blossom below too.
Wren’s Shoe polish is, as far as I am aware, no longer made (see history of Cherry Blossom below). The same with Nugget Boot Polish which also merged with Chiswick Products / Cherry Blossom. At one point n the past Wren became part of the Sara Lee corporation, as detailed below.
Lane Bros. (Polishes) Ltd as far as I know is no longer in existence.
Cherry Blossom is the original, and now, the only shoecare brand manufactured in Great Britain – http://www.cherryblossom.co.uk – manufactured in Alfreton, Derbyshire – Cherry Blossom do a full range of shoe and boot cleaning materials. Available on e-bay, in supermarkets, etc. Only the tinned polish is made in the UK I think. Other products are made abroad, so please check before buying. Owned by Granger’s (see below). Flying the flag for British manufacturing, Cherry Blossom polish is 100% made in the UK, even the metal tins are from a local firm a few miles down the road from their factory. At one point in the past Cherry Blossom, founded in 1906, became part of the Sara Lee corporation and is now part of Granger’s. See the history below – http://www.cherryblossom.co.uk
Timpson branded shoe polish tins are made in England – they are made for them by Cherry Blossom.
Granger’s – http://www.grangers.co.uk – Granger’s waterproofing products, including G-Wax, are still made in the UK at their factory in Alfreton, as are their other products. They were founded in 1937. They state on their website “Today, we’re proud to say that all our chemical products are designed and manufactured in the UK”. Country of origin information is not given against individual products on their website, so you’ll need to ask or look at the packaging before buying. Their British made products are clearly labelled as such but I am not sure if all their products are British made – https://grangers.co.uk
Granger’s also make Leder-Gris wax oil for Alt-Berg and I am assuming this product is made in England, although it does not say so on the tin as far as I know. You will want to ask before buying. As well as their standard Leder-Gris wax (Green label), nowadays there is also Leder-Gris Xtreme (Red label) which is a restorative bootcare product – it is not intended for regular use, but for if boots become extremely wet, and Leder Glös, which will give boots a high shine finish when used regularly in addition to using standard Leder Gris for waterproofing and keeping the natural oils in the leather, and Leder-Bök for suede. Leder-Gris was originally made for Alt-Berg by Allen & Caswell of Leeds or possibly Leicester or Kettering, a manufacture of footwear from 1931 until they closed down in 2001. Allen & Caswell were possibly the makers of a shoe brand called Regent footwear and were possibly also known as The Drage Shoe Co Limited. Since then it has been made by Grangers. Alt-Berg make bespoke and off-the-shelf boots in Richmond, North Yorkshire and in Italy. I don’t know how you can differentiate which boots are UK made except perhaps by asking. They do walking, police, military and motorcycle boots. Alt-Berg used leather from the Pittards/Miers Tannery in Leeds (Yorkshire), but since it was closed down around 2003/4 they have used Italian leather – http://www.altberg.co.uk/leder-gris/history-of-leder-gris/
There is an interesting article about Cherry Blossom here, with great pictures. Production moved to Alfreton in 1994. The company has variously been known as the Chiswick Soap Company, the Chiswick Polish Company, and Chiswick Products Ltd. They also started the Meltonian brand which now owned by Kiwi (now part of S. C. JOHNSON & SON). In 1929 they amalgamated with the Nugget Polish Co. In 1938 Chiswick Products acquired William Wren. The company was closely associated with Reckitt and Colman for many years and were eventually to be fully owned by Reckitt and Colman who themselves were bought in 1984 by American-based Sara Lee (at the time known as Consolidated Foods Corporation). Cherry Blossom have also manufactured in other countries like India in the past. Reckitt Benckiser (India) still hold the rights to the Cherry Blossom brand in Asia and still manufacture, market and sell the Cherry Blossom brand in India and Pakistan. Cherry Blossom have been owned by Granger’s since 1994. Ascertaining information about Cherry Blossom / Granger’s is not that easy, but hopefully I have got this history about right. Cherry Blossom / Granger’s appears to be the only shoecare brand still manufactured in Great Britain.
Dylon leather dye is still made in the UK, now owned by German company Henkel. Henkel own own the Prit Stick paper glue brand (some is possibly still made in the UK) and the clear tape brand Sellotape. Henkel have a manufacturing plant in St Neots, Cambridgeshire.
Bradshaw & Sons new (as of October 2017) leather wax is made in the UK (although oddly it does not say so on the tin, but according to this article it is UK made). Available on Amazon, this is the first product made by James Bradshaw of British Family fame. It is for treating stored leather goods and treatment of old leather goods, rather than for shoes – https://bradshaw-and-sons.com
Chain Bridge Honey Farm (W.S. Robson) products appear to all or mostly be made in the UK and include beeswax shoe polish, furniture polish, leather polish, honey, honey mustard, lip balm, skin care creams, ointments, soap, moisturiser, hand cream, propolis products, beeswax bars and candles – http://www.chainbridgehoney.co.uk
“All [Nikwax] aftercare products are manufactured in the UK”. The Nikwax Analogy waterproof system fabric was developed by Paramo / Nikwax but I assume the fabric is foreign milled (because Paramo products are foreign made) – http://www.nikwax.co.uk
For British made insoles and wool insoles you can try your local indoor market, as well as them being easily found on e-bay and some shops. You’ll often find UK made slippers and moccasins on e-bay and in markets too.
Sheep Sheep (Glencroft by Richard Sexton & Co) sell a few UK made moccasin slippers and UK made wool insoles, as well as good value British made sheepskin rugs, British made belts, British made jumpers, British made hats, British made chamois leathers, etc. Some of their products are foreign made – http://www.sheepsheep.co.uk
Pixieland in Dartmoor are known for their range of sheepskin products, most of which are made in southwest England, and include unisex and mens and women’s sheepskin wool lined slippers, wool insoles and sheepskin rugs. The other products on their website are mostly foreign made. They also have a shop on eBay – http://www.pixieland.co.uk
The Exmoor Slipper Company in Minehead – manufacturers and retailers of genuine suede moccasins (slippers) and wool insoles since 1982, based on Exmoor. Note they also sell foreign made branded footwear. Available on e-bay. Telephone 07815 741 894 or 01643 702063 – http://www.exmoorslippercompany.com
Profoot (UK) Ltd of Watford do not discuss country of origin on their website and their products appear to mostly be foreign made. However, their Lambswool Insoles, Double Deodorising Insoles, and their All-day Comfort Insoles are made in Britain. Profoot (UK) Ltd appear unconnected with PROFOOT, Inc. in the USA – http://www.profoot.co.uk
Blakey’s, the world’s original and best shoe protectors, are still currently (as of June 2014) made in Leeds, England. Available via their website, elsewhere online and in shops and cobblers. The idea behind shoe protectors or ‘SEGS’ is that of hammering protective pieces of metal into the sole of shoes. They are made by Pennine Castings Ltd and apparently account for 30% of the company’s turnover. Pennine Castings Ltd are now owned by H Goodwin (Castings) Limited, an iron foundry in the West Midlands, who also own Tirion Seat Sticks.
Taylor of Old Bond Street sell a couple of shoe brushes but I’m not sure if they are made in the UK.
Likewise Cherry Blossom sell shoe brushes but again I am not sure that they are made in the UK and I think not.
Hill Brush / Salmon have a large UK factory, so at least some but but not all their products are made in the UK and for example their shoe brushes foreign made. Hill Brush is one of only a few UK manufacturers of brushware and hygienic cleaning tools, but unfortunately they do not bother to supply country of origin information on their website so you will need to ask them directly whether a specific product you want is UK made or not – http://www.hillbrush.com
Bentley Brushware also make shoe brushes but again I am not sure they are UK made and I think they are not. Bentley Brushware (Charles Bentley and Son Ltd) have some products manufactured for them in the UK (such as their cupcakes range of brushes, an outdoor broom, and a snow shovel), but only have factories in Sri Lanka and China and no longer have their own UK factory. Some products do carry a made in Britain logo, but Bentley Brushware appear to be primarily an importer these days – http://www.bentleybrushware.co.uk
R.Russell make specialist brushes to order in Chesham, England. At one point they produced mainly paper-hanging brushes and dusting brushes for painters but that market has now moved to China and they say they have “managed” their “decline since then” and are now a much smaller company making items such as bannister brushes, brooms, multi-purpose brushes and computer keyboard brushes. You can read more about the company here. Their website completely fails to tell you where you can buy their products and it is hard to know why companies like this make it so hard to buy their stuff! You might try Labour and Wait – http://www.russellbrush.co.uk
The Herring Shoes website has a Church’s show brush which has a made in England logo near it (the Church’s shoes website does not have this product and you will need to confirm it really is made in England before buying) and a UK made shoe tree.
Kent Brushes shoe bushes are made in England. Royal Warrant holders G B Kent & Sons Ltd (Kent Brushes) have a factory in Apsley, Hertfordshire, England, but I read that only 50% of their products are actually made in the UK. Still that’s better than 0%! They make hairbrushes, toothbrushes, combs, shaving brushes, make-up brushes, etc. Choose Kent products carefully and look for the magic words “Made in England” before you buy! – https://kentbrushes.com/home-garden/shoe-brushes
Does anyone know of any British made shoe brushes please?
http://www.blancoandbull.com is a great site all about blanco, shoe polishes and other polishing products, including histories of brands like Kiwi, Carr and Day and Martin, and Cherry Blossom.
For British made shoes, boots, slippers and trainers please click here.
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Grangers G-Wax. Made in the UK.