Cutter at Seahawk Apparel


Tom Jackson is a cutter at Seahawk Apparel, a premium garment manufacturer based in Scotland, with a heritage in protective clothing and modern workwear. He has held the role of cutter at various manufacturing businesses over the last 50 years, seeing and adapting to technology changes while maintaining the core skills the role requires.

Seahawk’s 20-strong team of skilled machinists, garment technologists and pattern cutters have combined technical expertise, and knowledge of garment making that is adaptable to a diverse range of markets, including; premium apparel, lifestyle as well as industrial protective clothing.

“I started work 50 years ago working first in stores and despatch roles before moving into the cutting room,” explains Tom. “There was a strong textile industry in the Fife area at the time which allowed me to progress my career moving from one business to another till I was promoted to cutting room manager.”

He was attracted to the role as he enjoys the challenge of learning new technical skills and working as part of a team to produce quality, changing ranges of garments.

The team at Seahawk is passionate about supporting UK manufacturing and will strategically support clothing brands through the product development and production process, providing a full support system for their customers.

They view this as a step on from a traditional CMT (cut make and trim) service, offering a full-service menu from material sourcing to pattern making. As part of this dynamic team, a typical day for Tom will include planning the work schedule cutting programs to suit the diverse product range that Seahawk produces, from industrial protective clothing to premium fashion apparel and lifestyle garments.

He believes that good hand-eye co-ordination, patience and attention to detail are key to succeeding in this role and particularly enjoys the satisfaction of working as part of a skilled team to create solutions to manufacturing challenges. He adds:

“I’m excited to be part of new garment development and enjoy feeling part of the team that runs the business.”

Interestingly, during his time in the industry, some of his role has come full circle. He says:

“I began using chalk and pencil for markers, then moved to CAD/CAM and now I’m back using chalk and pencil on many of our bespoke garments.”


One of the biggest challenges he faces in his daily role is making sure all work is cut correctly to the very specific designs. For those looking to follow in his footsteps, he advises:

“You should always take pride in your work and pay attention to the detail.”

Rob Sayles, managing director at Seahawk Apparel, believes Tom is a true manufacturing heroe because his work ethic exemplifies the values of the overall business. He says:

“He cares about the garments we produce and always strives to play his part in a team committed to working together, to deliver more for our customers.”

Tom concludes:

“Having been in the industry for 50 years, I’ve seen great advances in technology and enjoyed the challenge of embracing them. I’ve also experienced the damage that losing work to overseas has done to the UK workforce and available talent pool, so it’s fantastic to see more businesses now recognising the environmental and social benefits of sourcing Made in Britain garments. The future is looking more positive than it has in years!


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