Leicester has a long history as a center of textile and clothing manufacturing in the UK. Some of the country’s largest and most successful clothing companies are based in Leicester. This article profiles the top 10 clothing manufacturers in Leicester today.
Leicester’s history in textile manufacturing dates back centuries. During the industrial revolution, Leicester became a hub for textile mills and production. It was conveniently located near sheep farming areas, providing a steady supply of wool.
The city continued to grow as a clothing manufacturing center throughout the 20th century. Many factories produced suits, coats, knitwear and hosiery. At its peak, Leicester produced nearly one-third of all British hosiery.
Although globalization led to the decline of the British textile industry from the 1970s onwards, Leicester remains a major center for clothing manufacturing today. The city’s companies have adapted to changing consumer demands and manufacturing technologies.
Leicester’s clothing manufacturers range from boutique designers producing bespoke garments to large-scale producers supplying major high street retailers. Today, many manufacturers focus on technical and performance fabrics.
This article will profile Leicester’s top 10 clothing manufacturers based on factors like longevity, innovation, production capabilities and influence.
1. Jumping Jacks Limited
Jumping Jacks is one of Leicester’s largest children’s clothing manufacturers. The company was founded in 1987 and produces clothes for babies and children up to age 12.
Jumping Jacks operates a 60,000 sq. ft manufacturing facility in Leicester with cutting-edge digital printing technology. The factory has an estimated garment production capacity of up to 400,000 per week.
The company supplies childrenswear products to many top UK retailers including Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, ASDA and TESCO. Jumping Jacks is known for its colorful prints and playful designs. It offers clothing collections for all seasons.
Jumping Jacks embodies Leicester’s heritage as a major hub for childrenswear production. Its large scale manufacturing capabilities and relationships with leading retailers make it one of the city’s top clothing producers.
2. Rupert and Buckley
Founded in 1946, Rupert and Buckley is a high-end menswear manufacturer located in Leicester. The company specializes in tailored suits, jackets and trousers.
Rupert and Buckley provides made-to-measure and bespoke garment services. Its experienced tailors handcraft each piece after taking clients’ measurements. The company uses fine materials including wool, cashmere and silk from Italy and the UK.
In addition to made-to-measure clothing, Rupert and Buckley produces ready-to-wear collections stocked by luxury retailers. The company balances heritage British techniques with modern technologies like 3D body scanning.
Rupert and Buckley represents Leicester’s ongoing reputation for quality tailoring and craftsmanship. As one of the city’s few remaining bespoke tailoring houses, it helps preserve traditional garment-making skills.
Founded in 1937, Pantherella is one of the most historic hosiery manufacturers in Leicester. The company is known for its luxury socks, stockings and tights.
Pantherella has an in-house design team that develops its collections in Leicester. The company focuses on high quality natural fibers like Sea Island cotton, cashmere, silk and lambswool.
The socks are manufactured at Pantherella’s LE18 production facility equipped with modern knitting technologies. The company knits, boards, presses and packages all its products on-site.
Pantherella supplies premium socks and hosiery to upmarket department stores globally, including Harrods, Selfridges and Bloomingdale’s. It holds a Royal Warrant from the Prince of Wales for its merino wool socks.
As an established British hosiery brand based in Leicester, Pantherella represents the area’s knitwear heritage and craftsmanship.
Founded in 1862, Brandauer is a specialist manufacturer of metal presswork and assemblies based in Leicester. While not a clothing company, it produces vital components used in garment-making.
Brandauer designs and manufactures pressing tools, automatic feeding systems and other precision parts. Its products are used for everything from creating snaps, hooks and eyes to assembling jewelry.
The company works with many international clothing brands to produce the metal components incorporated into garments. Brandauer’s technology allows clothing to be manufactured efficiently on a large scale.
Representing over 150 years of manufacturing history in Leicester, Brandauer demonstrates the supply chain ecosystem supporting the city’s clothing industry.
Rymix is a Leicester company manufacturing elastic textiles used in clothing. Founded in 1962, the company knits narrow elastic fabrics like ribbons, tapes and braids.
Rymix utilizes computerized knitting machines to create elastic textiles from synthetic yarns like polyester. Key products include waistband elastics, shoulder straps, shirt collar taps and other stretch trims.
These elastic textiles are essential components in underwear and activewear. Rymix supplies renowned international underwear brands including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Bjorn Borg.
Headquartered in Leicester, Rymix plays an important role supplying stretch fabrics to clothing manufacturers. The company’s niche elastic knitting capabilities make it a valuable player in the local industry.
Based in Leicester, Printoptions specializes in fabric printing and garment embellishment processes. Founded in 2004, the company offers digital textile printing, sublimation, embroidery, garment pressing and other services.
Printoptions’ technologies help add unique decorative finishes and prints to clothing. The company works with fashion designers and clothing manufacturers to transform textiles.
In addition to printing and embellishments, Printoptions provides product development support. Clients can collaborate with technical experts to turn concepts into physical samples and final products.
By enabling product decorators and clothing brands to add customizable prints and finishes, Printoptions expands the design possibilities for Leicester’s clothing manufacturing industry.
7. Jessica London
Jessica London is a Leicester-based manufacturer and retailer of plus-size women’s clothing. Established in 1997, the company designs and produces its own plus-size clothing collections.
Jessica London operates a 30,000 sq. ft. production facility in Leicester where it manufactures about 500,000 garments annually. The company focuses on trendy yet comfortable daywear, special occasion outfits and basics in sizes 12-32.
In addition to manufacturing, Jessica London sells its collections through catalogues and online in the UK. The company controls its supply chain from design to production to sales.
Representing growth in plus-size fashion manufacturing, Jessica London is one of Leicester’s leading producers of larger size women’s apparel.
8. Empire Bespoke
Empire Bespoke is a luxury menswear brand based in Leicester established in 2018. The company offers customized suits, shirts, coats and accessories for men.
Empire Bespoke provides a bespoke experience where clients can select every detail of their garments. Its tailors handcraft suits and shirts at the company’s Leicester studio.
The company uses fine Italian and British fabrics. In addition to bespoke pieces, Empire Bespoke offers ready-to-wear collections. It also provides private and corporate wardrobe styling services.
As a modern bespoke menswear brand, Empire Bespoke is keeping Leicester’s tailoring heritage alive using both traditional techniques and cutting-edge technology.
9. Garment Printer
Garment Printer provides direct-to-garment printing services in Leicester. Founded in 2013, the company specializes in digital t-shirt, hoodie, bag and hat printing targeted to businesses and designers.
Garment Printer uses the latest technology for small or large-scale digital garment printing. Their printing process doesn’t involve screens or plates, allowing quick turnaround.
The company helps add designs and prints to finished products or garment blanks. Their services support Leicester’s clothing manufacturers along with small design businesses.
By embracing digital technologies, Garment Printer makes printed clothing more accessible to Leicester’s apparel companies.
10. Leicester Button Company
Leicester Button Company is a manufacturing and wholesale distributor of buttons based in Leicester since 1899. They stock over 12,000 button styles and custom make buttons on request.
The company manufactures buttons from materials like corozo, wood, plastic, metal, acrylic and more. Their factory utilizes modern laser cutting and automated manufacturing technologies.
In addition to manufacturing, Leicester Button Company supplies button wholesale for the clothing, upholstery and craft industries across the UK and internationally.
With over 120 years of history supplying button components to clothing companies, Leicester Button Company represents the depth of supporting businesses in Leicester’s garment industry.
Leicester’s rich history and concentration of textile manufacturing expertise has allowed it to remain one of the UK’s major clothing production hubs. Companies like those profiled in this article keep Leicester at the forefront of design, manufacturing technology and innovation in apparel production.
From artisanal bespoke tailors to large-scale clothing factories, Leicester’s manufacturers possess the full range of capabilities to take garments from initial concept to finished products. The city’s central location, manufacturing infrastructure and skilled workforce continue to support the growth and success of its clothing producers.
With its combination of heritage and modernization, Leicester is poised to remain a leading hub for clothing manufacturing into the future. The companies profiled here represent the diversity and innovation that makes Leicester a standout for apparel production in the UK today. They are the top clothing manufacturers that give Leicester its reputation for excellence in garment manufacturing.