Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 143,024 pages of information and 229,410 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1961 After a merger, Hollins became Viyella International, led by Joe Hyman, who in the next few years acquired a series of related companies, with Viyella growing to be one of the biggest textile businesses in the UK, owning 40 factories across the country.
1970 ICI acquired Viyella and, later in the year, Carrington and Dewhurst, forming Carrington Viyella of which ICI owned c.80 percent.
The company became Vantona Viyella
1985 Vantona Viyella acquired Nottingham Manufacturing Co
1986 the company became Coats Viyella
In the 1980s built a new mill to produce Viyella cloth in Barrowford, Lancashire (but this was demolished in 1999)
1987 Viyella acquired Youghal Carpets of Co. Cork
1989 Sold Country Casuals to its management
1990 Subsidiary Compton Webb Group of Newport was one of 3 companies licensed to make Nuclear, Biologial and Chemical protective suits for the Ministry of Defence. Sold several subsidiaries to their managements
1999 Sold the engineering business, called Dynacast, which made zip fasteners, and plastic components for razors and for cars, to Cinven, leaving the valuation of the rest of the group at virtually nil
2000 Coats Viyella decided to get out of the clothing industry
Following increasing emphasis on garment manufacture over the years, Viyella is now a fashion brand for clothes and home furnishings made of a variety of fabrics. The original wool/cotton blend is no longer on sale.
In the 21st century much of Coats manufacturing (now specialising in thread) had been moved abroad and it is no longer possible to buy Viyella fabric.
2001 Name changed to Coats
2002 Coats underwent major restructuring
2003 Sold off its Viyella fashion retail business to Richard Thompson for £1. Weeks later re-sold Viyella to venture capitalist Harris Watson. The brand name Jaeger was also sold. Viyella Ladieswear has since added home furnishings to its range of goods.
2014 Coats Group plc. Revenue of $1.6bn. Employs 20,253 persons worldwide.