Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 146,106 pages of information and 231,598 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1893 Viyella was a blend of wool and cotton first woven in 1893. It was made of 55 per cent merino wool and 45 per cent cotton in a twill weave, developed by James and Robert Sissons of William Hollins and Company, spinners and hosiers. It was the "first branded fabric in the world".
1894 The brand name was first registered as a trademark. It soon covered not only the original fabric, to be sold by the yard (piece goods), but also clothing.
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.
1967 Viyella repurchased the shares held by ICI and repaid the loan; special arrangements for purchasing dyestuffs and sourcing fibres were discontinued.
1968 Acquired 2 factories from Cyril Lord
1986 Became part of Coats Viyella
2003 Sold the Viyella fashion retail business to Richard Thompson for £1. Weeks later he re-sold Viyella to Harold Tillman. The brand name Jaeger was also sold. Viyella Ladieswear has since added home furnishings to its range of goods.