In July 1953, the John Lewis Partnership purchased a weaving mill situated in the centre of Darwen, a small town to the north of Manchester in the heart of the Lancashire.
The original owner of Harvest Mill, Mr Herbert Parkinson, had been a successful local businessman for many years, but because of age and ill heath he could no longer devote the time to keep it in business. The Partnership was looking to secure its own supply of woven fabrics and to be able to trial new ideas and techniques without the risk of disclosure to its competitors.
In 1960 the eponymous business moved to its present site at Harvest Mill, which coincidentally was the last mill to be built in Darwen in 1913. We re-equipped it with state-of-the-art machinery, including upwards of 122 new jacquard automatic shuttle looms capable of weaving acrylic yarns of up to 7 different colours. These addressed the latest trend in soft furnishings of that time - acrylics!
We still weave soft furnishing fabrics for John Lewis on our looms today, and have some of the most experienced textile workers in the business: several of our longest-serving Partners started from school. Find out more by watching our Weaving Magic video.
With our pattern of constant change, innovation and modernisation over the past six decades we’ve manage to extend our offer. We now make curtains and blinds, natural-filled duvets and pillows, cushions, beanbags, throws and feather pads, all to the highest quality standard.
We’re market leaders in our 7 day service for made-to-measure curtains and roman blinds, and we’ve just extended this offer to roller blinds. We have an impressive 500 fabrics to choose from including prints, weaves, tapestries, velvets, patterns and plains - and your order will be delivered to your home within 7 days.
You can customise your curtain order by choosing from various heading styles, including eyelet, pinch pleat, pencil pleats and tabs. There are 5 lining choices, and accessories include valances, tiebacks, and cushion cases. See how we make our curtains within 7 days by watching this video.
We use cutting-edge technology to manufacture our premium, natural-filled duvets and pillows. (Watch this video to find out more.) Whatever type of bedding you’re after we have something to suit. If your partner prefers a warmer or cooler duvet, consider our Dual Tog duvets, with differing warmth preferences in double or king-size duvets. There’s one for summer and one for winter. Suffer from cold feet? Try our Toasty Toes duvet, which has been specially engineered to have a warmer tog in the bottom third of the duvet. Then there’s our All-Seasons duvet, that lets you remove the warmer tog duvet in summer by simply unfastening and separating it from its cooler partner.
We also provide a wide choice of colourful accessories to add the finishing touch. Our bestselling Congo Cushion fabric is woven by our Partners in the weaving shed, before the cushion cover and pad is made up in the factory. We’re also love our 100% wool Welsh knit throw, which has been created by our designers, then woven on our looms, all by Partners at Herbert Parkinson.
We’re proud of our British heritage and look forward to celebrating another 60 years!