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A family run business and one of Europe's leading lining suppliers since 1983

A short history of Jessgrove

Jessgrove Ltd was founded in 1983 by Ron Craven, a Bradford man who had spent many years in the textile field, concentrating particularly on lining fabrics. Disillusioned with the direction of his former company, he decided to set out on his own.

From the foundation year, and well into the 1990s, there remained a successful, albeit fast-changing textile garment and fashion business in the UK. But the market was changing: more production was shifting to the continent of Europe, particularly to the former eastern bloc countries, while UK production shrank.

To make the most of this shift, in 2002, Jessgrove built a large distribution facility in the Czech Republic. It was positioned close to one of our main suppliers: the manufacturing giant, Toray Textiles, which had recently completed an integrated polyester lining factory nearby. Toray continues to be one of our most trusted suppliers to this day.

About Czech Republic

To take full advantage of the European markets, we set up further distribution subsidiaries in France (2002), Turkey (2015) and Spain (2016).

The market continued to change and through the 2000s until recently, most textile and garment production moved to China and to other countries in East Asia. Garment production in the UK virtually disappeared; production in Eastern Europe declined considerably. While Jessgrove set up a distribution company in China, we felt that our future belonged in Europe and the wider European hinterland.

We also decided we needed to secure our own lining production, particular in the field of cellulosic linings such as acetate and viscose. An investment was therefore made in an integrated weaving and dyeing factory in Lithuania, which, under our direction, has benefited from many millions of euros of investment since it was acquired in 2003.

More recently, exacerbated by supply chain problems caused largely by lockdowns, and growing environmental awareness, there is a growing market desire to move production closer to its final selling points in the developed markets of Europe. We are therefore focussing even more on our European operations. As an example, Spain has become a very important market for us, and so in 2021 we took over an about-to-close dyeing factory in northern Spain. We re-opened it, and started a programme of investments. It will be one of our key production sites in the years going forward, serving the Spanish and wider European markets.

Ron Craven, the founder of Jessgrove, died in 2018. His son, Lee, continues the family’s involvement. The markets will continue to change: we will stay flexible, adapt, and continue to build on the strong foundations that Ron left to us.



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