Fabric design is a core part of business. Giving time each season to reflect on current trends, whilst considering how we can modernise and refresh our range through exciting new colourways and weave structures.
Always mindful of our heritage, with an impressive archive to delve into, our designers are expert at coming up with new ideas.
Working closely with our customers to develop authentic english fabric with a modern twist, adding interesting finishes to ensure the final cloth will meet the demands of modern everyday life.
We are meticulous about yarn standards and consistency. We work with the leading names in yarn production which allows us to offer exceptional quality fabrics at all price points.
Testing is carried out in-house to guarantee quality and continuity of shade. Our consistently high standards ensure that we are able to 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 are able to offer guarantees on wool sourcing and are committed to meeting our exacting standards. For more information please refer to our sustainability report.
Warping is the first step in our manufacturing process. Combining thousands of individual strands of yarn on one beam to create the “warp” or vertical part of a fabric.
Our brand-new Comsat warping machine installed in 2019 has been specially designed for bulk manufacturing at high speeds with precise yarn tension control.
We use our Suzuki Pattern Warper to produce blankets and sample lengths quickly; allowing us to meet our customer’s needs for new designs and innovative fabrics each season.
In the twisting department our highly skilled technicians prepare the completed warps to go into the loom. Each individual warp yarn is first threaded through a dropper which allows the loom to detect and stop automatically if there is a warp yarn break. It is then threaded through the shafts which control the lifts of the loom creating the intricate weave effects.
When we began production in 1915 this entire process was completed by hand. A single warp could take up to 12 hours to complete. Today, our modern drawing-in machine can complete a warp in just 2 hours.
Although the process is now modernised and mechanised, years of training is required to efficiently run this machine, our twisters are still highly skilled craftspeople with 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 4 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.
The combination of modern, highly efficient rapier looms with our dedicated experienced technicians means we can expertly balance production efficiencies and world leading quality. We create highly competitive fabrics, at a volume and consistency unmatched by other UK mills.
Mending; it sounds like something’s gone wrong, but it’s all part of the process. This is one of the main quality control departments in the mill.
When weaving at high speed, it's inevitable that some yarns will break. Our team of weavers are on hand to tie these broken ends quickly so the loom can keep running. It’s then the job of our highly skilled mending team to examine every inch of fabric by hand and eye to expertly “mend” these knots so you would never know they were there.
Mending is another skilled craft that takes time to master. Many of our team have been with us for years, with generations of families working alongside us.
Finishing is the process of washing and treating fabrics with heat and pressure to enhance the unique qualities of a merino wool fabric. This is also the stage of production where we can add modern finishes to our products such as water repellents and natural stretch; to help traditional fabrics keep up with modern life.
We outsource our finishing to multiple partners, allowing 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 allows us to offer a much wider range of fabric finishes in our range, confident that the quality will always be best in class.
We have a very close relationship with our finishers. They are partnerships which have been established over decades of working together. The outstanding reputation of our finishing partners is known worldwide. Huddersfield Finishing is widely considered to be amongst the best in the world.
We compete in a global market, producing fine fabrics for brands and garment makers across the world. To succeed in this market quality and consistency are key. We enforce the highest quality control procedures at every level of production.
For the external processes in our production we have detailed checks including internal and external testing. This ensures quality and consistency from our suppliers and partners. Internal production processes also adhere to strict regular checks throughout every stage, these have been developed and refined over the years.
From checking that our yarn is up to spec, to ensuring finished fabric is consistent in shade and handle, our quality control department have records of all stages of production. It is this attention to detail that allows us to offer mix and match consistency across batches for bulk order.
Achieving exceptional quality is a team effort. Throughout the mill we ensure all our staff and operatives are actively engaged in achieving this goal. Our reputation within the industry for exceptional quality is something we are extremely proud of, it is a testament to the dedication and hard work of every member of our team.