Demand from Paris sees David Nieper start seamstress course

David Nieper, based at Alfreton, has seen a rise in international orders for its hand-made products, particularly from Paris. As a result, the company – best known for its range of nightwear – has launched its own professional sewing course to meet demand.

Six trainees have just started the extensive six-month training programme and are working towards an NVQ accreditation in professional sewing.

Managing director Christopher Nieper said: “We are delighted with the number of orders from women across the continent – especially Paris. It’s a wonderful achievement to think that women widely regarded as the best dressed in the world are actively seeking out clothes made in Derbyshire.”

The workforce at David Nieper manufactures 99% of its own label clothes at its Nottingham Road premises and one person makes each garment from start to finish.

Mr Nieper said: “The course has been introduced so that the company can train local people to its high, exacting standards and ensure continued success. Our aim is to encourage talent in our own community and train future staff to the highly skilled level we need.”

The course has been developed in conjunction with New College Nottingham. It is completely work-based and, as a result, the trainees are being paid for full-time work.

The six trainees were selected out of 80 applicants. They will now learn a whole range of skills including fabric knowledge and recognition and garment assembly.

Mr Nieper said: “At the end of the course they will have gained a valuable and rewarding life skill as well as a highly transferable work skill. The company hopes that it will be able to offer positions to some, if not all, of the trainees.”

David Nieper started in 1961 manufacturing nightdresses from Swiss cotton. The label was first seen in places like Harrods, although the first full collection was not developed until the mid-1960s when it was promoted through David’s own fashion house. The business grew and expanded to become a nightwear and lingerie manufacturer.

Today, the label is known throughout Europe. As well as the company headquarters and retail showroom in Alfreton, it has offices in France, Germany, Holland and Switzerland.