The Wyedean Weaving Company was established in 1962 as a manufacturer of braid and uniform accoutrement. Its name indicates its then location – the river Wye and the forest of Dean, and its function of textile weavers. Previously the business was known as Dalton Barton the names of two Coventry ribbon weavers who formed a partnership in 1851.
By the early 1960s, the narrow fabric product range had become extensive yet served a very competitive and mainly domestic market. One in which a comparatively small business would unlikely survive. The products then were items like carpet binding, curtain tape and safety harness webbing. However, there were also military uniform narrow fabrics such as medal ribbon, rank braid and sergeants’ stripes and sashes.
It was these military uniform products which had the potential of being developed into a specialist range and one which could provide a small company with a long-term future; products unlikely to go out of fashion so long as Britain maintained a Monarchy with military ceremonial requirements. And also to serve the British Commonwealth and previous British Empire countries who retained their pride in military uniform embellishment. Furthermore, a market significantly of Defence procurement departments, unlikely to default on payment and who conduct trade more by competitive tendering than by the efforts of a costly sales team.
In 1964, David Wright, a Director of Dalton Barton, recognised this need to specialise. So he set about negotiating a purchase of the appropriate machinery from Dalton Barton before its inevitable closure, and being Haworth born, he was able to find suitable premises (17,000 sq.ft.) at Bridgehouse Mill. Robin Wright (David Wright’s son) joined the company in 1979 and became Managing Director in 1990.
During the intervening years, additional specialist machinery has been installed and skills developed, to make braided cord and twisted rope for plaiting and plying into lanyards, bugle and bagpipe cords and aiguillettes. The present product range covers almost every item of textile uniform accoutrement, worn by defence and police forces worldwide.
Over the years, the company’s range has included false eyebrows for camels (a mosquito repelling fringe worn by the camels of the Jordan Army Cavalry), a saltpetre dipped touch cord (ignition for firing cannon salutes), jute webbing for lowering coffins into graves, mummy binding tape for the Hollywood epic “The Mummy”, and the naval uniform accoutrement in the film “Master and Commander”, starring Russell Crowe. And perhaps most prestigiously, the waist sashes worn by the Royal Highness when the Queen’s Colour is trooped each year on Horseguards Parade.
The Company holds a large range of the more common designs of braid in stock and many more designs are specially woven to order in widths ranging from 1 to 150 mm and in a variety of shades and compositions including:
- Wool/worsted and acrylics
- Artificial silks – continuous filament rayon & acetate, nylon and polyester
- Polypropylene, polyethylene, Terylene.
- Mercerised cotton, polyester/cotton
- Metallised polyester gold, silver and colours
- Gold and silver metallic such as 2% gold and 90% silver wires and threads and synthetic versions of the same such as gilt or silver plates wires.
Wyedean now has a wealth of experience in manufacturing its core products together with an experienced yet youthful and committed team. It has also recognised a worldwide stable and in many markets growing demands for its products’ and scope for broadening its product range and volumes through its supply chain culture.