On a recent trip to London Podia dropped into the new workshop of Matthew Sowter, otherwise known as Saffron Frameworks.
Saffron Frameworks produce custom steel and stainless steel frames. Each client gets an individual treatment; this is not ‘made to measure’ – this is a full bespoke service. It is also one of the most important feature of the brand, where it isn’t about taking existing frame models and adjusting the geometry to fit the body (like you would see with Passoni or Festka). Instead each frame that is produced by Matthew is different from the last, it is a culmination of the interaction between the client’s desires and how Matthew can realise them in a frame.
Matthew started his career in frame building with Enigma Bikes as a welder before establishing Saffron Frameworks, which today holds a reputation as one of the most exciting and innovative bike makers in the UK.
This reputation was built following a number of exquisite machines were produced by Matthew’s hand as well as numerous awards, including ‘Best in Show’ at last years Bespoked.
But, what also made Matthew standout from other frame builders was a project that he carried out with fellow frame maker Ricky Feather that resulted in a book called ‘Made in England’. Matthew and Ricky travelled the country and interviewed some of the leaders of the frame making industry. These intimate conversations along with great photography not only led to the publication, but also helped the two crystalise what it was they each wanted to achieve in their work.