Saturday, 25 January 2014
Z. Hinchliffe 1776 - Spin Class
Z. Hinchliffe - The Wool People
We mentioned Z. Hinchliffe in a recent article about Lyle & Scott. Since then I've had some interesting conversations with James Hinchliffe, the MD, and a couple with his wife Annabel too. That's James drowning in blue wool above.
I do enjoy learning about British mills.
Z. Hinchliffe was founded in 1776 by Zaccheus Hinchliffe. His business was worsted and woollen spinning at his mill in Denby Dale, near Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England.
Hinchliffe's now concentrate solely on woollen spinning, for which they have almost 250 year's experience. The longevity speaks for itself. As does the client list, which includes names such as Dunhill, Brooks Brothers and Chanel.
The company remains family-owned and run, with James at the helm. Its headquarters is still at Denby Dale, but the company now has five sites in the UK, with a sales office in Italy. It sources the best fibres to produce the finest yarns: cashmere from the Mongolia-China steppe; Geelong wool from Australia; camel hair from China; vicuña from Peru.
If you're reading this in a top-notch sweater, the yarn could very well be made by Hinchliffe.
Here's an excellent story related to Hinchliffe.
Cashmere Affair, an on-line retailer, sells cashmere clothes and accessories for women designed by Caroline Sleigh in New Zealand. The cashmere yarn to make them is spun in by Hinchliffe and knitted in Scotland by Johnston’s of Elgin.
But it wasn't always thus...
Caroline started designing cashmere knitwear for the New Zealand market only, but she was having it made in China. Johnston’s came to hear about Caroline's knitwear impressed with her sense of colour and design. They approached her and offered to make her designs in Scotland. Production was shifted from China to Scotland sharpish. The main supplier of cashmere yarn to Johnston’s of Elgin is Hinchliffe. James Hinchliffe is the husband of Annabel. Annabel is Caroline's sister. Talk about full circle.