John Butcher is head cutter and has worked with Budd for almost 50 years. He is one of the very few shirt makers remaining in London who actually cuts a paper pattern for every client based on their specific measurements.
His work room is lined with brown paper envelopes containing the individual patterns for his customers over the years. One of these envelopes contains the details of a dustman in the East End whose one luxury was to have a shirt made every year or so, in order to impress his lady friends. There is usually a minimum order for these shirts, but in the dustman’s case, John made an exception.
James Macauslan is an apprentice cutter and lucky enough to receive his new skills from master shirt maker John Butcher.
An apprenticeship at Budd not only ensures James will learn his trade from skilled craftsmen, but he will also be exposed to many unusual commissions which the Budd customers request. For example, there is one exacting Italian gentleman who will go to extraordinary lengths to ensure his shirt fronts are straight – he has his shirts made with a riding tail - this means that the shirt tail is longer than on a conventional shirt which allows it to be passed between the legs and back up the front where it is buttons below the waist. This may sound like a cross between a shirt and a nappy, but the result is a pristine finish with a perfectly straight shirt front!