Whaleys of Bradford ~ Textiles Made in Britain

We try to source made in Britain goods for our shop, wherever possible. So recently, we ordered cloth stamps from The English Stamp Company, and are going to get plain shop carrier and laundry bags made for when we open on a high street {bear with us!}. Through social media we discovered that a company called Whaleys, in Bradford, manufactures and sells 450 different types of fabric, many in natural loomstate. Their offering includes silk, cotton, linen, muslin, hessian and wool cloth, as well as fire-retardant theatre curtains. It produced fabrics for use in the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games,

Whaleys was established in 1869 by Mr Samuel Whaley, and at the very beginning the company specialised in silk and jute weaving, with one floor processing textile sacks and bags.

The original premises were off Leeds Road in Bradford, West Yorkshire, before moving to Bolton road in 1908, finally taking over its present site, Harris Court Mills in 1973.

Harry Jowett, who took over the reins in 1900, was the great-grandfather of the present Managing Director. During the First World War, weaving was suspended and silk making abandoned. When normal work recommenced an industrial fabric section was established to furnish the textile finishing industry.

Just before Harry Jowett’s death in 1921, the firm was taken over by his two sons in law, Fred Popplewell (MD) and James Robert McIlvenny and after the last war, joined by the sons of James Robert, Harry and James Fredrick, who is currently chairman, assisted by his son and managing director, Peter, now representing the fourth generation. Over 20% of the company’s turnover comes from world-wide exports, particularly to Europe and North America.

We have ordered natural linen, muslin and canvas, as you can see in the photos.

They provide samples and trade price sheets for all stockists and also have an online retail shop, with very reasonable prices. I highly recommended them for their swift and professional customer service, and we shall upload photos of the finished bags as soon as they are ready.


[email protected]

Whaleys (Bradford) Limited

Harris Court

Great Horton



Tel: 01274 576718

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