Top 15 Yorkshire textile mills

Famous for it’s lush countryside and rolling dales, Yorkshire is also renowned for producing some of the world’s finest textiles. We bring you our top 15 Yorkshire textile mills.

There are several dozen textile firms still operating in Yorkshire, including weavers, spinners, dyers and finishers. The  woollen and worsted cloth produced in the region is some of the finest in the world, and the textile industry boom of the industrial revolution makes up a large part of Yorkshire’s rich history.

In recent years many of the Yorkshire textile mills have had a lot of investment, and we’ve even some some firms that had moved their production offshore bring back operations to the UK. Laxtons is a great example of this, having not only reshored but also opened a state-of-the-art factory in 2017.

One of the companies championing the region’s textile industry is  Yorkshire Textiles, a not-for-profit initiative by Leeds Fashion Works. They work to promote Yorkshire’s high quality products and specialist skills to internationally reknowned fashion houses and global brands. Founder Suzy Shepherd gave us her view of the Yorkshire textile industry.

“With its rich and unique textile heritage, Yorkshire is renowned for producing some of  the world’s finest and most sought-after cloth.  Leading luxury brands around the world, couturiers, Savile Row and Royalty are just some of the destinations for cloth produced in Yorkshire. Many of the mills can trace their roots back through generations.  The iconic scarlet cloth of the Queen’s Guard’s uniforms is one of the instantly recognisable cloths made in Yorkshire at AW Hainsworth. Dating back to 1783, it is still today a family firm and one of the oldest companies in Britain.

Archives from Hainsworth and other mills in the region give a fascinating insight into the history and cultural impact of cloth manufacturing in a world context. From fleece to finished product is a fascinating process; once people begin to appreciate the concept, they can understand the skill, craft and value that has made Yorkshire famous as a textile homeland.” – Suzy Shepherd, Yorkshire Textiles

Here is our list of the top 15 Yorkshire textile mills operating today…

Abraham Moon

Abraham Moon

Founded in 1837 and with their roots in apparel, Abraham Moon are one of the last remaining vertical woollen mills in Britain, meaning they are among a select few who continue to complete all processes on one site. From supplying fabric for a growing Leeds market throughout the 1800’s to supplying the major fashion houses of modern times, they have a strong history over the past 180 years and a reputation for consistent quality and innovative design.

Joshua Ellis

Joshua Ellis

Joshua Ellis produce the finest handcrafted cashmere and woollen cloth, fabrics and accessories are highly sought after by luxury fashion houses and are exported from the Yorkshire mill to over 23 different countries. By successfully marrying innovation in design and manufacturing with a commitment to investing in new generations to develop the time-honoured skills; the company can reflect on its historic past whilst looking forward to an exciting future.

W T Johnson & Sons

WT Johnsons

W.T. Johnson & Sons, are one of the world’s leading textile dyeing and finishing companies. They create high quality finishes on an ever increasing range of fabrics, from the finest gentlemen’s worsted suiting to specialised safety clothing and upholstery. Their success, and that of Huddersfield’s heritage in the fine Worsted industry, are interwoven. Unmatched craft skills and expertise have been handed down through four generations of master fabric finishers, from W.T. who started the company in 1910 to a skilled local workforce today.



Established in 1907, George Laxton and Gordon Holmes formed a worsted spinning mill , combining George’s technical know-how and Gordon’s financial expertise, producing wool and mohair yarns. Prior to the First World War, together with local a Bradford weaver, they developed a new technology which dissolved away cotton fibre leaving pure mohair thus creating the first light weight mohair suiting fabric in the world. After re-shoring 100% of their manufacturing in December 2009, Laxtons have managed to invest in additional manufacturing capacity. As a result, they outgrew their old premises and have built a state-of-the-art new spinning mill, not only increasing capacity with new machinery but also capability in being able to offer an even more diverse range of yarns for many different markets and end uses.

Marton Mills

Marton Mills

Marton Mills Co Ltd is a traditional family owned weaving mill in the heart of West Yorkshire. They have a vast range of stock supported fabrics and their in house design team offer a bespoke service to meet exact requirements. Consistent quality and exemplary service has led to Marton Mills being the largest supplier of school wear and kilt fabrics in the UK. Their fabric is used in a wide range of applications throughout the clothing and furnishing industries. Marton Mills now produce over 20,000 metres of cloth every week which is dispatched worldwide.

Sam Weller & Sons

Sam Weller & Sons

Sam Weller & Sons Ltd. is one of the leading decatising wrapper manufacturers in the world. The company was founded in 1911, and for more than three quarters of a century it has worked with the cloth finishing industry, providing an unrivalled knowledge in the manufacture and application of decatising wrappers. Famous worldwide for their quality and dependability Weller also specialise in weaving high pick density Cotton fabrics, in weights ranging from 70 – 950gsm, for a wide variety of applications.

Pennine Weavers

Based in West Yorkshire, Pennine Weavers are specialist commission weavers and one of the most flexible weaving plants in Europe, with the ability to produce lengths from 12m to 3000m. Manufacturing for the luxury end of the market continues to be the core of their strategy, continually looking to invest in the forefront of technology and ensure their team is one of the most highly skilled workforces in the textile industry. In addition to training their staff they operate an employee profit sharing scheme.   This allows staff to benefit from their hard work and attention to detail, improving productivity and quality. As a result of investing in people, Pennine Weavers are viewed as a progressive company to work for and are helping to make textiles an attractive career choice for a younger generation.



Founded  in 1856 by 21-year old Thomas Burberry, by 1879 Thomas Burberry has invented gabardine, a breathable, weatherproof and hardwearing fabric. At the Burberry textile mill near Keighley, traditional and modern techniques are combined to create this signature gabardine. Cotton fibres are chosen for length and fineness before being coloured and spun into super-strong yarn.

Alfred Brown

Alfred Brown

Alfred Brown have woven fine worsteds in Yorkshire for 100 years and for five generations they have kept the same core values: a belief in quality, attention to design detail and continual reinvestment in new product and machinery. All their fabrics are produced at Empire Mills in Yorkshire, England. Combining the latest in weaving technology with time honoured techniques to produce some of the world’s finest cloths.

C & J Antich

C & J Antich

C & J Antich is a commission weaver, warper and mender in the Yorkshire fine worsted industry, producing the finest British worsted cloth for the world’s best known fashion brands. They have become the largest worsted manufacturer in the UK. They have over 40 machines, and are fully operational 120 hours every week. Their believe their success is due to their well-trained and skilled workforce and investment in the latest technology on a regular basis.

Dugdale Bros

Dugdale Bros

Dugdale Bros & Co are cloth merchants based in the very centre of Yorkshire’s worsted industry despatching fine cloth from an imposing historic headquarters building in Huddersfield. With advances in technology, they have embraced the new processes that enable fabric to shed creases easily, retain shape over longer periods and be extremely comfortable to wear. They have recently announced their Cottonopolis collection: The first cotton suiting and coating collection to be spun, woven and finished in Britain for decades, this luxury range of cloths incorporates premium-grade Supima yarn from pioneering @englishfinecottons and is crafted entirely in the North of England.

AW Hainsworth

AW Hainsworth

A specialist textile company, AW Hainsworth has been a market leader for over 230 years. From the time Abimelech William Hainsworth started manufacturing woollen cloth in Yorkshire in 1783, investing in people and maintaining strong partnerships with customers and suppliers have been the cornerstones of their success. Hainsworth fabric has clothed royalty and the military for full-dress ceremonial occasions and has embellished and enriched the furnishings of palaces across the world.

Camira Fabrics


Carmira design and manufacture fabrics for use in a vast array of commercial interiors, education, healthcare, retail, and for passenger transport on bus, coach and rail. Making over 8 million metres of fabric a year, they spin and dye yarn, grow bast fibre crops to blend with wool, and weave on over 100 dobby, jacquard and plush looms.

Hield Brothers

Hield Brothers

Hield Brothers was established in 1922. The company was founded by entrepreneurs David and Hugh Hield under the name Hield Brothers in West Yorkshire as a manufacturer of the finest quality English cloth. Based in Briggella Mills, the company has over its illustrious history gained a worldwide reputation and global standing as a symbol of perpetual British quality. The company has twice been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Export.

Huddersfield Fine Worsteds

Huddersfield Fine Worsted
With a strong heritage and a well-established friendly reputationHuddersfield Fine Worsteds is an internationally-renowned fabric manufacturer. Based in West Yorkshire, they supply the world’s biggest design houses and most prestigious tailors with superior and selectively-sourced fabrics. Combining innovation in their designs, and tradition in our outlook, HFW is the epitome of British elegance with global appeal.

Joseph H Clissold

Joseph H Clissold

In 1910, in the small town of Cleckheaton, Joseph H. Clissold established his cloth manufacturing business at Brookhouse Mills. The business expanded and Joseph H. Clissold relocated to Bradford, one of the centres of Britain’s fine worsted industry. Joseph H. Clissold developed the company and built a reputation on traditional craft skills and leading technology. Today the craft, skill and expertise in cloth making have been developed further by new generations and today’s fabrics are finer and more technically advanced than ever. The company has its own in house design team, where 6 designers have the use of the Scotweave CAD system and can produce samples in single and full width through either Hattersley, Data Weave or Dobcross looms.

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33 thoughts on “Top 15 Yorkshire textile mills”

  1. Cynthia E Finnis

    I have really enjoyed reading of all these Yorkshire Mills and very proud of my Yorkshire roots and my Yorkshire upbringing and a Yorkshire lass. Although i do have to say Burberrys is based in Crosshillsand not near Keighley and yes Crosshills is near Keighley but as an ex employee of John Woodrow and Son which was a firm on the same site i felt disappointed of the printed location.

  2. I am interested in woollen (not worsted) weavers in Yorkshire or elsewhere in England & Scoyland.
    Can you give me a list?

  3. I am interested to receive a list of woollen manufacturers (not worsted) in Yorkshire and elsewhere in the UK

    1. If you are interested in top-quality, striking and innovative tweed and bouclé wool fabrics, then Linton Tweeds, Shaddongate, Carlisle, Cumbria is well worth a look. They have a bricks and mortar shop and an online shop and have been supplying the house of Chanel since the 1920s.
      I have family connections with both the Yorkshire woollen mills and the Lancashire cotton mills, so it is uplifting to hear about the history and current flourishing of these Yorkshire mills – thank you.

  4. A great article and good to read Yorkshire textiles are still world leaders. Many years ago I worked at Sidgwick Silks, part of Wm. Hutchinson Yarns (Greengates) before moving to the knitted fabric side of the industry at home and abroad. They were good days – not very well paid but good days

    1. Hi Martin,
      I came across your note just ‘googling’ Sidgwick Silks. I worked in the design office in the late 60s. John Strachan was head designer I recall. I was taking C&G at Bradford Tech in woollen and worsted design part time; not much use to me really as at Sidgwick it was all jacquard designing and synthetic yarns. Happy days indeed.

  5. Which out of these mills are producing furnishing fabrics out of recycled materials, especially interested in plastic bottle yarns??

  6. Hi,
    I am a retiree in my 70`s. As an apprentice in the early 1960`s I was an apprentice overlooker at James Ives Ltd in Yeadon. In 1965 I attended the 6 weeks course in Switzerland on the Sulzer Weaving Machines, later emigrating to Australia to install some now Sulzer machines in Sydney. I have been telling the grandchildren about my time with Sulzer machines but they dont understand what I mean about the bullets that used to carry the weft across. I would like to try and get hold of some of the bullets and the guides that they ran through, any idea who might be able to help with this. Quite happy to pay for them.



    1. Hi Brian nice to hear of someone that worked at Ives’s. My father was Peter Rhodes nephew of Elsie Ives and he started there in his teens to see if he preferred working there to Scott & Rhodes. My father picked to work at S & R where he was Managing Director until 1982, when he and i left to run a family business at Herbert Roberts Dyers and Finishers, Beechcliffe, Keighley , I am Peters son John, sixth generation in the business.

  7. Pennine weavers is the best place to work in, the whole workforce is skilled and trained to work in any environment, to be honest I don’t agree with you Ady , the weavers are good, the overlookers are the extremely highly trained, the cleaner is the best , the manager is the best the main owner is extremely nice kind a and welcoming person. Ady stop messing about act your age pal behave you’ve been warned once don’t get a written warning this time

  8. Pennine weavers is a really good place , good environment to work around, the staff are highly trained and hardworking , Ady you need to stop lying , concentrate on your job , the weavers are excellent the overlookers are highly trained the manager is great nice kind helping and so is the big manager the owner what a awesome fella . Don’t listen to Ady be smart.

  9. Love your article on the Yorkshire mills. I am an Australian spinner and weaver and would have liked a list of mills we could have visited to get fibre suitable for spinning and yarn for weaving. I have only been to the spean bridge mill on a previous visit to u.k. thank you, Merryn twemlow, Armidale nsw australia

  10. Catherine Wilkinson

    I am looking for traditional Yorkshire patterns, if there is such a thing, when I found this list. Really interesting and I love that Yorkshire has 15 world class mills in operation. Back to my original quest, are there any traditional Yorkshire patterns? I’m a novice weaver, from Hull, living in New Zealand.

  11. I didn’t really know Christopher Antich but I did know both his younger brothers; Dimitrie and Paul. I used to deliver the evening newspaper when they still lived with their parents in Golcar. I’m really pleased that they have made such a success out of their business when so many other mills went belly up.

  12. Thank you for all this information, is it possible to arrange viewing all this factory, My friend from Taiwan would like to visiting all this factory for his clients. Thank you

  13. Christine Crompton

    Is there a Mill making cotton towel still? I am interested in creating a new product from cotton towel. Thank you

  14. Wonderful walk down memory lane for me. My grandfather was a dyer and my mother marion adlum (nee Ingle) was a burler and mender in various mills around Idle and even at home having the “Pieces” delivered to our house and working on our table that my dad altered for her. She also worked in an upstairs room in an old church building at Greengates warmin herself and my dinner over a paraffin stove. Then later working in Eccleshill in a room above what could have been the Co-oP. In the 1950s she worked in the centre of Bradford.

  15. Hi I’m looking for a British textile factory to collaborate with on a day in the life film and photography project – would love to chat further if anyone can help? Many thanks

  16. I am looking for info on Thomson wollen mills from the 1800s. Any help would be appreciated. I believe it was sold to Standard wollen mills. I can’t find any info but we have pics. ??

  17. So good to know that there are so many yarn and textile companies still around. I really enjoyed learning about them all, thank you for an interesting read.
    Does anyone know of a felting mill in UK. I represent a producer group based in North Wales. We are interested in exploring the potential of turning Welsh Mountain fleece into felt for agricultural and horticultural use.
    Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

    1. My Auntie worked at Christy Weaving Mill in Hyde, Cheshire. I have Googled it & the manufacturing was moved to India. The Head Office is still in the UK, perhaps they may be worth a phone call.

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