Made in Britain

Clissolds

On some of my other social media platforms I’ve talked about a wool suiting fabric with the word ‘Yorkshire’ woven into the stripe and a little while ago we were able to visit JH Clissold & Son Ltd in Bradford who design and weave the fabric. This is the only fabric they weave in house as their core business is designing woven fabric rather than manufacturing which is outsourced (still within the UK). 

The Yorkshire stripe fabric is woven on a bespoke basis and although it’s the Yorkshire stripe that has caught people’s attention the company actually weave any word or phrase into the stripe and when we visited they were weaving a custom fabric for a Russian customer. 

Yorkshire stripe Clissolds

The Yorkshire stripe fabrics are woven on a traditional Jacquard loom and a typical fabric requires around 290 cards to be punched and laced up, all of which is still done by hand. Clissold’s core business is designing luxury fabrics, mostly in wool, and mostly for high end designer brands across the world who place a high value on British design and manufacturing. 

Clissolds mending room

The luxury nature of their product means there’s a great attention to detail, including every fabric being checked by hand when it arrives from the weaver with any faults in the weave also being repaired by hand - a significant job given the amount of fabric on the shelves, all of which is checked before it’s sent to a customer, and the fact that we couldn’t even see most of the faults that were being repaired such is the attention to detail. 

Clissolds 2

Touring the rest of the factory, it was interesting to see the fabrics being designed using CAD and to see the archive of samples of more than 30 years of fabric designs. Our visit was a reminder that whilst the UK textiles industry is significantly smaller than in the past ‘made in Britain’ is still valued across the world.

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