Originally Posted by Pliny
......are these outworkers operating from their backyard sheds or r they based in factories in Northhampton or what? Some would prob do a roaring trade if they advertised on SF etc
As far as I know, all the outworkers are freelancing 'one-man-bands', who can be situated anywhere in the country. They work from their workshops, which are quite frequently garden sheds and all the work gets send to and fro by mail or couriers. In the old days (when London rents were presumably cheaper), all the outworkers were in or near London and used to deliver the work to the firms on Saturdays, got paid in cash and collected the new work.
An out-worker produces only a certain section of the shoemaking process, if they were to look for new clientèle outside the established shoemaking firms, how would they co-ordinate the work of the other craftsmen? Co-ordination and organisation is the job of the firms. The lastmaker is the equivalent of the cutter in a Savile Row house, the person that is ultimately responsible for quality and smooth running of the job. Lastmakers aren't self-employed outworkers, they are either employed or are the proprietor of the firm.