Fabric design is a core part of our business. Each season we reflect on current trends and consider how we can modernise and refresh our range through new colour ways and weave structures.
Always mindful of our heritage, with an impressive archive to delve into, our designers are experts at coming up with new ideas. We often work closely with customers to develop authentic English fabric with a modern twist, adding attractive finishes to ensure the final cloth will meet the demands of modern everyday life.
We are meticulous about yarn standards and consistency and carry out testing in-house to guarantee continuity of shade and quality. Our high standards ensure that we can offer mix-and-match on nearly all our top-dyed and yarn-dyed fabrics for bulk orders.
We hold extensive yarn stocks at the mill and work closely with local yarn dyers, allowing us to meet the demanding lead times of today’s retail sector. Our suppliers can offer guarantees on wool sourcing and are committed to meeting our exacting standards. For more information, please refer to oursustainability report.
We invest in machinery that keeps our warping department efficient and responsive. The Comsat Warper has been specially designed for bulk production at high speeds. We use a Suzuki Pattern Warper to produce blankets and sample lengths quickly, allowing us to offer our customers new designs and innovative fabrics each season.
We responded to our customers' needs for shorter production runs and invested in a Sectional Warping Machine. The Karl Meyer Gom Sectional Warper allows us to improve efficiencies whilst also reducing waste.
In the twisting department, our highly skilled technicians prepare the completed warps to go into the loom. Each warp yarn is first threaded through a dropper, allowing the loom to detect and stop automatically if there is a warp yarn break. The warp yarn goes through the shafts, which control the lifts of the loom, creating intricate weave effects.
When we began production in 1915, a twister would carry out this entire process by hand. A single warp could take up to 12 hours to complete, and today, our modern drawing-in machine can complete a warp in just 2 hours.
Although the process is mechanised, years of training are required to run this machine efficiently, and our twisters are still highly skilled craftspeople with an incredible eye for detail.
Currently, we have 30 rapier looms running in 2 shifts with the capacity to weave 1.2 million metres of fabric a year, around 25,000 metres a week.
We are committed to continued investment in our machinery, having recently purchased four new Itema R9500 looms with name-edge jacquards. This investment has increased the production capacity of our woven selvedge fabrics by a third, which has become very important for our expanding export and bespoke tailoring markets.
Through investment we weave highly competitive fabrics at a volume and consistency unmatched by other UK mills.
When weaving at high speeds, some yarns will inevitably break, and tying the two broken ends together results in a knot but allows the weaving process to continue. It is then the job of our mending team to examine every inch of fabric by hand and eye to expertly "mend" all the knots and any other faults arising from weaving.
Like many jobs in a textile mill, mending is a skilled craft that takes time to master. Many of our team have been with us for years, with generations of families working in the company. Overall, there is a great sense of pride and satisfaction knowing that every piece of cloth has received its critical inspection.
We outsource our finishing to multiple partners, which allows us great flexibility. We can benefit from their extensive knowledge and investment in the latest finishing machinery and technology. Working with businesses with different specialisms enables us to offer a much more comprehensive range of fabric finishes.
Huddersfield Finishing has a worldwide reputation for being amongst the best, and we have many years of experience working closely together. We can add modern finishes to our products, such as water repellents and natural stretch; to help traditional fabrics keep up with everyday life.
From checking that our yarn is up to spec to ensuring that finished fabric is consistent in shade and handle, our quality control department has records of all stages of production. This attention to detail allows us to offer mix-and-match consistency across batches for bulk orders.
Achieving exceptional quality is a team effort. Throughout the mill, we ensure that all our staff and operatives are actively engaged in achieving this goal. Our reputation within the industry for exceptional quality is something we are incredibly proud of; it is a testament to every team member's dedication and hard work.