Fothergill Group

Originating from a partnership between Thomas Fothergill and Alexander Harvey formed in 1847, in Littleborough near Rochdale, in England, the Fothergill Group has developed from a cotton weaver, progressing to glass fibres, aramids and carbon fibre.

The Fothergill Group has an excellent export pedigree and is proud of its tradition of employing generation after generation of members of local families. The Group operates a modern apprenticeship scheme.

The weaving and knitting business operates from the head office site as Fothergill Engineered Fabrics Ltd, supplying performance glass fibre, aramid and carbon fibre into a number of industries, including aerospace, defence, reinforcement, high temperature and filtration applications, PTFE and elastomer coating, and automotive throughout the world.

In 2000, the Fothergill Group acquired the predecessors to Ferguson Polycom Ltd, (founded in 1911), which as well as using glass fabric woven by Fothergill Engineered Fabrics Ltd, has a vertically integrated production process for specialty rubber compounding and elastomer coated fabrics, with applications ranging from highly demanding engineering use to high-end fashion, leisure and sportswear. In October 2013, this business moved to a purpose-built single storey facility a short distance away from its former home at Windsor Mill, Hollinwood, Oldham, and incorporated the FOTHERGILL name into its trading title. This new facility is a significant investment by the Fothergill Group, providing improved production facilities and capabilities in facilitating the next period of growth.

Fothergill Coated Fabrics Ltd was founded in 2003 and operates from a purpose-built manufacturing and fabrication facility in Rochdale, England. The business coats glass fabric and aramid substrates with PTFE, as well as etched and adhesive coated PTFE/glass, supplying product in full rolls, sheets, tapes and belts to converters, distributors and end users worldwide.

Fothergill Australia Pty Ltd was founded in 2013 to serve the Asia-Pacific region with the whole range of Group products, including offering converting and fabrication facilities for PTFE coated products and associated sundry items.

Recent history

TBA

In 2017 TBA Protective Technologies was acquired – a business that has traded for 150 years – together with its Australian subsidiary, which has operations in Sydney and Brisbane. UK production capabilities include carding, yarn dref spinning, doubling and coating, needlefelt, weaving, aluminising, and braiding. The PPE division expands TBA’s capability to fabricate TBA products while maintaining the quality of the final products, which include high-quality garments and fire-related protective products.

TBA’s products provide fire and thermal protection. The FIREFLY™ division specialises in flexible fire barriers for construction applications, which prevent the spread of smoke, flame and heat through walls and roof voids, providing compartmentalisation. Manufactured from glass fabrics, they are easy to install horizontally and vertically, helping to contain fire, give building occupants extra time to evacuate and enable the fire service to enter safely.

The future

In a quarter of a century, through hard work by a dedicated and proud workforce, we have grown this business, in the Rochdale and Oldham district of the North West, into a conglomerate with 300 staff and a turnover of £50 million. The Fothergill Group now consists of a number of successful businesses, each leaders and pioneers in their own industry sector. The expertise and skillsets within the Group offers a unique mix of commercial strengths and many of our customers continue to benefit from this collaboration to provide technical textile products which are often multi-faceted solutions to bespoke client requirements.

A record of manufacturing investment and pioneering R&D makes the future for the Fothergill Group and its many customers globally, an exciting and successful one.

History

  • 1847
    Created Fothergill & Harvey Ltd
  • 1858
    Commenced weaving of cotton fabrics
  • 1870
    Produced first Khaki drill for servicemen's uniforms
  • 1911
    Creation of A. O. Ferguson Ltd at Windsor Mill, specialising in compounding and coating
  • 1940's
    Fothergill & Harvey Ltd research unit established
  • 1950's
    Diversification from cotton to glass and other synthetic yarns
  • 1960's
    Began weaving aramid fibre and investment in fabric finishing plant at Ealess Mill
  • 1970's
    Carbon fibre weaving commenced shortly after the technology became available from the Royal Air Force Establishment
  • 1974
    Investment in Rock Nook Mill weaving department, re-equipped with Ruti C looms
  • 2000
    Acquisition of A. O. Ferguson Ltd and Polycom Ltd, renamed Ferguson Polycom Ltd
  • 2001
    Creation of Unit 2, investment in state of the art airjet looms and sizing facility for singles glass fabric production
  • 2003
    Creation of Fothergill Coated Fabrics Ltd, specialising in PTFE coating
  • 2013
    Creation of Fothergill Australia PTY Ltd
  • 2013
    Relocation of Ferguson Polycom Ltd and re-naming to Fothergill Polycom Ltd
  • 2013
    Launch of new group website
  • 2017
    Acquisition of TBA Protective Technologies Ltd, including FIREFLY™, a market-leading brand in the passive fire protection market.