Endura unveils the new Downhill World Champion Charlie Hatton's rainbow jersey

Charlie Hatton's rainbow jersey in production
The production process at Endura is fascinating to see (Image credit: Endura)

Fresh from making his dreams of becoming the Downhill World Champion a reality, Charlie Hatton now heads to Andorra and the famously steep Pyrenean downhill track for the next round of the UCI Downhill World Cup. It will be the first opportunity for the Continental Atherton rider to wear and race in his all-new rainbow jersey that has been created by Endura, the long-term sponsors of the Atherton team, and Endura says they have produced a kit worthy of a World Champion. 

As soon as Charlie Hatton took the hot seat after his spectacular run on the legendary downhill mountain bike track in Fort William during the UCI World Championships, Endura's production team were already getting the creative wheels turning in anticipation of potentially producing the rainbow jersey, and when Hatton's win was confirmed the Endura WhatsApp groups were lighting up with excitement.

Charlie Hatton's rainbow jersey in the design stage

The design has to adhere to UCI technical documents on the rainbow jersey (Image credit: Endura)

As manufacturers of some of the best cycling apparel, the chance to make the legendary rainbow jersey for a World Champion is something that will always get the brand excited. Over the years Endura has produced a few, including a few for Rachel Atherton, one of which is framed and signed in the reception area at Endura HQ.

I recently spent time at Endura HQ in Livingston, just outside Edinburgh, and saw first-hand the production of their custom kit from initial product design to the printing of the material itself, and even enjoyed the banter from the lovely ladies on the factory floor who were busy stitching together the vast range of Endura clothing.

Rainbow jersey being printed at Endura HQ

The design is printed on a large format printer (Image credit: Endura)

Endura makes the Continental Atherton kit end-to-end in its factory in Livingston, with the same production team that produces over 50,000 garments a year for clubs and teams worldwide. It’s a proper factory, with a huge team directly involved in creating and making MTB, road and triathlon apparel in Livingston. 

The procedure for Charlie Hatton's rainbow jersey is much the same as any other Endura custom kit with the extra twist of consulting UCI technical documents on kit design. Initial designs are produced for discussion before the final design is signed off, and with the clock ticking for getting the kit ready in time for Andorra, the production team begins the process.

Charlie Hatton's rainbow jersey in production

A mix of heat and pressure transfers hi-tech inks on to pre-cut material (Image credit: Endura)

Firstly patterns are placed on layers of fabric to be run through an automated cutting table which creates panels that make up the jersey. The print shop team is also printing the design on a large format printer, which in turn is passed on to the heat pressing team next door. 

If you’ve not seen dye sublimation printing in action, it's fascinating and resembles a form of magic as a mix of heat and pressure transfers hi-tech inks from the printed sheets straight on to the fabric itself, with no further treatment required. The panels are colorfast and ready for the final stage, sewing it all together.

Charlie Hatton's rainbow jersey being sewn together

The final piece of magic as the individual items are sewn together (Image credit: Endura)

The sewing machines used by the Endura machinists have been the beating heart of Endura since the company was founded 30 years ago, and the expert skills that create Charlie’s new jersey are clear to see. The ladies were full of banter as I took images of the sewing process during my visit. In quick time the rainbow jersey is ready and on its way to Charlie – next stop Andorra.

Charlie Hatton checking out the rainbow jersey

Hatton has the jersey ready for the weekend race in Andorra (Image credit: Endura)

Endura Custom doesn’t just make kits for world champions and pro riders; it can help you design and make your very own cycling kit. Clubs, teams, events, shops, and riding crews worldwide can draw on the Endura expertise. Find out more about Endura Custom at Endurasport.com.

Paul Brett
Staff writer

Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.

Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm