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Just 13 years after Richard Arkwright develops the first water-powered spinning mill, Peter Nightingale and his associate John Smedley established John Smedley as an enterprise at the original mill in Lea Mills.
The second John Smedley transforms the company by expanding the mill, and installing new machinery. John Smedley becomes one of the earliest companies in the knitwear industry to install one of the first ever ‘Cotton’s Patent’ fully fashioned knitting machines.
John Smedley becomes a limited company and develops a production line capable of manufacturing fine gauge, fully fashioned underwear and outerwear.
John Smedley’s Sea Island Cotton is first used to knit John Smedley underwear, unique for its fineness, luxurious staple length high tensile strength.
Iconic pieces in John Smedley’s Sea Island Cotton are introduced, including Isis, the three button polo shirt, Leander, the long sleeved polo and Pembroke, the roll collar.
John Smedley knits collections for Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Comme des Garcons, Nicole Farhi, Margaret Howell and Katherine Hamnett.
Fine knitwear machinery from Japan is used for the first time, leading to styles featuring a wealth of pattern and texture.
The flagship John Smedley retail store opens in a prime location on Brook Street, in the heart of London.
Introduction of pioneering whole-garment technology, creating unique, lightweight seamless knitwear.
Introduction of the latest Shima technology, capable of knitting 26-28 colours.
John Smedley celebrates 225 years of fine knitwear with a series of special events and a custom-made website where customers can share their Smedley stories. A special edition range of underwear is launched to celebrate 225 years of John Smedley.
Exclusive John Smedley 13.5 micron garments are launched using rare yarn that can only be produced by 0.0013% of the world’s sheep population.
John Smedley launches the Twenty Truths Campaign re-releasing four iconic styles with a limited edition garment label, unveiling the brand’s Twenty Truths. The truths read as a tantalizing menu of luxurious qualities unique to the John Smedley mills.
Launch of a Capsule Collection of statement pieces, which challenge traditional design through the use of the John Smedley whole garment machines. Each garment is sculpted to mould to the body, producing an uncompromising fit with seamless perfection.
John Smedley launches a collaboration with Comme des Garçons. Limited to over 170 pieces worldwide, each of the three styles are colour-dyed in Japan by Comme des Garçons and spun in super-fine merino wool at John Smedley’s Derbyshire mill.
John Smedley introduces a line of care products to maintain and condition your knitwear. Specifically formulated to help preserve the natural lanolin and colour of the yarn, these care products will prolong the life of your favourite knitwear.
Umbro referenced their archives and encountered a vintage running vest and track sweater, which transpired were worn by British athletes back in 1948. These two incredibly rare pieces of British athletic history have been reinterpreted to create two covetable pieces.
John Smedley collaborates with CHERCHBI, a British leather goods brand. Limited to 30 pieces, the collection features three designs and each bag is ink stamped by hand, the same way it was into John Smedley knitwear centuries ago.
A John Smedley hamper is launched in time for the festive period. A beautiful, handcrafted, wooden box made in Great Britain. The wooden box is available as a Christmas hamper or on its own.
John Smedley presented its Men's A/W ’13 collection at London Collections: Men. Key industry influencers attend the 3 day show that kick starts the fashion calender. The event "emphasises both the creative and commercial importance of Britain’s brands and emerging talent."
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