Woven in History: Celebrating 240 Years of AW Hainsworth

25th July 2023

Our family-run heritage textile mill, established in 1783, is celebrating its’ 240th business anniversary. 

AW Hainsworth is the parent company to Hainsworth Fabric of a Nation, as well as several other brands; Hainsworth Protective Fabrics, Hainsworth Toptable, Natural Legacy by Hainsworth, John Atkinson, Hainsworth Technical Felt, Northern Rubber by Hainsworth, and Replin by Hainsworth. Read about each of these brands here.

Abimelech Hainsworth founded AW Hainsworth as a cloth merchant business in the village of Farsley in 1783, and since then, the company has seen tremendous success. The Hainsworth family still play an important role within the business, acting as a Family Council and working in active roles around the mill.

We are an official Royal Warrant Holder and also crafted the UK’s first heat and flame-retardant fabric. Today, our fabrics are used in many industries – from leading fashion brands to luxury car interiors.

Our cloth is oftentimes worn by royalty and the military in the UK and globally, and our interior fabrics furnish royal interiors, palaces and the House of Lords. Some of our key historical moments include Hainsworth fabrics being worn at both the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and the recent Coronation of King Charles III earlier this year. 

Further, in 1979 the British Snooker Championships were broadcast for the first time on colour television, with the competition played on the now iconic green Hainsworth Top Table cloth.

More recently, our costume fabrics were used to produce the cloaks that the Death Eaters wore in West End production Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, and to dress characters in Downton Abbey, Queen Charlotte, Hamilton, Game of Thrones, and the Crown.

You can read more about the key events that have shaped Hainsworth’s history on our timeline.

Our fully-integrated, vertical textile mill also supplies woven felt for pianos and other musical instruments, designs national and international transportation fabric, and protective materials for emergency services and military personnel worldwide.

As a fabric design, manufacture and supply business we have focused on cutting-edge innovation and product development in recent years – last year we launched our quarter of a million-pound state-of-the-art new laboratory space. We also hold sustainability at heart. We continuously work on several projects to reduce energy, emissions and water and making significant investments towards employee health and well-being.

Our Managing Director, Amanda McLaren, explains:

“When I first joined the business in 2021 I was acutely aware of Hainsworth’s long and prestigious history, and how important it was to guard this as a ‘custodian’ of this amazing family business and West Yorkshire mill.

“In order to understand our future, we have to respect and remember our past, and I have learned a lot by looking back at the stories of those who steered Hainsworth through the previous two centuries. We continue to build on this foundation, with a strong commitment to investing and building a bright future for all our stakeholders to enjoy.

“We have an amazing team of people at Hainsworth today who are all working with pride, passion, expertise and a desire to succeed.”

Amanda McLaren, Managing Director at AW Hainsworth

To mark this important milestone, we will be celebrating with a host of events throughout July, August and September, rounding off the business anniversary with a party. We will also share moments from our history and memories from our team throughout the year in a celebration of our heritage.

We want to thank our customers, suppliers, partners, and employees for all your support recently and over the past 240 years. Whether we have worked with you and your company for 100 years or for the past month, you have contributed to our rich history and keeping a heritage mill active in 2023. We are immensely proud of this achievement, we couldn’t have done it without you.