History & Heritage

The name Cole has been linked with the textile industry since the early 1900s when H.E. Cole & Co Ltd operated two fabric mills in Leicester and Whetstone, employing over one hundred people.

H.E. Cole & Co Ltd, also known as “King Cole”, specialised in the manufacture of knitted hosiery garments and were widely known for producing their ‘unshrinkable’ underwear.

In 1974, the Cole family purchased a new roll fabric slitting machine, branching out into the production and selling of slit acetate stain ribbon to the garment labelling industry.  Based on Newdigate Street in Nottingham, this company was the beginning of the Cole Fabrics PLC you know today.

King Cole Factory Photo
King Cole Factory Photo
King Cole Factory Photo

 Click the images above to enlarge

In 1983, the business moved to its current location on Ludlow Hill Road in West Bridgford, Nottingham, having expanded its  operation with a further five slitting machines and taken on more staff to cope with the demand for its products.

Cole Fabrics diversified its product lines in to decorative ribbon products and packaging accessories when they merged with Romandus Ribbons in  1998, who were based in Croydon at the time. Romandus relocated to Nottingham bringing a wealth of experience with it as well as more machinery requiring a further expansion of Cole’s manufacturing operation in to the surrounding buildings.

1999 saw Cole Fabrics PLC expanding even further with the acquisition of Taytec, a specialist woven edge ribbon manufacturing operation in Red Scar Business Park, Preston, Lancashire, which allowed Cole Fabrics PLC to produce and dye its own high quality woven edge ribbon product lines.

The expansion continued in 2005 with the creation of Cole Fabrics Far East Ltd. Cole Fabric PLC and Cole Fabrics Far East Ltd. work together on shared projects and also work independently for a variety of customers across the world.

Most recently Cole Fabrics PLC established a joint venture in 2008 in Italy called Global Ribbons Italia Srl with an associate business from France, in order to offer both products from both businesses through a single outlet directly to the Italian market.