A bit of history and nostalgia
Brettles goes way back to the late 18th century and is an important part of the history of British hosiery manufacturing. In 1964 in was actually bought out by Courtaulds, along with many other smaller but similar UK hosiery manufacturers.
However, in the late 1990’s Courtaulds decided to sell the brand to Chilprufe Limited, another household name in traditional underwear. Not long after, Chilprufe went into Receivership and the Brettles brand risked disappearing for good despite its heritage.
Fortunately, the brand was saved by Gary Spendlove who had worked with Brettles for many years as Sales Director at Courtaulds and then Chilprufe, and was passionate about the heritage of iconic brands like Brettles and manufacturing of hosiery, lingerie and nightwear generally in Derbyshire.
Gary Spendlove, who already owned Slenderella lingerie and nightwear, managed to buy the Brettles name and designs (along with Chilprufe and Walker Reid) in 2002 and Brettles has continued to go from strength to strength ever since
What makes Brettles special today?
Brettles continues the tradition of high-quality classic cotton underwear and thermals. It is much loved because of its Fancy Knit pure combed cotton and seam free design giving it a luxurious, comfortable, natural fibre feel, which help keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter.
The high quality of the material and manufacture also ensures all the Brettles styles are functional and easy to care for.
Brettles today specialises in traditional Fancy Knit pure combed cotton underwear and thermals including Camisole vests, French Neck vests, briefs and panties. Brettles styles have been sold at our Shop in Morecambe for over 80 years (many of those years under the Woods of Morecambe name of course) and remain ever popular both from those visiting the shop and those that regularly buy from us by mail order or online.
Special thanks go to Gary Spendlove and Rod Hawgood for the information provided in their book “Brettles of Belper – A history of a famous Derbyshire hosiery company and brand” Slenederella Limited, Belper, 2011. We would also like to thank the team at Slenderella who have also helped with our blog and always provide us with great service.