Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Luxury Fabrics September & October

During the months of September we have seena huge surge in requests for our brand new ranges from Charles Clayton and John Foster and also for our new bunch covers from William Halstead.

Over 250 tailors around the world have requested these ranges and we are pleased to announce they have begun to arrive into stock. We are still waiting to recieve the new Super 120's bunch from William Halstead, the Platinum - Super 200's bunch from John Foster & the Masterpiece - Super 150's bunch from Charles Clayton. This will take our range to 11 stock service bunches with 2 more being planned for 2013.

We also have travel sets on the way to accomodate the travelling tailors.

The new covers for William Halstead's Explorer bunch & British Mohair bunch are pictured below.  


The new ranges for Charles Clayton are pictured above, There is the Savile Row - Super 130's bunch and also the Grandmaster - Super 180's & 10% Cashmere bunch.

We have also been busy creating a Luxury Crest card for all three brands so that when we recieve a draw sample request we are able to supply the swatches on branded crest cards pictured below.

Matthew Simpson from John Foster was invited to attend an award ceremony in New York to recieve an award on behalf of John Foster from Saks Fifth Avenue for the number 1 fabric.


We have also been invited to join Woolmark Gold, the symbol of Luxury & Quality.

We have also been busy travelling visiting the tailors in and around South America, Paris & London and are set to make furutre trips to Turkey, Germany, Australia, The Middle East, Russia & The Far East in the coming weeks once the remainder of the bunches have arrived.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Luxury Fabrics meet the Countess of Wessex

Luxury Fabrics were honored to accept an invitation from local business Haworth Scouring to attend the opening of their new showroom named "The Wessex Room"

The event took place at the Haworth Scouring production complex during the day and various companies from the trade gathered to greet the Countess on her visit to open the showroom.

Martin Curtis (Pictured - far right) Managing Director of Curtis Wool Direct Limited asked if we could display some of our cloth for the event which we were delighted to do. Other companies had also contributed to the new showroom and some of the design idea's were truly brilliant.


Whilst talking with the Countess we were able to explain about the company Luxury Fabrics and the brands William Halstead, Charles Clayton & John Foster. The countess was very keen to know more about us and even asked if we were the producers of the Wessex Tweed cloth....Maybe some day!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Purple Mohair

A few short months ago we took on a special project for Michelsberg Tailoring which was to create a purple mohair cloth for a customer’s wedding suit.
We were given a colour to match to by the customer from a suit he had seen on the internet.
Using our specialist finishers we got to work creating samples of cloths in various shades of purple for the customer to approve.
We were able to offer a 60% Mohair 40% super 100’s wool cloth in a piece dye (X1850V/Natural) and yarn dye (8975/16771G)
The difference being between the cloths is that the 8975 quality has a black warp and gives a slightly different effect on the finished cloth.
The cloth we chose to dye was the lightest grey in the bunch which is shade 8975/16771G/G1.
On approval from Michelsberg Tailoring we proceeded to dye just 3.5 meters of cloth for the individual suit length.
After being created into a wonderful suit by Michelsberg Tailoring behold the finished product which we are really pleased with.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

SIL Holdings - Press release

1st May 2012

W.T.Johnson have agreed to sell their shares in world renowned worsted fabric manufacturers John Foster and Charles Clayton to their Bradford based partner in the businesses SIL Holdings Limited (SIL).

W.T.Johnson and SIL Holdings Limited came together to rescue John Foster and Charles Clayton from administration. Through this collaboration the businesses have been rebuilt and now stand on a firm financial footing with revitalised collections selling globally and exhibiting at Premier Vision Paris.

SIL Holdings Limited own anther specialist fabric manufacturer, William Halstead Limited, and the three companies will be consolidated and operate from Stanley Mills in Bradford.

Mr Andrew Seal Managing Director of SIL Holdings Limited commenting on the merger said “I would like to thank W.T.Johnson for their participation, assistance and support over the last three years. W.T.Johnson will continue to dye and finish for the group.”

Mr Paul Johnson Managing Director of W.T.Johnson said “We have achieved our original aim which was to save these UK manufacturing businesses. We believe that this has not only been in our interest but also in the interest of the textile infrastructure in Yorkshire. As a result we are now happy to sell to SIL Holdings Limited who have the necessary manufacturing experience and resources to build on this new start. W.T.Johnson now prefer to concentrate their efforts on the continuing development of their core business of commission dyeing and finishing.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Raymond Seal

We are sad to announce the death of our group chairman Raymond Seal who sadyl passed away February 24th 2012. Below is a copy of an article published by Twist magazine. We would like to thank Twist magazine for their kind words.

Raymond Seal 

Born December 23rd, 1932, Raymond Seal left Bingley Grammar School at the age of 16 to pursue a career in textiles. Starting off in the wool business, he soon chose to specialise in camel hair, cashmere and mohair.

Building on his early education, in the 1960s Mr Seal set up his own speciality fibre business in Bradford with Ernst Schneider, known as E. Schneider Limited and R. Seal Limited.
Five years after the sale of these companies to the Wool Company in 1965, Mr Seal established Seal (Bingley), a trader of camel hair and mohair. Initially running the office from his home in Bingley with the help of four staff, in 1977 the business finally settled at Ladywell Mills, Bradford, home to company headquarters ever since.

At the time, the business was being jepardised by unreliability of third party warehouses. In an effort to assume direct control of its own warehouse and shipping, the company began processing the fibre at its 175,000sq ft Ladywell Mill site. Starting with camel and cashmere dehairing, the Seal brand then moved onto mohair and alpaca combing.

Mr Seal excelled at selling in Eastern European areas such as East Germany, Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic. Having established strong buying links with China, he was the first European to open an office in Beijing following the fall of Chariman Mao. Under Mr Seal's supervision, the company opened two offices in Texas in the 1980's, a main supplier of mohair, as well as establishing a joint venture cashmere dehairing factory in Mongolia.

"My father was ahead of his time, forward thinking and willing to try different things," explained Andrew Seal, group managing director." "He was keen to meet suppliers even in the days when travel was hard."

First and foremost a family business, Raymond's son Andrew joined the comapny in 1976, followed by his younger brother Jeremy in 1982, who is now managing director of the fibre division. Mr Seal's grandsons have also joined the company. Philip Seal is currently training at William Halstead and Joshua Seal is a trainee in the fibre division.

Mr Seal retred in 1995, but remained company chairman until his death. The catalyst for his retirement was the fall of communism, which caused the company's customers in Eastern Europeancountires to disappear. To rebuild turnover, the decision was made to focus on the Far East and Western Europe. "At that time my father realised he had to take a step back and let others concentrate on these areas, which is what we've done ever since.
"He did however maintain a keen interest in the company and was always supportive of new directions and ideas," said Andrew Seal.

The umbrella company SIL Holdings Limited now incorporates fibre, production, yarn and fabric divisions. The core of the business is Seal International Limited, a manufacturer and merchant of cashmere, mohair, alpaca, silk, camel, angora and yak sourced from counttries as diverse as Chia, Mongolia, Afghanistan, South Africa, Peru and Bolivia.

The company portfolio also includes Animal Fibres (Europe) Limited, Cape Wools International Limited, Cashmolane, Fantasy Fibers Limited, Joseph Dawson (Cashmere) Limited, Mr Mohair Limited and Seal South Africa Limited.
The production division encompasses Bridehaugh Limited, Cashmere Combing Company Limited, George Ackroyd (2001) Limited, Mohair Combing, Ladywell Blending Limited, Mohair Spinners (UK) limited, Roberts Dyers and Finishers Limited and Stanley Mills Weavers Limited.
Further downstream, SIL Holdings owns a variety of family businesses with a longstanding textile heritage, including interior textile company Abbotsford 2010 Limited, woven fabric producer Charles Clayton, and worsted fabric weaver John Foster (1819) Limited.
SIL Holdings is also the parent company of cashmere specialist Joshua Ellis, manufacturer of flame retardant furnishings Sea Green Limited and mohair fabric manufacturer William Halstead Limited.

Currently the group employs over 200 people worldwide. "The key lessons my father taught us were to treat everyone with respect, treat suppliers as you would your customers and treat your staff well, look after them through the good times and bad."

Mr Raymond Seal passed away on February 24, 2012. He leaves behind a wife, two sons Andrew and Jeremy, and four grandchildren Philip, Jessica, Joshua and Georgia.

(Page 44 Twist magazine April 2012) 

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

October and November at William Halstead

The months of October and November have been the busiest I can remember for a long time at William Halstead.
We have visited many countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Paris and Russia for various events and promotions of the company.
The first event was in association with a very special customer of ours in Korea. Cambridge Members hosted an event in Seoul Korea in support of the Campaign for Wool to which William Halstead were delighted to attend.
The event was held in Ambassador Uden’s residency in Seoul and attended by a select handful of British manufacturers and customers to promote British fabrics in Korea and especially help cement our relationship with the Cambridge Members team.
We were driven round the production plant the next day and got a real insight into the next stage of the production process and it was exciting to see where our cloth is delivered once it has left the mill in Bradford.
Over the entire trip was a huge success and we felt privileged to be included in such a prestigious event so a personal thank you to the Cambridge Members for this kind invitations.

The second event William Halstead attended was at Zhukoffka Plaza in Moscow’s Luxury Village.
 The event was set up to promote Italian designer Vincenzo Brandonisio who had a fabulous fashion show displaying his creations on the catwalk.
This was an excellent opportunity to meet with the store owner and by extension the general public who buy the finished garments made from our cloth which is always interesting.

As a new market for William Halstead we really got to understand the element of luxury desired by the Russian people, particularly our Cashmere by Joshua Ellis and Vicuna products by William Halstead were of great interest.

Dream Suit Event
The main reason for the trip to Russia was to launch our newest product to the market place which is 100% Worsted spun Vicuna.
We are offering this into Russia through our customer Dream Suit who will be selling the Vicuna on a made to order basis for each individual suit length. We can supply Black Navy and Natural colours, if a customer has a particular design they wish to create we can also work closely with the customer to create the desired design for the suit length. We can also personalize the selvedge with the customer and or tailors name and even design a pinstripe to state the customer’s name in the stripe. A surcharge will is applied for this service.  
The price is 2500 GBP per meter
Dream Suit hosted an evening with 60 of their top customers to present the William Halsted 100% worsted spun Vicuna to the public. This will feature in their new store which is launching this month in Moscow.
Also featuring in the event were our sister companies Joshua Ellis, Charles Clayton and John Foster.
There was great enthusiasm from the Russian press and Forbes magazine and Russian shopping guide are particularly keen to feature this project in the next issue of their magazines.
This event has really given the SIL group companies great exposure into Russia and over the coming months we expect our business to grow thanks to the help and support of the Dream Suit event.


We were fortunate enough to be contacted through Twitter @WilliamHalstead by The Tweed Pig who has featured William Halstead in a small section on their blog.
It is so rewarding for us to feature on this blog as the “Masters of Mohair” A title we quite like the sound of.  
A special thank you to The Tweed Pig for including us in your blog
We have also had confirmation we will be featuring in Twist magazine - UK
Wish Magazine - Australia
Forbes Magazine - Russia
Russian Shopping Guide - Russia
Talking about our design your own cloth project and the 100% Worsted spun Vicuna

Coming Soon

For the next month we are preparing now to launch our fabrics with a personal friend of mine who has recently launched his own store in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire called 13 Nelson Street.
13 Nelson Street 
13 Nelson Street ran by Marlon Williams is to host a store launch in January where William Halstead fabrics will feature. Marlon will also be offering the design your own cloth to his wide range of customers as well as the stock supported bunches. More details of this event to follow shortly.