Located in Elland, West Yorkshire, Huddersfield Fine Worsteds is one of the fabric mills we have made a range of our bespoke suits for our clients. Developing some of the finest woollen worsteds, tweeds and silk twists for UK and global tailors, creating sharp suits for some famous names also, the company trades under three names:
Hunt & Winterbotham
Martin Sons & Co.
Due to the decline of the textile industry over time and particularly in the 20th century, these names joined together to form what we know today as HFW; but their individual histories and their signature items are indeed worth telling. Let's begin with Hardy Minnis.
The 1890's saw the establishment of John G. Hardy's woollen merchant company, whilst prior to this in 1874, J&J Minnis was established by the Minnis brothers in London's West End. Fast forward just under 100 years later to the 1960's the two merchants joined together to form what we know today - Hardy Minnis.
Hardy Minnis are known for their finest suiting range made from worsted cloths and their country tweeds; but also their connection with the Royal Family. The "Alsport" range caught the eye and in 1929, the former Duke of York acquired the use of Regimental Tweed of the Brigade of Guards. What we know as the iconic Prince of Wales black and white check design, this was first worn by King Edward VII and has since become synonymous and a popular choice of cloth worn in suiting to this day. The merchant holds a Royal Warrant granted by Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Seal is seen on their cloth books today.
Hunt & Winterbotham were originally based in South West England in the Cam Mills and are said to have begun their cloth manufacturing process in the 16th century. Steeped in history of textiles, the company was officially registered in 1887 with the names of Thomas Hunt and Arthur Brent Winterbotham joining together to create the merchant.
Their speciality were cloths used to line billiard tables and construct military uniforms, but it was their quality worsted and woollen cloths that really helped put them on the map. The early 20th century saw Hunt & Winterbotham join with other mills to trade under the names of "Winterbotham, Strachan and Playne". They became popular cloths within a couple of iconic streets in the States, as well as featuring aboard trans-Atlantic cruises; but towards the end of the 20th century in the 1990's, the company fell into the possession of Illingworth Morris group and became known once again, as Hunt & Winterbotham.
Martin Sons & Co. were known for creating fine silk twists, worsteds and creative woollens after their establishment in 1859 by Patrick Martin at Wellington Mills. Martin left Belfast and came to Huddersfield where he worked in a variety of Yorkshire mills, developing his knowledge and expertise of the textiles.
After his death in 1880, his son Henry took charge of the company and aided in the substantial growth of their looms, creating more high-quality worsteds and effectively becoming one of the largest textile employers in the town of Huddersfield. 1907 saw the development of their signature Fresco® cloth which to this date, is one of the company's best-selling cloths thanks to its crease-resistant properties. Like many involved in the textile industry in the 20th century, the decline hit Martin Sons & Co. and soon in 1976, the line was moved to Kirkheaton Mills, becoming part of what is now known as the Huddersfield Fine Worsteds group. Today, they are a famous supplier of fabrics provided to leading design houses and ready-to-wear fashion globally.
Along with the names Hardy Minnis and Hunt & Winterbotham, the three have produced quality cloths that look very sharp and crisp when worn, cloths worn by some famous names across the years as well.
Check out on our customers wearing a grey two-piece suit constructed from one of Huddersfield Fine Worsteds' bamboo range below!
If you're interested in a bespoke garment cut from one of many Huddersfield Fine Worsteds range, get in contact with our team today to explore and find your perfect fabric! You can watch one of the fabric swatch books below.
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