Set amongst the rolling hills of the Pennines, the mill towns of West Yorkshire will always be synonymous with Britain’s woollen industry heritage.


Today, while most of the thousands of mills which once dotted the county’s landscape are long since closed, a handful still keep up the traditions of the past, upholding the reputation for excellence and craftsmanship which once made Yorkshire woollens famous the world over.


One company still carrying this torch is Bronte by Moon. This year marks the 180th anniversary of the company’s birth in the town of Guiseley near Leeds, where it is still based to this day. Throughout those 180 years, the Moon family name has been a byword for quality and expertise in the craft of wool manufacture.


The company produces a wide range of luxury woollen home and fashion accessories, including throws, cushions, baby blankets and scarves.It operates one of the last remaining ‘vertical’ mills in the UK, which means that the entire manufacturing process, from bale to cloth, takes place under one roof. The level of quality control this gives at every stage makes for outstanding final products, which is why the Moon brand remains in such high demand.


A history of excellence


The company was founded by Abraham Moon in 1837, the year that Queen Victoria came to the throne. However, it took more than 30 years for Moon to build his first vertical mill, finally opening a single site for Guiseley’s dyers, carders, spinners, weavers and finishers to work from in 1868. In the intervening years, Abraham had purchased the Bronte Tweed brand from one JD Matthewman, creating a name so well respected to this day.


The opening of the mill was a sign of the times. Britain’s textile industry was entering its golden age, fuelled by the ready markets created by Empire. By the time Abraham’s son, Isaac, re-built the mill following a devastating fire in 1902, the Moon family was exporting its produce across the globe. The company still operates out of the mill Isaac Moon built today.


Since 1920, the company has been owned and run by the family of Charles Walsh, who bought the mill off the Moons for £33,000 - the equivalent of £1.5 million today. Current MD John Walsh has steered the company through the downturn in fortunes the British woollen industry suffered in the 1980s and 90s, maintaining it as a thriving business and the only one of the seven mills which once operated in Guiseley to survive.


The continued success of the company has been down to a combination of savvy product diversification and keeping up the craft traditions which served it so well for so long. In 2005, the company launched its first furnishings range - just over a decade later, it produces 14. With a single design team, there is lots of crossover in style between its home, fashion and Highland tweed ranges, creating a strong unified brand appeal which customers return to time and time again.


Only the finest


As Scotland’s leading retailer of cashmere and fine woollens, House of Cashmere stocks only the finest quality products from only the very best Scottish and UK manufacturers. We take a lot of pride and pleasure in working with producers with the traditions and standards of Bronte by Moon, meaning we can bring our customers the very best there is available.