Speak’s Workwear in West Yorkshire has invested in two new Tajima embroidery machines as part of steady growth for its personalisation services.

The Keighley-based company, which dates back to 1884, now has 10 Tajima machines, supplied by AJS Embroidery, with hopes of investing in more as business continues to grow.

The machines are all single-heads as it was impossible to get any multi-heads up the narrow stairway to the embroidery areas on the second floor of the four-storey Victorian building which has been home to Speak’s since the start.

However, director Peter Wowk said that working on single-heads suited the kind of garment decoration it did. “It may cost a bit more but the benefit is that it means we can sample on one machine and still run nine other designs on the other nine heads. It makes us really quite versatile.”

Speak’s has been building up its embroidery services since bringing them in-house in 2010 with the purchase of its first Tajima single-head. “We had reached capacity so we decided it was worth investing in more,” Peter added. “They give us a chance to throughput an awful lot of garments.

“We would like another two but it’s difficult to predict what will happen with Covid.”

Peter runs the business with his wife, Tracy Wowk, who is the fourth generation of the Speak family that founded the business. It is currently embroidering and shipping around 10,000 garments a week, mainly in the business-to-business channel.