Starting Lancashire at the beginning of the 1900’s, Thomas Gaskell was working in the world-renowned textiles industry that the area was famed for. In 1902, Thomas out on his own as a felt merchant, working from home up until 1903 when he bought his first small warehouse. Later upgrading this in 1913 to an even bigger location.
Diversifying his offerings, Thomas developed his product portfolio to include underfelts, stair pads and mattress pads. This development led to quick growth which meant the appointment of R.H. Hartley as Director, looking after the administration side of the business.
The fast-paced growth of the business showed no signs of slowing down, through the first world war, the company supplied many government ministries, building their customer base and connections. In 1920, Thomas was joined by two of his sons, Eric and Douglas Gaskell.
In 1946, Thomas sadly passed away, however with the work of his two sons, the company continued to thrive throughout the second world war, leading to the purchase of over 500,000ft2 of warehousing including Lee, Britannia (pictured) and Peel Mills.
Venturing into the world of Carpet
The company became a Plc in 1948. The following year they purchased Wheatfield Mill and Rishton which is where their first Broadloom carpet mills were installed.
In 1956/7 the company faced disaster as one of their warehouses suffered a terrible fire, but a quick purchase of new premises meant the growth of the company didn’t slow and led to their first ventures into Underlay.
Through the 1950’s & 1960’s the company was in the safe hands of the third generation of the Gaskell family and started ploughing resources into the carpet manufacturing industry, purchasing smaller carpet manufacturers in Kidderminster who specialised in the production of Broadloom Axminster carpets. Gaskell was the first manufacturer to start producing Axminster carpets in the narrower width of 12 foot. This new offering quickly put Gaskell on the map in the carpet manufacturing industry, becoming market leaders in the leisure sector. This new offering meant the possibility of creating rugs in both long and short yarn, the long yarn rugs becoming a major offering for Swedish retailer, IKEA.
The 1970’s saw the venture into Residential carpet products using natural wool yarns becoming the best seller through the 70’s and 80’s. This time also saw the introduction of the fourth generation of the Gaskell family. Gaskells push on growth into the leisure sector meant that the traditionally Wilton dominated industry, was being overturned in favour for the Axminster quality products that Gaskell had to offer
The creation of Gaskell Mackay
It wasn’t until the 1980s that Gaskell Mackay was born. During this decade, the Broadloom carpet sector of the business was spilt off from the textiles side of the business, becoming the company we know today.
This split of the company meant that Gaskell Mackay were then producing one third of all of the carpets created for the leisure sector, with largely narrow width and broadloom products going into the hotel sector.
The turn of the millennium
By the end of the 1990s Gaskell Mackay was a market leading manufacturer. The turn of the century brought with it one of the toughest challenges that the company had faced with the availability of and plethora of cheaper products from overseas.
Over the turn of their 100th year in operation, Gaskell Mackay were refocusing on their specialities, focusing on their capabilities in design and product quality.
In 2006, the company was purchased by Whitestone Weavers to become Gaskell Mackay Carpets. With their new owners and new focus, they were ready to take on the new challenges.
Quality meets Opportunity
Gaskell Mackay has thrived since the purchase by Whitestone Weavers who are renowned for their diverse product portfolio and capabilities in the carpet world.
Offering both Axminster carpets from stock and specialising in the bespoke and custom carpet sector, the company is still growing today. Most notably in the leisure sector where their offerings are well regarded and highly renowned.
The company now offer an online design service to help Designers and consumers create their own finish, hundreds of quality Axminster carpets in varying designs available from stock and the option for a fully customised design thanks to the help of our two expert carpet designers.
You can contact the team to discuss the offerings, prices, creation times and more. Simply call our offices or email; email@example.com