The Early Years
The heritage of Croft Mill Spans 40 years and we believe Croft Mill are the original mail order fabric suppliers, long before the age of the internet. This business started in the 1940’s but by the 1970's and 1980's Croft Mill supplied tens of thousands of home sewers and business’ a month with fabrics direct to their door.
Croft Mill UK Ltd comprises all the good old names of mail order fabrics. J. W Coates, Bradley Textiles and of course Croft Mill itself. We go way back to when a good night out cost less than 10 ‘bob’ and fabric remnants were sold in bundles, when there was a mill at the end of every street in our part of Lancashire and tripe and onions were part of the everyday diet and not on a Michelin stared menu.
Before Alan joined Croft Mill he managed the vertical process of cloth manufacturing at Smith and Nephew in Lancashire. He then joined his brother at Croft Mill and started writing about cloth in his witty catalogue which he grew to have a huge fan base. There was a time when everyone made their own clothes but how things have changed, as did things at Croft Mill because after 35 years Alan retired and Croft Mill mail order closed its doors in April 2008.
The digital age
Now it is back and it is still a family affair as daughter Caroline set up a new business of the same name which opened its virtual doors in April 2009. After the birth of her first child in 2008 when her daughter was six months old the plan to revive Croft Mill came about when sadly Caroline lost her job whilst on maternity leave. So with babe in arms the new chapter of Croft Mill began.
Being around cloth from the age of four, working at Croft Mill in the Holidays, and her mum a talented seamstress this naturally inspired Caroline’s creative streak towards the study of fashion and textile design. This led to amongst other jobs, designing printed fabrics in Australia for several design houses before finally coming back to the UK to work as a fabric designer in print and weave, and overseeing cloth manufacturing in the contract furnishing sector.
It is a pleasure to work with fabrics every day, our team of six full and part time staff, have a lot of knowledge in cloth and fabrics, textiles. Our aim remains the same; to continue to give you a friendly and honest service, supplying you with interesting and beautiful fabrics.
We source from both local and international designers and manufacturers to bring you amazing and unique stock. Most of our stock is manufacturing ends and sampling lengths from both top end and high street designers which means that the majority of our stock continually changes, you will find something on our website that may be gone the next.
The country of origin is diverse, Wool from the UK and Italy, cotton trousering from Germany and Portugal, dress fabrics from all of the above plus Ireland, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. We have cottons from Italy, South East Asia, China and Korea.
We aim, in all of our descriptions of the fabrics to make it clear about the quality and value of each of them.