Chinese group takes over historic textile mill

A scene from the movie Quantum Of Solace
A scene from the movie Quantum Of Solace
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The Yorkshire mill that made the fabric used in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace has been taken over by Chinese textile firm Shandong Ruyi.

Taylor & Lodge, which is based in Lockwood, Huddersfield, produced the fabric for the dinner suit worn by actor Daniel Craig in the 2008 blockbuster.

The firm will be 80 per cent owned by Shandong Ruyi and 20 per cent by British firm Bulmer & Lumb Group.

The company said the joint venture will bring Shandong Ruyi’s world-class textile technology, marketing and financial power together with the manufacturing and design skills of Taylor & Lodge.

Shandong Ruyi has a close involvement with its supply chain from the sheep that are sheared for their wool through to high end suits.

It said that its marketing teams cover more than 40 countries throughout the world.

Taylor & Lodge has a worldwide reputation as a manufacturer of the finest, luxury British worsted cloths.

American fashion designer Tom Ford bought cashmere and mohair from Taylor and Lodge to produce James Bond’s dinner suit for the film.

The firm said Mr Ford wanted to use a very traditional English fabric which photographs well. It added that the outcome was very similar to the suits worn by actor Sean Connery in the 1960s.

The fabric cost £125 a metre and it takes about three-and-a-half metres to make a suit.

An off-the-peg Tom Ford suit costs about £4,000 while a bespoke one costs about £8,000.

The mill, which employs around 45 people, specialises in expensive material including cashmere and alpaca.

It has occupied its Rashcliffe Mills factory in Huddersfield, on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors, since its founding in 1883.

The mill converted from steam to electric power at the end of the Second World War in 1945 and it was the first fine worsted manufacturer to receive the Queen’s Award to Industry in 1966.

The firm has made cloth for suits worn by the Duke of Edinburgh, former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, the Lord Mayor of London and the Australian High Commissioner.

Shandong Ruyi said it will help Taylor & Lodge to improve its international performance through upgrading its equipment and expanding its marketing. Last month Shandong Ruyi said it would invest £1.2bn in Pakistan.