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  1. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divemouse View Post
    I can't believe we did Stoney in April in them!
    I can. Size 16 and above dont count LOL

  2. #112
    Pedantic Pig Divemouse's Avatar
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    I can. Size 16 and above dont count LOL
    Are you implying that I was wider than tall 22 years ago? I believe the term you're struggling to find is 'bioprene'?
    Definitely don't doubt Dawn - not if you value your life

  3. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divemouse View Post
    I believe the term you're struggling to find is 'bioprene'?
    "Bioprene" thats the stuff. Available in 27 bore sizes and 5 wall thicknesses.
    All with with low spallation rates, sterilisation methods include Gamma, autoclave, EIO CIP and SIP
    Available in bulk reels.

  4. #114
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    There was a lady in Nottinghma who used to make dysuits under the Dream Marine label.

  5. #115
    M.D., Beaver Sports (Yorks) Ltd
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    Quote Originally Posted by iain/hsm View Post
    Just for once let’s not make it the last time LOL. I am still considering a wet suit/dry suit list of UK Sports Diving Apparel manufacturers but its darn difficult to separate out the true manufacturer from the importers distributors and sub contractors.
    Then how to incorporate the sub contractors.

    Take for an example your suggestion of Hydrotech sure they would be classed as a UK manufacturer by most, but that doesn’t account for Biddy Foord of Terrapin wet suits who manufactured for them and for MDE and others. She ended up pretty much doing triathlon stuff until sponsorship from the big Asian suppliers dominated handing our free stuff to the guru’s and the Iron men.

    Similar why Divex would never make it in the Apparel list as a manufacturer albeit most of the stuff is Crabber’s gloves hot water boots and neoprene hot water suit liners and not for scuba but none the less they were manufactured by a lovely lady who ran a different company who’s son was the MD of Divex.

    A list of sub contractors and OEM component manufacturers would be much bigger but as end users can’t buy direct from them and it would break confidentiallity listing them in open forum. Just expanding your point on one of your proposed manufacturers Solent Divers and as another example of how difficult making the list is. The Royal Navy used to procure around 2000 wet suit a year, Jacket, Long John Trousers, Hard sole boots and hood.

    Take this one supplier: Solent Divers
    These were actually made in Oban Scotland by Oban Wetsuits by the lovely Elaina King who moved from Solent Divers to work on the navy contract in Oban, She bought a lovely stone cottahe on the shore and never went back LOL

    Rumour has it that Cliff was more than a little peeved and for those that knew him can well imagine the scene. Now with a partnership agreement of Bill Gourley of GMT Diving Glasgow who owned Oban Wetsuits at the time he and Cliff Hares of Solent Divers went onto sell to the MoD.

    Oban Wetsuits were then sold to Terje Hansen of Helle Hansen fame and went on to make sea survival and helicopter egress suits eventually being adsorbed into the Norway head office and the Oban factory closed.

    Now how do you list that lot as a single manufacturer. It's difficult.

    One other thing to consider is that this is women's work, all the manufacturers listed in the Apparel section of UK manufactured products so far that do the manufacturing are women, that fact needs to be acknowledged.
    Yes indeed, that would be boring!! As far as UK made wetsuits these days, the biggest player is probably Aqualand/C-Skin in Leeds, who have always very quietly just gone about their business, apart from that and one or two made to measure specialists such as maybe Dennis at Predator, I really can not think of anymore, as mentioned it's so sad when you think of the good old days, when there were loads of us all quite big at the time, a few more that spring to mind from these times were Kim Lassey at Seasports in Scarborough, Dave Chandlers West Country Wetsuits and Wemlor in Oldham. Our suit production ended completely around 4 years ago and the last 5 or 6 years we were predominantly making neoprene goods such as insulation for Wind Turbines for a Danish Company in the Isle of Wight, that was a good job at around 20k a month before the factory was shut, what we called 'cancer caps' which we designed for insulation use for chemotherapy treatment and sign and ticket machine covers fpr London Underground as well as smaller jobs, such as me inventing neoprene boots for Merseyside Police Dogs and covers for Rugby training gear. It was always very interesting what we could get in to!!!

    Yes Cliff at Solent , sure wasn't a man to mess with bless him, I thought I was good at swearing until I got to know him!! Remember the early Oban Wetsuits designs being identical to Cliff's at the time and I don't think they were connected as such.....

    As far as 'Womens work' goes, over the years we employed plenty of blokes, some working on sewing machines, others in finishing, glueing and cutting was a 99.9% mans job, so I'm going to have to start another argument with you over your misleading statement!!! LOL
    Last edited by MW1963; 28-01-2021 at 09:04 PM.

  6. #116
    M.D., Beaver Sports (Yorks) Ltd
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    There were many years, when just about everyone was diving in one of our Icelandic suits, invented by my Dad and really changed the market at the time. It's hard to imagine now that we literally made hundreds every week as well as other stuff and I basically gave my production staff unlimited overtime and some would be at it from 6 in the morning until 10 at night 7 days a week at times.

  7. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by MW1963 View Post
    Yes Cliff at Solent , sure wasn't a man to mess with bless him, I thought I was good at swearing until I got to know him!! Remember the early Oban Wetsuits designs being identical to Cliff's at the time and I don't think they were connected as such.....

    As far as 'Womens work' goes, over the years we employed plenty of blokes, some working on sewing machines, others in finishing, glueing and cutting was a 99.9% mans job, so I'm going to have to start another argument with you over your misleading statement!!! LOL
    Cliff and Bill were connected business wise just not in the biblical sense but agree with you on his lack of Queen's English. Another manufacturer you missed out I think at the time was Tony Tillbrook and then his kids with Spartan Wetsuits. The heavy Spartan suit metal knife patterns ended up at Oban wetsuits then went to scrap. Oban and Solent divers suits used the UK made St Albans Rubber neoprene, I'm pretty sure that Spartan imported neoprene for the Spartan suits.

    Its still a woman's world making suits no matter what you say, its not an argument just an observation. Sadly they rarely get a mention.

  8. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by MW1963 View Post
    There were many years, when just about everyone was diving in one of our Icelandic suits, invented by my Dad and really changed the market at the time. It's hard to imagine now that we literally made hundreds every week as well as other stuff and I basically gave my production staff unlimited overtime and some would be at it from 6 in the morning until 10 at night 7 days a week at times.
    On the subject of our father's another consideration is the sewing machines used to make wet suits and dry suits my father had a patent for some of them. Gunsmiths were also involved in wet suit sewing machines with the gunsmith Mauser Germany making the 4 needle Mauser-Lock tape seam machine. Also the machine specified for the Royal Navy wet suits and dry suits was the Strobel 142
    At speeds up to 30,000 rpm industrial sewing machines are another lost mechanical art.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuhTLA8TqaU

    (Sorry for O'Neil putting a foot in it)
    Last edited by iain/hsm; 28-01-2021 at 10:06 PM.

  9. #119
    M.D., Beaver Sports (Yorks) Ltd
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    Quote Originally Posted by iain/hsm View Post
    On the subject of our father's another consideration is the sewing machines used to make wet suits and dry suits my father had a patent for some of them. Gunsmiths were also involved in wet suit sewing machines with the gunsmith Mauser Germany making the 4 needle Mauser-Lock tape seam machine. Also the machine specified for the Royal Navy wet suits and dry suits was the Strobel 142
    At speeds up to 30,000 rpm industrial sewing machines are another lost mechanical art.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuhTLA8TqaU

    (Sorry for O'Neil putting a foot in it)
    Bloody hell, going to have to agree with you again on this, I won't about 'women's work' as even these days manufacturers, Otter and C-Skin/Aqualand employ plenty of blokes doing sewing and other work. I remember going to Northern Diver around mid 80s to collect our first Mauser that we'd bought from them, I recall it cost around 14k second hand!! Issue with them as you'll know was 4 rows of needle holes through suit along all the seams, to address this initially we used twin needle machines with tape feed attachments which reduced the holes down to 2, downside was double the cost of Shepshed tape. After buying our first Strobel machine, which I recall cost around 4k at the time, we very quickly moved on to using only these for Dive suits as they produced a dry seam after gluing and we eventually had around 10 of these, the Mausers etc. were then only used for surface suits. When I first started visiting factories in China in the early 90's they were using pretty much exclusively machines that had been bought in the UK and shipped over. These days, all machines are made in China with a price tag of $500 to $800, at that the skill of the experienced sewing machine mechanic is dispensed with and like many things now have become basically a throw away commodity!! BTW, the machine in the video has the wheel attachments etc. and is set up to act in the same way as an overlocker, ours were fed with the glued seems flat, then sewn inside and out with the stitching not meeting in the middle o create a proper dry seem on neoprene over 5mm.
    Last edited by MW1963; 30-01-2021 at 06:37 PM.

  10. #120
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    There is a small company in Bedford called DAM Watersports making MTM trilaminate suits. Several of our club members have them and are very satisfied. Their website is

    www.damx.co.uk


 
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