Royal approved fabric manufacturer in Suffolk poised for expansion after funds deal

Staff at Gainsborough Silk Weaving of Sudbury. ENGANL00120110419165548
Staff at Gainsborough Silk Weaving of Sudbury. ENGANL00120110419165548

Fabric makers to the Queen, Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company of Suffolk has just agreed a funds deal to pave the way for new expansion.

The investment will allow the renowned manufacturer, based in Alexandra Road, Sudbury, to grow its sales worldwide.

This will give us the opportunity...to grow our business significantly.

David Sentance, managing director

The company, which was awarded the Royal Warrant in 1980, has secured an undisclosed investment from Oakfield Capital Partners, of Surrey.

It will allow the firm, one of the leading industrial-sized weavers in England, to build on its heritage of fabric design and boost its sales and marketing efforts around the world.

Under the deal, David Sentance has been appointed as managing director and will lead Gainsborough’s UK consolidation and expansion into the USA and Middle Eastern markets.

He has spent more than 25 years in the fabrics industry building up companies supplying the furnishing industry internationally.

Mr Sentance said: “I am very excited to be joining Gainsborough.

“The combination of our highly capable workforce, the expansive archive of designs compiled over the last century, and our new investment will give us the opportunity to bring new collections to the market, provide excellent service to our customers, and to grow our business significantly.”

Russell Sage, who has assumed the position of creative director, said “I’m thrilled that Gainsborough has found such a strong and imaginative partner in Oakfield Capital Partners.

“I remain passionately committed to the great craftsmen and traditional manufacturing businesses in the UK.

“My relationship with Gainsborough has been ongoing for many years and with Oakfield Capital Partners’ shrewd investment, the business is on the verge of an incredible revolution which will keep and respect the very best of its history, whilst exploring the wider opportunities that the business can now pursue.”

Michael Patton, of Surrey-based Oakfield Capital Partners, who has joined the board of the company said: “We believe that this unique British business has the potential to sell its product globally.

“By leveraging its heritage product and manufacturing facility with financial resource and great people, we are confident that Gainsborough will grow quickly.”

Gainsborough launched its new collection of designs, inspired by the unique craftsmanship of Gainsborough weavers, at the Decorex Exhibition in Syon Park during the London Design Festival.

The company was created 112 years ago and among its most notable moments was being chosen to make the silk wall coverings and curtains that the Duchess of Cambridge woke up to when she stayed at the Goring Hotel in London the night before her wedding.