Mike Putt served his apprenticeship as a sailmaker in the royal docks during the 1950's. During this time he worked on many of the great liners and ships that then visited this then bustling port. He went on to become production manager of William Smiths, then one of the largest manufacturers of canvas goods, tents and flags in the world. Whilst there he did much of the canvas work on the Cutty Sark, which had been brought into drydock at Greenwich.
In 1969 he set up his own company in Dagenham. He continued to pursue his love of marine work, but due to the demise of the London docks he diversified into covers and tilts for the transport industry.
During the early 1990's he and his two sons, now working with him, were asked to make the "main lower topsail" for the Cutty Sark. This was to be used to advertise the need for funds for the ships restoration project. Although made of a modern synthetic mesh (to allow the wind to pass through it without bringing the mast down!), the sail was made in the traditional way, all hand roped and spliced. This sail is still often used on big occasions such as the London marathon.
Since then the company has gone on to make many more sails and covers for the Cutty Sark, the Gypsy moth IV and the National Maritime Museum.