Reginald Warner, a gifted designer, engineer and master weaver founded Gainsborough in 1903. His father was the proprietor of Jeffries & Co, and such eminent figures as William Morris, Walter Crane and Owen Jones were counted as family friends. Aged 23, Warner formed his company to specialize in historical replicas. He soon had over 50 looms in weavers' cottages all over Suffolk, and moved to the purpose built mill in Sudbury, where the workers were given allotments to grow their own vegetables.
The mill's pioneering work attracted a discerning clientele, and in 1912 Gainsborough received its first Royal commission. Created for Princess Alexandra, no expense was spared in making the famous Queen Mary dolls' house. The architect was Edwin Lutyen, John Singer-Sargent painted miniature portraits for the walls, Cartier provided tiny clocks and Gainsborough was commissioned to design and weave the carpets and fabric.
In 1980 Gainsborough became proud holders of the Royal Warrant, and their fabrics now hang in Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, Windsor Castle, Sandringham and Balmoral. Other famous clients include 10 Downing Street, The Houses of Parliament, the National Gallery, the Tate Gallery and the Ashmolean Museum, as well as many luxury hotels, foreign embassies and private homes throughout the world.
Moving into the 21st century, Gainsborough's commitment to preserving the traditions and values that made its name is stronger than ever. From preparing and dyeing the yarn to threading it onto bobbins, every stage of design and production is undertaken at the mill. By managing the entire process in-house, Gainsborough can deliver flawless results to exacting lead times, and enjoys the flexibility to accept custom weaves without restriction.
Drawing upon a century of expertise and a world-famous archive containing over 2000 original designs, Gainsborough is uniquely placed to meet the growing demand for genuine service, quality and above all, authenticity.