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Meet Laxtons

In 1907, George Laxton and Gordon Holmes founded Holmes Laxton & Co in Oakworth, West Yorkshire. Working with a local weaver from Bradford, they developed the first light weight mohair suiting fabric in the world. Demand for this product allowed the company to stabilize and grow up until the Great Depression of the 1930s struck England.

The depression forced Holmes Laxton to adopt a one-week-on, one-week-off operation for 3 years. Clients from Germany became its primary customer base, which shifted the mill's manufacturing priorities to upholstery. The business was then struck by the start of WWII, with hostilities between Germany and the UK cutting-off its new primary income source.

A significant percentage of mill's workforce left to sign-up for the war effort and the company adapted to its new market environment by producing yarns for military uniforms as well as hiring-on women to take on the jobs many men had left vacant. Once the war finished, George personally visited Germany to try an re-establish contact with prior clients; of the 35 he'd previously sold to, only 1 was able & interested in resuming the business relationship.

George passed away in in 1956, leaving the mill in the care of George Jr. and John Laxton. Under their guidance, the company upgraded its machinery and steadily increased its exports. The upholstery focus shifted to women's fashion, and an important nucleus for new opportunity was found in the weaving community of Huddersfield, Scotland. Once again, Holmes Laxton began seeing growth.

Gordon Holmes retired in 1966 and Ian Crawford joined the company to succeed him. Holmes Laxton was now simply Laxtons, and they began to outgrow their existing facilities. They purchased a mohair twisting plant in Scotland to produce hand knitting yarn and built one of the most modern textile plants in the world in Silsden. Their mohair yarns and blends began being sold all over the world, exported to over 80 countries.

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