Our History

Huddersfield’s Wool Textile Industry was born in the 18th Century, when locals discovered that the soft water that flowed to the area gave the required results to finish woollen fabrics.

The Industrial Revolution of the19th Century brought with it great change to the textile industry – large scale mill production took over, and looms were mechanized. These mills began to flourish in Huddersfield, and fine woollen and worsted manufacturing became a Huddersfield tradition.

In 1904, messrs. Schofield and Smith founded Schofield & Smith (Huddersfield) Limited, which was originally located at Hollins Hill in Marsh.

In 1961, David Franco and his brother, Osvaldo, take over the business.

David Franco (2nd right) and Osvaldo Franco (right) pictured with Japanese agents in front of Hollins Mill.

Due to the ever-increasing demand for “Made In Huddersfield”, high quality fabrics, Schofield & Smith purchase Clough Road Mills, Slaithwaite, in 1974.

Clough Road Mills, Slaithwaite
Inside Clough Road Mills – looms used to weave the finest worsted cloth.

In January and February of the same year, the three-day week is implemented countrywide to conserve electricity. Schofield & Smith overcome this by working a three-day week at Hollins Mill, and the following three days at Clough Road – thus doubling the possible production. Hollins Mill is then sold.

Schofield & Smith thrives through the 1970s and 1980s, employs 100 skilled workers, and has a production output of 250,000 metres of fine worsted cloth per year.

In 1980, Schofield & Smith incorporates a merchanting division, Groves & Lindley, with agents providing bunches to high-end tailors on Savile Row and throughout Europe. These tailors are able to order high quality worsted cloth directly from the manufacturer – being absolutely sure of their origin.

In 1995, David Franco retires, and Osvaldo Franco becomes general manager, also running the offices in Italy.

In 2008, Schofield & Smith move to Upper Mills, Slaithwaite.

For the past twelve years, Schofield & Smith have continued to provide the very best worsted fabrics to tailors throughout the UK, Europe, and the rest of the world. Our agents work tirelessly to reach new customers in a very demanding marketplace….where cloth bearing the “Made In Huddersfield England” selvedge is more sought after than ever before.

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