A Herefordshire-based business with an international customer base has the distinction of playing a part in a Hollywood movie.

Nick Stanier at New House Textiles reveals that the company recently sold 150 metres of roller blind fabric to the producers of a Hollywood blockbuster for blinds in every carriage of a train that constitutes part of the set.

It is though, he adds, a blink-and-you’llmiss-it moment, but what it demonstrates is how significant a player in this niche market New House Textiles is.

Launched in 1921 in the aftermath of the Great War by Nick’s grandfather, Harold Stanier, the company has been owned by the family ever since, and began life with a single knitting machine.

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From there Harold built a clever and innovative textile business that has gone through several incarnations to emerge as a leading supplier of roller blinds and accessories around the world.

“My dad joined the business in the 1950s, having studied textiles at college, where he learned about knitting,” said Mr Stanier.

“At that time they were making jumpers, lingerie, all sorts, and doing textile engineering.

"By the time my grandfather passed away in 1969 the business had become so diverse that it was a challenge to handle.

"There were also a lot of imports beginning to arrive, with garments costing less than it would have cost my father to buy the yarn to make anything similar.

"At one time we had about 50 girls working on sewing machines, but sadly it was all reduced to my father alone with a knitting machine.”

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The change in the textile landscape meant that the factory Harold had bought in South Wales was redundant, so John Stanier moved to his late father’s home in Herefordshire, where there were several outbuildings that could be repurposed.

“My grandfather had married someone from Herefordshire and she wanted to live in a big house, so they bought a ‘tumble down’ house near Ross-on-Wye, though grandfather continued to commute to South Wales, where he kept a small flat.

“My father had to close the knitting and making up departments and what was left could be brought to Herefordshire,” where, under John’s direction, it began to thrive.

“Many of the customers of our technical textiles remained, and we also made textile machinery, which we continue to this day.

“Having got the machine sorted for roller blinds, my father was approached by a company from the Netherlands where they were specialists in roller blinds.”

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Mr Stanier studied textile chemistry at Leeds University, but times were changing and he never ended up working in the field, instead joining the family business, where he became interested in roller blind fabrics.

“When you are working with technical textiles, everything has to be identical, and I preferred a more fashion-based aspect and how that changes, so I then started working with designers to produce the fabrics and it has developed from there.”

Today, New House Textiles specialises in fabrics for the manufacture of roller blinds, working with RCA designers to create innovative and contemporary fabrics.

New House has always employed the very best of British design talent and their current team is headed by Melanie Darwin, with Charlotte Farmer and Laura Fletcher, each of whom has an area of specialisation.