Association Future

After  over 30 years of service to the Association , our Secretary, Stephen Walsh will retire at the end of  September 2018 .

Looking to the future, the Association  is forging  a closer partnership with the United Kingdom Fashion and Textile Association ( UKFT ) which has offices in London and is the main representative body for the textile and fashion industry . The link up with UKFT will benefit members and open  up a wider suite of services . However at the same time  the Association will  retain its name,  its independence  and the office in Blackburn.

To strengthen this  partnership , Martin Jenkins of the UKFT , who was previously   Head of Business Development and Apprenticeships  at the Textile Centre of Excellence in Huddersfield  , will  take up the position of Association  Secretary on Monday 1st October 2018

Martin  worked at the Textile Centre of Excellence in Huddersfield   for over 22 years ( starting soon after he left school) and looks after  client engagement across the industry . He has extensive knowledge of skills , textile businesses and government funding streams .

The Association’s core activities of Employment Law and Industrial Relations advice will continue to be provided by Gillian Hartley with support from UKFT’s dedicated team of Employment and HR experts

The National  Festival of Making  2018

The United Kingdom Fashion and Textiles Association will have their Textile Careers Stand and Pop Up Factory at the National  Festival of Making in Blackburn  on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May . The two day event attracts around 30,000 visitors . The UKFT stand will promote the diverse Lancashire and UK wide textile and fashion industry , covering all aspects of the sector from technical textiles to footwear to sewn products.

Association Annual General Meeting and Dinner 2018

The Annual General Meeting was held on Friday 16th March 2018 at the Mytton Fold Hotel, Whalley Road, Langho, Nr. Blackburn at 7.30p.m.

Mr John Morrison of Leigh Spinners Ltd. was appointed  Chairman. 75 members and guests attended the dinner that followed.

The date for the Annual General Meeting and Dinner in 2019 is Friday, 12th April .

Wage Negotiations 2018

Following negotiations with the Trade Unions concerned, a 2.75 % increase in earnings was agreed following a ballot of Trade Union members. The settlement takes effect in respect of work done on and after Monday 26th March 2018 .

Treasurers and Executive Meetings

The next meetings of the Executive and Treasurers will be held on Thursday 1st February 2018. The Treasurers meeting will commence at 3.15pm and will be followed by the Executive meeting at 4.00pm . John Young from the Bank of England will give a presentation on the latest inflation report and the economic outlook.

Made In Lancashire

Association members Blackburn Yarn Dyers  and John Spencer Textiles were recently featured in a BBC business  report which  tracked  spun yarn to finished garment , each process crafted and manufactured  here in Lancashire and Manchester. You can follow this journey by clicking on the link below :

UK cotton back in production in Manchester

Wages Survey November 2017

The Association has now collated  and sent out the  results of the 2017 wages survey to participating members  . The survey which is conducted on a biannual basis and includes averages and ranges of wages paid over three shift systems ( days , double days and nights) covers the specialist occupational areas such as weavers ,weaving technicians, sewing machinists etc as well as the generic jobs such as electricians , skilled maintenance , labourers etc.

Annual General Meeting and Dinner 2018

The Association will be holding it’s 167th Annual General Meeting on  Friday 16th March 2018 .  The meeting will be followed by the annual dinner commencing at 8.00pm

At the 2018 dinner  our  speaker will be Lydia Slack.  Lydia began speaking through the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs public speaking competition. At the age of  17, Lydia won “Best Speaker” at the NFYFC national final, for her speech about the trials and tribulations of being a teenager on hill farm.

In just one week last year, Lydia modelled at  London Fashion Week, lambed sheep on a neighbouring hill farm and was guest speaker at a Mason’s dinner, all before packing her bags and moving to New York for an internship at the United Nations Headquarters. In September 2016, Lydia gained her Master’s of Science at the University of Oxford, in Water Science, Policy and Management.

The event will once again be held at Mytton Fold Hotel, Langho

Student Study Tour – October 2017

The latest Association Study Tour  took place on Tuesday 17th October .

Students from Manchester Metropolitan University stopped off for a mid-morning visit to Blackburn Yarn Dyers to see  yarn dyeing on a commercial scale . The company are commission yarn dyers, dyeing and processing yarn on both cone and beam. They  dye cotton, wool and synthetic yarns for many UK, European and Worldwide customers  supplying  a service to some of the biggest names in the fashion industry, high street stores and well known textile brands.

Next stop was William Reed Weaving in Nelson to experience  one of the most modern and well appointed weaving mills in Europe. William Reed manufacture a full range of medium and high tenacity, continuous filament fabrics on modern Japanese Air and Water jet looms, . In addition for extra flexibility the weaving facility also includes a number of Swiss made Rapier looms.

The day ended with a visit to Mitchell Interflex,  a family business with five generations of experience in the weaving of   a wide  variety of  specialist fabrics for numerous end uses . Their weaving shed is equipped with the latest high speed Dornier rapier looms.

Students analysing  fabric produced on a dobby loom in the Weaving Shed at Mitchell Interflex 

Once again our thanks go to Anthony Green at Blackburn Yarn Dyers , Jackie Shoesmith and Stephen Almond at William Reed Weaving and Lance Mitchell at Mitchell Interflex .

The next study tour is scheduled for April/May 2018 .

John Spencer Textiles and Ian Mankin

David Collinge of John Spencer Textiles and Ian Mankin Limited, explains how his weaving business dovetails perfectly into his retail outlet . Originally featured in Country Homes and Interiors David explains how the  company  has grown and survived to be the last remaining traditional cotton mill in Burnley and how he is expanding Ian Mankin from what was, a London and South East retail business, to customers all over the UK and  to fifteen  countries worldwide .

Video made by Country Homes and Interiors magazine.

Holidays 2018 – 2019

The traditional mill holidays for Central and East Lancashire have now been published. These are for guidance only .

 Holidays 2018 – 2019

Annual General Meeting and Dinner 2018

The Annual General Meeting and Dinner will be held at Mytton Fold on Friday 16th March 2018

Further details will be circulated to members nearer the time

The Alliance Project

The Alliance Project (TAP) was established in September 2012 . TAP established two successful Regional Growth Funds and has invested £27m of Government money, which in turn has leveraged £123m of private sector investment by 340 UK Manufacturers.  A number of Association members took advantage of the funding to initiate  their capital investment programmes

A textile summit was held on 12th April 2017  which saw the culmination of industry, retail, government and a range of representative bodies working together to address the next steps for the UK fashion and textiles industry.

The findings from that summit are detailed in a report  . These are seen as essential to encourage further investment in the industry and will be presented to a Government Minister after June 8th.

View the Final Report

Student Study Tour

The Association ran its 7th Student Study Tour on Wednesday 17th May .  The study tours began in 2013 and give   textile undergraduates from Manchester Metropolitan University  an opportunity to experience   commercial textile production.  Yesterday’s tour to three member companies included cone and beam dyeing and the weaving of a variety of fabrics . After setting off from Manchester the students toured D H J Weisters  in Darwen . The company weaves quality fabrics and finished products for a variety of end usages including ties, scarves, furnishing fabrics and bridal fabrics . After a hearty  lunch they  then visited Blackburn Yarn Dyers , a dyer of cotton and blended yarns utillising vat , direct , disperse , reactive and sulphur dyeing processes.  The last stop was John Spencer Textiles in Burnley where the students saw a diverse range of fabrics being produced including curtaining , protective clothing , fashion  and industrial fabrics. They were also given an insight into Ian Mankin , the London retail arm of the company .

Undergraduate textile students from Manchester Metropolitan University  in the showroom at  John Spencer Textiles

Our thanks go to Duncan  Weisters ( DHJ Weisters)  , Ian Peel ( Blackburn Yarn Dyers)  , Debbie Catterall and Ronnie Lambert ( John Spencer Textiles) for their help and cooperation.  Last but not least thanks to the enthusiastic students who made the day such a success.

The next Student Study Tour is scheduled for October  2017

The National Festival of Making

The first National Festival of Making took place  in Blackburn, Lancashire on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May, 2017. With twice the national average of people employed in the manufacturing industry, and a community of talented and creative makers working from homes and studios in Lancashire and around the North West of England, the festival celebrated   Britain’s unrivaled making heritage and its bright future.

Anthony Green , Production Manager at Blackburn Yarn Dyers assists a visitor in her first experience of small scale  yarn  dyeing 

Blackburn Yarn Dyers and their online retail offshoot Three Bears Yarn provided the opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in winding , measuring and dyeing of yarn .

Blackburn Yarn Dyers has been in business since 1915 and the philosophy at Three Bears Yarns is simple ” all of our products should be produced here in the UK , collaborating with other great textile manufacturers ensuring that skills that we have developed over the generations are kept alive and built on ”

Meet the Manufacturer

A “Make it British” sourcing event exclusively for British clothing, textile and leather goods manufacturers will be held in May. This major two day event, held at The Old Truman Brewery in London’s East End, will showcase the best British manufacturers in the fashion and textiles industry. The event will be held on 24th and 25th May 2017.

More than just a trade fair, Meet the Manufacturer will provide fantastic opportunities for UK manufacturers, designers and buyers to network together under one roof in an environment that is open and collaborative.

This event has come in response to the huge increase in requests to the Make it British website from designers, buyers and sourcing directors looking for quality British factories.

Register for your FREE ticket

Association Annual General Meeting and Dinner 2017

The Annual General Meeting was held on Friday 24th March 2017 at the Mytton Fold Hotel, Whalley Road, Langho, Nr. Blackburn at 7.30p.m.

Mr Andrew Gill of William Reed Weaving was appointed Chairman and Mr John Morrison of Leigh Spinners Ltd. was appointed Vice Chairman. 90 members and guests attended the dinner that followed.

The date for the Annual General Meeting and Dinner in 2018 is Friday, 16th March.

Wage Negotiations 2017

Following negotiations with the Trade Unions concerned a 2% increase in earnings was agreed following a ballot of Trade Union members.

District Wages Agreement 2017

Executive and Treasurers Meetings

The next meeting of the Executive and Treasurers will be held on Thursday 22nd June 2017 . The Executive Committee will commence at 4.00pm and will be preceded by the Treasurers meeting at 3.15pm. John Young from the Bank of England will give  a presentation on the latest inflation report and economic outlook

Association Energy Buying Group

In collaboration with Businesswise Solutions, the Association Energy Buying Group aims to help Association members reduce gas and electricity spend and improve business efficiencies through knowledgeable procurement and energy management. The scheme was launched in April 2016. Already a number of Association members have agreed to work with Businesswise through the Energy Group.

Businesswise can also give members guidance on the Energy Inclusive Industries (Ells) compensation scheme which has the potential for members to recover up to 20% on electricity spend.