Our Heritage - James Hare
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Our Heritage

From humble beginnings in a Yorkshire cottage, back in 1865, to establishing ourselves as Britain’s leading silk specialist, enjoy the rich tapestry that is the story of James Hare.

1860-90'sThe story of James Hare is one of small beginnings. With nothing but experience and an understanding of the needs of the tailoring trade, James began the business single-handedly distributing cloth bought from small weavers.

1900s“To us this reputation is a very precious thing. We treasure it as we treasure our dignity. For this reputation – this dignity – this family pride – gives our customers full confidence that we shall never sell anything that in quality and sterling worth might be held to be below that high standard set for us”.

1910’sJames Hare becomes a fully operational cloth manufacturing mill and the biggest stockist of Harris Tweed in the world. Know as the “Cloth Headquarters of the British Isles”, it became the largest textile distribution house in Great Britain.

James Hare were the first company to introduce bunches for the tailoring trade made at the company’s headquarters. The firm’s accountants once calculated that the cloth used each year for those bunches would make a carpet two yards wide that would stretch from Leeds to Carlisle!


The firm’s policy was always to install the latest equipment, in order to improve the service offered to their customers. James Hare Ltd. became the first company in Britain, outside of London, to install a teleprinter and answer machine. They boasted that if a London tailor placed an order at 9am,by 9.10am the material will be on its way to the train station.


The company issued an uplifting Christmas press release to its customers at the end of the war, announcing “How absurd are these rumours that ‘Britain is finished... a little tired, perhaps... but finished NO! We at James Hare Ltd, are proud to share in speeding Britain’s recovery: in doing so, we maintain and enhance our own tradition of craftsmanship and service.”

1960'sJames Hare becomes the first woollen merchant to advertise. 

1980'sThe 1980’s is a huge period of change. The woollen merchant & manufacturing firm is sold, along with the brand “Hare of England”. It establishes itself as a silk merchant becoming the leading supplier of the bridal and fashion trade.

1990'sThe vast colour ranges of silk chiffon, satin, dupion, organza, lace and many other qualities, ensured that James Hare fabrics became a regular feature on catwalks. The policy of no minimum order and cuts to the nearest 10 cms ensure that their service was second to nonE.

2000'sThe 2000’s saw a growth in the interiors market, developing the plain silks range to over 600 shades, offering the first upholstery collection and expanding to offer bespoke wallcoverings.

2010'sJames Hare is Britain’s leading fabric specialist. It is still owned and run by the Hare family, producing luxury textiles for the demanding world of fashion and interiors. Firm favourites with leading designers and decorators, James Hare luxurious fabrics are famous world wide.

TodayThe business has progressed over generations but it continues to abide by its founder’s principals of bringing the customer only the best of British design, quality and service.

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