From Waterloo to the Woolsack our iconic fabrics have made an impact on lives throughout history. Today, we integrate the traditional qualities of craftsmanship with cutting edge innovation and product development to meet the needs of a growing and diverse global customer base.
Abimelech Hainsworth was born1783
Abimelech Hainsworth, ‘Old Bim’, started his clothiers (cloth merchant) business in Farsley Yorkshire, buying his cloth from cottage weavers in the area.
Abimelech had saved up enough money to buy 4 acres at the bottom of the village of Farsley and start his own cloth production.1800
Samuel Marsden who was from Farsley arrives back with the first bale of Wool from Australia. The wool was deemed to not of sufficient quality to be used by Hainsworth mill so was converted into cloth by Thompson mill across the valley in Rawdon.
When the might of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard was bearing down on the British lines of Waterloo, the ‘thin scarlet line’ was scarlet thanks to Hainsworth fabric.
When Abimelech died in 1836 he was the wealthiest man in the district and left a personal estate of £12,000 and two thirds of Cape Mills. This included five acres of land, 14 cottages and a blacksmith’s shop. His shares automatically passed to his three sons and three nephews but in just four years five of the partners had passed away. With none of their sons of an age to succeed their fathers it left just one partner, John snr and his son Charles to run the business.1836
Abimelech William Hainsworth (young Bim) was born.
In 1869 along came industrialisation and a new weaving shed was opened to house the new power looms. This saw the end of the time honoured practice of handloom weaving on which the company had been built. A new era had begun.1869
A second mill, Temperance Mill, in Stanningley was purchased and by 1884 re-equipped with fifty five looms, scribblers, condensers, mules, stocks and milling machines for different finishes.1882
The partnership between Old Bim and John Snr was dissolved and the mills split between the partners. Young Bim moved full time to Temperance Mill.
Abimelech started weaving worsted fabric and to continue expansion he bought Spring Valley next door, which forms the main part of the mill today.
Saw the first orders for Khaki Serge developed specifically for the British military by the company in conjunction with Leeds University.1899
The “Boys in Blue” are in blue thanks to Hainsworth. When the Air force separated from the Army in 1918 and approached Hainsworth for colour ideas to allow them to have their own identity, it was Hainsworth that proposed the distinctive blue cloth that they have worn ever since.1918
To ease the financial plight brought about the the depression, the two partners launched the firm as a limited liability partnership with a capital of £100,000.
War broke out and again with 91% of production assigned to Government departments.
After the war the full order books were fed by continuing Government orders and exports, encouraged by a good conversion rate and the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, for which Hainsworth were chosen to produce a special cloth in regimental colours to mark the occasion. It was just what the country, company and industry needed after so long at war – textile used in celebration.1953
Amidst strong growth came the night of 11 December 1955, when disaster struck the mill. Arthur Moffatt, the firm’s caretaker, noticed a red glow in the low side weaving shed. He raised the alarm and ran to move his horse from the adjoining stable. Within minutes the fire had spread to the two storey spinning block and in total it was estimated that three quarters of the entire mill had been destroyed. The life’s work of three generations and a fourth just starting, came crashing to the ground in just three hours.
Through disaster came the opportunity to rebuild and renew, and the company decided to move away from steam to electric power. The rebuild included a new two-storey main mill, a single-storey spinning mill, the scribbling department re-roofed and a new raw materials shed was erected.1955
Hainsworth bought William Lupton and Co from the Great Grandparents of Kate Middleton.
AW Hainsworth purchased a number of companies, introducing a wide range of new products, from Piano felts to snooker baize.
The mill was hit by another disaster and suffered a major flood due to a violent storm
Hainsworth worked with Hazelgrove Superleague to develop the first English Pool cloth for a game that had been adapted from the American game of pool for English pubs.1970
The company took the decision to work with DuPont introducing the first protective Nomex® fabrics into the UK.
Hainsworth provide snooker cloth for the world championships watched by 18 million people.
New machinery and technology was introduced to support the growing business and over £2 Million was invested.
Prince Charles wore Hainsworth cloth on his wedding to Lady Diana Spencer, as did the Guards in their scarlet tunics lining the Mall.
Hainsworth begin to sell snooker cloth to the Chinese market.
Hainsworth invent Nomex Delta T with DuPont and worked with Bristol Uniform to create the modern day structural firefighting uniform.
Hainsworth launch the first ever printed cloth for pool.
Hainsworth bought the famous E J Riley snooker brand
Hainsworth bought the famous E J Riley, Hazelgrove Superleague and Premier Pool to be the large cue sports table manufacturer in the UK.
Hainsworth invent REPEL+ technology to protect riot police in the UK from petrol bomb attack.
Hainsworth sells Riley Leisure Ltd.
Hainsworth develop & patent TI-technology™ for structural fire fighting garments to optimise protection against heat and flame.
Hainsworth launches Hainsworth® TITAN a fabric using TI-Technology.
Hainsworth launch Elite pro Worsted Cloth and Smart Woven Cloth for pool and snooker.
The company invested over £1 million in new textile machinery, research and development, and marketing.
Hainsworth won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation for TI-Technology™.
Hainsworth receive the Royal Warrant for providing furnishing fabrics to Her Majesty the Queen.
Prince Charles attended the launch of Campaign for Wool at the Wimpole Estate Cambridgeshire, where he famously dubbed the product “A coffin to die for”.2009
Hainsworth launch Precision the worlds fastest woollen snooker cloth
Hainsworth purchase Northern Rubber the leading manufacturer of table rubbers
Royal Wedding, Princes William and Harry wore Hainsworth cloth. This was an event with double meaning for Hainsworth along with the connection to Kate Middleton through her Great Grandparents and William Lupton & Co.
Hainsworth launch Chinese brand Ying Fang Bau Zhi.
Hainsworth launch Scarlet and Argent2012
Hainsworth Launch TITAN 1260 a variance on the patented TITAN fabric with PBI fibres for the structural fire market.
Hainsworth become member of the Woolmark.
Hainsworth celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the battle of Waterloo with participation in the Unseen Waterloo exhibit at Somerset House.
AW Hainsworth Purchase Replin Fabrics and incorporate this new business into the mill.
Princes William and Harry wear Hainsworth cloth at Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle. Hainsworth fabric is also worn by the Paige boys and all the ceremonial military at the event.
Hainsworth re-launch Fabric of a Nation Interiors.