Our Story

A little bit of history...

"It is now many moons ago that my great, great, great, great, Grandfather Benjamin Thornber made that leap from farmer weaver to out and out textile man. That monumental decision to uproot his family from his farm to the town of Burnley to pursue his dream has instilled a pioneering spirit in all of us at Art of the Loom to constantly strive to make our company more customer focused and easy to identify with.

"Now based in Clitheroe, in the beautiful Ribble Valley, Art of the Loom is proud to be a part of a family of Lancashire textiles manufacturers since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution."

- Andrew Thornber

Buy British

Art of the Loom was reborn out of a need to dedicate a brand to pure, natural fibre fabrics and this ethical voyage of discovery has enabled us to really make a difference to the UK textile manufacturing and finishing industry. We really are doing all we can to enable you to ‘Buy British’.

We stock support and wholesale a broad range of natural fibre products. There are no less than six extensive British woven Shetland wool collections. Plus, the hand woven ‘Harris Tweed’ and the Eco – friendly ‘Herriot’ collection.

We are very proud of this, and we hope by using only; wool, linen, cotton and viscose in our ranges you too can appreciate the luxurious feel and genuine textures of mother nature’s fibres carefully woven into both traditional and contemporary fabrics.

So, whether you are looking for a little ticking stripe, a classic linen union floral print or a robust woollen plaid we hope we can meet our obligation to be the best we can be.

Alongside our Art of the Loom Brand, we also have sister brands: Utopia and Benjamin Thornber LTD:


Inspired by the drive and ethos of the fashion industry, Utopia’s goal is to rapidly bring to market ‘on trend’ designs.

Art of the Looms heritage is perfectly aligned with natural fibres, so, not wanting to deny our lovely customers the on-trend velvet and polyester bases, we have created ‘Utopia’. Should you need vibrancy of colour, a super soft handle or a delicate drape… Utopia has just the collection encapsulating both traditional and the very latest contemporary trends.

Benjamin Thornber

Benjamin Thornber began the Thornber family textile dynasty, from his farm in Rimington. It is in recognition of this humble beginning that ‘1815’ was incorporated into the company coat of arms. From hand loom weaving on the family farm as an aspirational teenager, Benjamin followed his destiny and took the first step towards industrialisation by making the journey over Pendle Hill and ‘renting power’ for his looms in a large weaving facility.

Here ambitious souls could pay for the privilege of using the Factories steam power by harnessing the driven shafts that traversed the factory for running their own machines via a leather belt linking power to loom, in the Lancashire mill town of Burnley. As the orders grew and Benjamin’s business flourished, the need for his very own mill and steam engine resulted in the purchase of Throstle Bank Mill in Burnley. Benjamin’s grandson James relocated his weaving business back over Pendle Hill in 1906 to Holmes Mill, Clitheroe, in the heart of the beautiful Ribble Valley.