Solid foundations laid for carpet firm’s future

Dining Room restoration at Leeds Castle. Picture by:
Dining Room restoration at Leeds Castle. Picture by:

The owner of Avena Carpets says she wants to follow in the footsteps of Halifax’s historic role in the industry after working in some of the UK’s most prestigious buildings.

The Halifax-based business has supplied bespoke carpets for Leeds Castle in Kent as well as the Gaskell House restoration project in Manchester, Bywell Castle in Northumerland and Apsley House in London, which was the Duke of Wellington’s home.

All this is just a year on from the company going bust and being taken over by the new owner.

Rachel Tighe, who owns the company, which is based at Bankfield Mills in Boothtown, said: “It rose from Crossley’s Carpets, who decided to stop manufacturing their narrow width Brussels Wilton’s and sold their looms and designs to a group of eight staff who worked for them.

“Because the looms were 200 years old they did a lot of re-production work as they were the only people manufacturing on these looms in the world.

“I worked for Avena for 8 years coming back in July 2013 before it went into liquidation last year, I took it over to ensure the traditions of weaving the same narrow width Brussels Carpets that the Crossley empire was built on were kept alive in the town.”

Rachel said the business is now aiming to increase its international trade and is proud of the work it has undertaken since taking over.

She said: “We do a lot of restoration and re-production work as well as supplying interior designers and the trade.

“We have a good relationship with the National trust and English Heritage which has led to some really prestigious work.

“I believe I’m the only female carpet manufacturer in the country and we have our own on-site dye house also taking in commision dying work.

“It’s been quite a journey and it was daunting. But I fell on my feet with the staff I inherited, who are highly-skilled.

“We export to the USA and Canada but we are hoping to expand that area of the business.”