Journey

As a successful family business, we’ve been crafting our textile manufacturing skills for the past 160 years.

We are proud of our long and illustrious textile manufacturing heritage, and the knowledge and experience that comes with this.

We have worked with airlines for around 50 years. Our team understands what you need, and the levels of comfort and enjoyment that enhance the in-flight experience.

You can see how our history unfolds around some of the key events in the history of aviation and the aviation industry.

John Horsfall History
Aviation History

Cool Timeline

2023
2023

John Horsfall’s 160th year anniversary since the company was established.

2022

John Horsfall won ‘Best for OnBoard Textiles’ award in the OnBoard Hospitality awards for their Premium Economy Textiles collection with Finnair & Marimekko.

2022

First flight in history with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel in both engines on a commercial aircraft.

2021

Virgin Atlantic & British Airways joint take-off from Heathrow on 8th November marks the first Transatlantic passenger flight since the 2020 Covid-19 shutdown.

2021

John Horsfall acquired Orvec, allowing the company to further diversify the product range.

2020
2020

John Horsfall won ‘Best for OnBoard Textiles in First & Business Class’ & ‘Best Premium Economy Bedding Set’ in the OBH & TravelPlus awards; both for British Airways textiles collections.

2020

WHO declared the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus a ‘pandemic’, this would lead to global travel restrictions and the effective shut-down of the global aviation industry for over 18 months.

2017

Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s first flight.

2016

Airbus’ A320neo aircraft was the first of the more fuel efficient ‘neo family’ to be introduced to service by an airline.

2014
john horsfall head office birkby grange

After 118 years at West Vale Works, the Head Office relocates to its current home: Birkby Grange, Huddersfield.

2007

Airbus A380 Super Jumbo’s first passenger flight.

2005

John Horsfall China office established.

2004

Beginning of offshore production in India and China, enabling the company to diversify to a larger range of products including duvets, pillow and table linens.

2000
Concorde in-flight blanket

John Horsfall produced fine lambswool blankets for British Airways Concorde, until the aircraft retired from flight in 2003.

1997

Peter Horsfall Benson became the current Managing Director (5th generation of the Horsfall family).

1994

Boeing 777’s first flight.

1993

First Queens Award for Export 1993. Further awards were won in 1998 and 1999.

1978

John Horsfall sold its first airline blankets – to British Airways, Kuwait Airways and Malaysian Airlines.

1969
british concorde 1969

Concorde makes Maiden Flight

1952

First jetliner passenger service started between London and Johannesburg.

1939-45
world war 2 fabrics

War work – workers given special dispensation to work in the mill. Good quality blankets were essential to the war effort. John Horsfall also made ‘Fearnaught’ – heavy wool cloth that was fire proof and used to line ammunition boxes.

1924

First round-the-world aeroplane flight.

1919

First nonstop transatlantic aeroplane flight (John Alcock and Arthur Whitten-Brown).

1914

First passenger aeroplane service in USA – lasted four months (St Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line).

1905
west vale mill

Bought West Vale Mill and became John Horsfall & Sons Ltd.

1903
first aeroplane flight

First aeroplane flight (Orville Wright).

1863
john horsfall company founders

Company established 1863 by John Horsfall and James Clay in Luddenden Foot, Halifax.

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How can we help? Talk to our team today to begin your journey with
John Horsfall – we can’t wait to see where we’ll go together.

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