A world-renowned textile sector

West Yorkshire is the home of textile innovation. It is an industry built on remarkable history and heritage and one which continues to lead the way innovation, sustainability and design for the future.

Welcome to the West Yorkshire textile sector

Our world-leading companies are the forefront of everything from sustainable fashion to textile and product manufacturers creating new and innovative fabrics and finished garments. Over 10,000 people are employed in this sector across the region.

Businesses in West Yorkshire have access to the support and expertise of world-class universities and centres of excellence, giving them the opportunity to develop, create and adopt ground-breaking new technologies, improving their agility and efficiency.

We are driving forward innovation, harnessing new technologies and investing in collaboration and research. Textiles from this region are globally recognised and respected by the leading international designers and fashion brands.
This document showcases the significant strengths of the textile industry in West Yorkshire. I hope you enjoy reading about the amazing businesses from across the region and finding out more about how you can work with us in the future.

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The West Yorkshire Textiles Showcase document was launched at the WTiN Innovate Textile & Apparel Virtual Trade Show. Key partners involved in the project took part in a "Fabrics of the Future" roundtable discussion which showcased the innovation, ambition, and expertise of the world-renowned textile sector in West Yorkshire.

A sector steeped in industrial heritage, developing ground-breaking technologies of the future.

The UK is one of the most influential and creative fashion hubs in the world, with nearly one million people employed in the industry and a contribution to the nation’s economy worth £32 billion.

West Yorkshire - A thriving business location

West Yorkshire's fashion and textile industry is part of what makes the UK’s fashion industry a global leader.

Using cutting-edge design and manufacture techniques, West Yorkshire's textile companies supply fabric to the world’s most prestigious and best-known fashion brands. Their products are exported across the world, with some companies exporting in excess of 90% of their production. West Yorkshire's designers are creating luxurious and stylish sustainable fashion pieces.

West Yorkshire facts

  • West Yorkshire has a population of 2.4 million and home to 95,000 businesses
  • West Yorkshire is the largest economy and population centre outside of London and the South East
  • West Yorkshire's GVA is £58 billion

Did you know?

Today innovations are seen in new manufacturing and processing technologies including 3D Weaving, anti-counterfeit DNA marking of fabrics, and finishing treatments. MTIX’s Multiplexed Laser Surface Enhancement surface finishing treatment uses atmospheric plasma and UV laser technologies, reduces the use of water, energy, and chemicals by over 95% for the ultimate environmentally friendly textile processing.

West Yorkshire's historic textile industry is home to innovative businesses that continue to search for new solutions to industry challenges and identify ways to evolve and improve product and process.

Businesses work together with universities on research and development, supported by organisations like the Future Fashion Factory, who co-fund grants to support collaborative projects.

Innovation has been at the heart of the textile industry in the region since its earliest days.

Innovation

"Hainsworth are continually adapting to ensure we put the changing needs of the customer at the forefront of everything we do. We respect the past but equally, look to the future. We are able to push forward interesting sustainable textile innovations in the way we process our fabrics, create our designs and products, and initiatives we put in place through working collaboratively with our suppliers and customers. Hainsworth have been trading for over 237 years. It is only by continuing this ethos of change, Hainsworth can remain the respected business in the field of textiles in the future."

Diane Simpson

Director, Hainsworth

Fashion and Design