Manufacturing Process & Ethical Trading
Handmade using time-honoured methods
As experts in this field, we know the quality and character of a handmade brick cannot be mass-produced; it’s the little imperfections created during the process that makes each brick unique.
To get a really special product takes real craftsmanship and our brickmakers have the skills and experience required to create superior products in the traditional way.
We make our handmade bricks using methods dating back to the 15th century.
- A ‘clot’ of roughly shaped clay is prepared and thrown by hand into a wooden mould dusted with dry, fine sand. Excess clay is removed with a wire bow and a flat wooden pallet is placed on top, with the mould being inverted to remove the brick.
- These bricks – known as ‘green’ bricks – are then stacked and left to air dry, creating the unique creases or ‘smiles’ on each brick face.
- The green bricks are then carefully stacked by hand into a coal fired kiln, where the temperature is gradually increased.
- The colour and texture of fired bricks depend on the minerals in the clay and kiln temperatures. Pink bricks contain more iron, while bricks with yellow tones are produced from clay with a higher lime content. As the kiln temperature increases, the bricks undergo a spectrum of changes; red bricks will darken to a purple tone, then turn brown or grey at around 1300°C.
- After firing, the bricks are cooled in the chamber.
- The face of the brick is then cut off to produce our unique Brick Tiles, each with its own individual character and appeal.
As one of the leading traditionally handmade and pressed tile suppliers in the UK, we adhere to strict trading policies and only source our products from ethical supply partners.
Integral to our business is the empowerment of sustainable and ethical supply chains. We work closely with all of our suppliers to ensure they continuously deliver and meet ethical policies and business practices.
We want all of our trade customers and end users to have full confidence that Imperial Brick Tiles’ products are made ethically and to the highest standards, and that those who make our products are treated fairly, with respect for their human rights and are not exposed to unsafe working conditions.
Imperial Bricks Ltd, of which Imperial Brick Tiles is a trading style, is a member of Sedex and is committed to responsible sourcing.
Read our full Ethical Trading Policy.