About us

Whaleys Mill

Whaleys Bradford History

Whaleys was established in 1869 by Mr Samuel Whaley, about whom not a great deal is known. The activities of his enterprise at that time were silk and jute weaving, with one floor processing textile sacks and bags.

The original premises were off Leeds Road in Bradford, West Yorkshire, before moving to Bolton road in 1908, finally taking over its present site, Harris Court Mills in 1973.

Whaleys can, with some justification, call themselves a family firm, since Harry Jowett, who took over the reins in 1900, was the great-grandfather of the present Managing Director. During the First World War, weaving was suspended and silk making abandoned. When normal work recommenced an industrial fabric section was established to furnish the textile finishing industry.

Just before Harry Jowett's death in 1921, the firm was taken over by his two sons in law, Fred Popplewell (MD) and James Robert McIlvenny and after the last war, joined by the sons of James Robert, Harry and James Fredrick, who is currently chairman, assisted by his son and Managing Director, Peter, now representing the fourth generation.

Over the years the company has expanded and diversified. It has introduced a department which specialises in producing theatre curtains along with a range of flame proofed fabrics, in addition to a large fashion fabric section supplying fabric designers direct. It is interesting to note that this includes offering Silk again, after an absence of 70 years! 

Leading Fabric Suppliers

We are justifiably proud of our reputation for delivering excellent customer service and have been honoured to work with some of the world’s most exciting events and brands. From suppling the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Games, to being key suppliers to dress makers worldwide, we take pride in stocking a wide collection of high quality fabrics. Our flexible delivery options combined with our expertise makes us the number one choice for your fabric requirements.

We understand that no two projects are the same, and we strive to cater for all. That’s why our full collection of fabrics encompass a varied range of products, from heavy duty fabrics to delicate silks, for the full range check out our A-Z fabrics or glossary.

The majority of our fabrics are supplied in their natural state, however we also stock a number of pre-coloured fabrics that are ready for dyeing or printing (including cottonssilkssynthetics, and wool).

For larger quantities, we may be able to arrange for the dyeing of fabric where required. Simply enquire with our in-house  sales office for more information. Whether you need a large volume of fabric to complete a big-scale project, or smaller amounts of fabric to complement a singular assignment, all of our fabrics are measured and cut for you. You can purchase our fabric by the metre and enjoy a discounted price when purchasing more than two metres. Prices for wholesale quantities are available on request.