Earlier in the year, we were visited by some of our loyal international customers and agent from Korea, and our MD, Simon Glendenning, had a great time showing them around some of Huddersfield’s iconic buildings linked to the town’s illustrious textile history.
Forming part of the group of 14 visitors was MD Sam Ahn of Renovatio and Mr Lei – owner of Fotton Garments. He was joined by some of the firm’s flagship staff from their store in Gangnam, Seoul. After touching down in the UK, the group spent a couple of days in London, exploring the city’s sartorial street of Savile Row, before travelling up the country by rail to the centre of Yorkshire’s clothmaking heritage, Huddersfield.
Once they’d stepped foot inside the train station, they were greeted by Simon, who took them to the Head of Steam pub – located within the railway station itself – for a spot of lunch, to fuel the day of sightseeing ahead!
First stop in the town was an internationally-renowned weavers founded in 1989, C&J Antich & Sons Ltd. It was here that David Antich gave everyone a tour, sharing insight into the technical weaving process and showing them around the machines which produce circa 40,000 metres of fabric each week.
It was then time to head to one of the world’s leading textile finishers W.T. Johnson & Sons, where there was another guided talk of the craftsmanship and machinery that goes into fine fabric finishing.
After a busy day learning about the wool-to-worsted-cloth process, everyone enjoyed discussing the day’s events over dinner at Eric’s Restaurant in Lindley – as well as exchanging experiences and expertise within the world of tailoring.
Thursday was a new day and there was more of the town to see! In the morning, everyone from Fotton Garments met at our Northumberland Street base for a comprehensive tour of the Dugdale Bros & Co. premises – a building dating back to the Victorian era.
Simon showed our visitors around and not only gave them a behind-the-scenes insight into our historic headquarters and the Dugdale story, but also talked them through the role that Huddersfield played in the development of fine worsted cloth during the Industrial Revolution.
After learning about the heritage of the last remaining cloth merchant in the centre of town, the last stop on the tour was at Meltham-based spinners, Lightowlers Yarns Ltd. There, Mark Lightowlers – grandson to the original co-founder, Richard – showed everyone around, pointing out some of the key equipment involved in the spinning process, such as the ‘Fearnought’ – a machine used for unscrambling the wool.
We’re pleased that the visit was a great success, with our Korean customers having thoroughly enjoyed learning about Huddersfield and its rich textiles history. No doubt we’ll be welcoming more of our international partners to this charming Yorkshire town very soon. Keep an eye on our blog and social media channels for further updates…