Demand for knitted goods provided entrepreneurs with an opportunity to manufacture and sell their wares. Over time hosiers established businesses and their names became associated with the industry.
Consumers increasingly used the names of successful companies and their brands as a guide to quality when buying goods. The companies theme presents a selection of histories that includes some of the leading companies of recent centuries.
Abraham Orsini Anderson commenced business in the front room of his home in Leicester around 1916.Find out more
Originally A E Allen and Company Ltd, was founded by Albert Ernest Allen. Allen was a former director of R Rowley & Co of Leicester who resigned from that firm just after the First World War.Find out more
The origins of Atkins of Hinckley can be traced back to Robert Atkins, son of a yeoman farmer. Robert was baptised at Newbold-on-Avon, Rugby in 1702.Find out more
Donald Byford (who had an agricultural background) came to Leicester in 1914 from Clare, a small village in Suffolk. He worked for a local sock manufacturer named Myhill for five shillings (25p) per week.Find out more
Arthur Foister was the son of Charles, owner of a sock factory at Thurmaston, and the grandson of 'bag hosier' Thomas from the same area.Find out more
John Bolton was born in 1867. The son of a doctor, he left his school, The Royal Masonic Institution for Boys, in 1882 and returned to his home at 74 Melbourne Road, Leicester.Find out more
A worse start can hardly be imagined than that suffered by Nathaniel Corah and yet he went on to establish what eventually became one of the most prestigious firms in the UK hosiery and knitwear industry.Find out more
This famous Nottingham based firm was first established in Tewkesbury in 1815 by the founder, James Blount Lewis, who moved to Nottingham in 1830. In 1885 a branch factory was set up at Ilkeston Junction and in 1893 the firm became J B Lewis Limited.Find out more
In 1868 William Newby invited two men who like himself had been engaged in the hosiery trade since they were boys to enter into partnership as manufacturers and distributors of knitted goods. Their firm was set up as 'Newby, Brown & Humberstone' in Belvoir Street, Leicester.Find out more
The Nottingham Manufacturing Company (NMC) began in 1851 as Hine & Mundella. This was a partnership between three members of an old established family of merchant hosiers and A.J. Mundella, an outstanding young manager from Leicester.Find out more
John Pick, the founder of J Pick & Sons, was born in 1820 into a Barrow on Soar family of framework knitters. As a young man he foresaw the demise of the hand frame and went to Derby to learn the new 'factory' methods of production.Find out more
Robert Rowley was born in 1846 and commenced business as a home frame-knitter in Wigston Street, Leicester in the early 1860s.Find out more
William N Toller became redundant when his employers, Richard Harris & Co went into liquidation in 1886.Find out more
The history of Wolsey Ltd can be traced back over two hundred and fifty years. As early as 1744 Henry Wood was trading in Leicester as a hosier.Find out more