The Story of Our Cashmere
We brought the Herbert Parkinson textile factory in Darwen, Lancashire, into the John Lewis Partnership in 1953, and ever since it’s been a thriving example of UK design, quality and craftsmanship, with Partners investing pride back into the business they own.
Combining the best of modern technology and traditional skills, those Partners make many of our own brand soft furnishings, duvets and pillows, and all of our Made to Measure Express 7-14 day service curtains, cushions, roman and roller blinds. They make customised duvets too.
“The quality is right up there. It’s in our DNA. The team’s got a motto, whatever they’re doing right through the process: if it’s not good enough for them, it does not go.”
Herbert Parkinson is a significant workplace in the local community with over 250 Partners working there. It's also a family affair, with over a quarter of Partners having a relative as a colleague. Our longest-serving Partner has 40 years of service.
We work very closely with the local High School, as part of the business and education Careers and Enterprise Advisor Network. We arrange visits to our factory and have regular meetings with the students.
“Part of my role as a trainer is to develop others. It’s really satisfying to watch them grow in confidence.”
We’ve made significant investment in training and apprenticeships at Herbert Parkinson, and in the latest equipment to ensure that Partners can produce work of the highest possible standard.
Our Partners take great pride in their work. When you receive your order, you’ll find a card inside telling you who made and checked your curtains, blind, pillow or duvet.
“I’ve always been interested in sewing ever since I was little, it’s always been a big part of my life all the way through school and college, and now in my work life as well.”
"I would like to say a big 'thank you' to Mick for making my curtains. They were John Lewis & Partners Copacabana Curtains. I received them yesterday and I have hung them today. They look beautiful and I am very happy with the finishing and everything about them. Well done Mick and to the whole team at Herbert Parkinson."
"To Jackie, you have made an awesome job of our roman blinds! It was a large window made up of 2 x 1.3m blinds so it was mega important that the pattern matched across the 2 blinds. Rare these days of ordering something that exceeds expectations."
"Just wanted to let you know the curtains have arrived and they are up. Material pattern matching perfect. Many thanks to Shan at Herbert Parkinson for making them so nicely."
"Received my curtains on Friday having ordered them the previous Saturday. Three pairs and you have Magda on your card. They were put up as soon as they arrived. They are absolutely perfect I am so pleased with them. Thank you very much."
"I am delighted with the curtains I received, made by Debbie. They were ordered through the Oxford store and I wanted to say thank you and how much I am enjoying them."
"This is just to say thank you very much for making my curtains so beautifully! They are perfect and look amazing. The name on the little ticket that was on the curtains was Mick and the material was called Regal Coral. Thank you again we are delighted with them!"
"I have just received the two pairs of curtains I ordered through John Lewis in Reading. I wanted to let you know that I am absolutely delighted with everything about my recent order from the quality of the fabric to the precision of the workmanship and the way the product was packaged and delivered, well done to everyone in the team."
Curtains and blinds custom made to your measurements are made in 7-14 days by Partners at Herbert Parkinson, the John Lewis & Partners Textile Factory.
There’s an extensive choice of hundreds of fabrics to make curtains, roman and roller blinds, in a range that’s updated twice a year with designs from our studio based at our head office in London.
John Lewis Curtains & Blinds
We offer five lining choices of different weights, types and colours, and several heading types, including eyelet curtains and pinch pleats. The latest curtain-making technology ensures accuracy and quality, and can make curtains up to 4m wide and 3m long.
Quality in the detail is key. Our Partners hand-pin curtains ready for sewing, attach linings, then blind stitch hems and sides. We mitre corners and weight hems for better drape, and also make co-ordinating tie-backs and cushions.
We also make many bespoke curtains to order - highly skilled Partners hand-craft these from a selection of beautiful fabrics.
We ensure everything is carefully inspected throughout the make up process to make sure it matches the order, with a final quality inspection before your order is despatched to your door.
“We've got real skill and dedication. It’s very much hand-crafted – we do use machines, but there are skilled people sat behind them.”
Our experienced team of Partners at Herbert Parkinson, make many of the natural-filled duvets and pillows sold in our shops, and they also custom-make duvets to your specifications.
The down is sourced responsibly from all over Europe and we visit suppliers to make sure that proper standards of animal welfare are maintained. All the feather and down we buy is a by-product of food production. It’s independently tested to make sure it meets quality standards and it can all be traced back to source.
John Lewis Pillows & Duvets
The down that’s used has a high level of fill power - the higher the fill power, the less down is needed to achieve the required tog rating because it traps more air to keep you warm, making your duvet beautifully light in weight.
We also use the best quality fabric for the casings. It’s made with baffle box construction for an even spread of down across the duvet, and to help filling stay in place so you don’t get cold spots.
We can custom make duvets up to a 15 tog rating (the higher the tog, the warmer the duvet), and in a size to suit your specification. We can even make a duvet with a different tog rating on either side, for a couple who like differing levels of warmth.
We also make a range of pillows with differing levels of firmness to suit every sleep preference, and even produce a flat pillow.
“Quality is very important here. It’s the first thing we think of. The quality of the down, the quality of the case, the workmanship that goes into it.”
When you’re part of it, you put your heart into it
At John Lewis & Partners, we’re more than employees - we’re owners. That’s why we’re all called Partners. And that’s why we all go above and beyond to offer quality products and outstanding service to the people who matter most - you, our customers.
Because for us, it’s personal.