Crowson House on the Bellbrook Business Park, now empty as Crowson Fabrics prepares to close on April 17.

Uckfield-based Crowson Fabrics to close

Crowson Fabrics, a business which has produced high quality fabrics and furnishings from its Uckfield base for more than 35 years, is to close.

In its hey day the company employed nearly 300 people though numbers have dropped in recent times.

Managing director Mr Chris Worrall said he was proud of the fact that “every single member of staff”, except himself, has secured alternative employment. He has not yet decided what he is going to do.

Crowson House on the Bellbrook Business Park has been vacated and Mr Worrall is working with a skeleton staff of five from a unit at The Pentax Centre, on the Bellbrook, as the company prepares to close next Thursday, April 17.

Closure follows the decision by founder Derek Crowson to retire 36 years after founding the business.

Mr Crowson created one of the world’s largest home furnishings companies Crowson Fabrics, together with its brands, including Monkwell, Charterhouse, Dovedale, Design Archives and Hill and Knowles.

These were distributed throughout the world through an international network of showrooms and the company received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Export Achievement in 1994 and 1995.

Mr Crowson said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed creating and leading Crowson Fabrics, a company I founded in 1978 and one which has been synonymous with designer quality furnishings.

“During the 1980s and 90s we were producing approximately ten million metres of fabric annually at our own print works partnership factories worldwide, supplying over 8,000 independent retailers and most of the major high street stores and furniture manufacturers in the UK and around the world.

“Our studios created our own in-house designs, with a team of designers based in the UK and worldwide. It gave me much satisfaction and pride that our unique apprenticeship scheme led to the launch of so many careers within the textile industry.”

Mr Crowson added: “I’d like to thank with deep gratitude, my loyal and supportive customers and suppliers, both at home and overseas who have shown me so much kindness over the years. It has been my privilege to have made so many strong friends within this industry.”

The company has also built one of the largest archives of fabric designs and a substantial number of these could be available to print under licence.

The company has, and says it will continue to, honour all it suppliers, staff and other creditors in full as well as giving continued support to all its loyal customers for a period of time as there are substantial stocks still available.

Only last year Mr Crowson invested heavily in the future of Crowson Fabrics. See a story we carried at the time: Major investment in Crowson Fabrics, Uckfield

More about Crowson Fabrics.

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