Supporting Textiles in the UK
With the merger of The Fullers’ Company and The Shearmen’s Company in 1528, we began as an organisation focused on textiles – specifically, promoting the craft of clothworking within the City of London. We supervised the training of apprentices and protected the standards of workmanship.
Although The Company’s control of cloth finishing ceased in the 18th century, today we continue to promote textiles through apprenticeships, education, technical skills development, funding innovative textile technology, and safe-guarding textiles heritage.
We are one of the largest private-sector supporters of textiles in the UK. In the past three years (2021-2023), we've awarded more than £1.8 million towards our 'industry mission', supporting British textiles, not including an extraordinary investment of £8.9 million (over ten years) to found the Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC).
Our support is strategically focused on four key areas:
- Academic Research and Innovation
- Technical Education and Vocational Support
- Textiles Design and Craft
- Heritage and Conservation
The Clothworkers’ Company was one of the founders of what is now Leeds University, and we have supported Textiles and Colour Science activities there for many years. In 2012, we helped establish the Clothworkers’ Centre for Textile Materials Innovation for Healthcare, and in 2021 we made a multi-million pound committent to LITAC.
We have also funded student bursaries and capital grants for equipment at Leeds and a number of other universities; sponsored various textile design and innovation awards (such as New Designers and Bradford Textile Society Design Competition); helped heritage organisations conserve and share their collections; partnered with the Textiles Livery Group to support apprenticeships, training programmes, and industry conferences; and invested in UKFT initiatives to support the whole of the UK textiles industry.