Shirt (Tattersall)

Viyella

Established 1894

The name Viyella is based on the Via Gellia, a valley road near Matlock, where in 1890 Hollins & Co acquired a spinning mill. In 1894, developed by James and Robert Sissons, the famous Viyella cloth was born in Hollins & Co’s mill: a blend of 55% wool and 45% cotton in a twill weave. Registered as a trademark, Viyella covered not only the original fabric, to be sold by the yard, but also clothing. Hence it is called the ‘first branded fabric in the world’. In 1960 the company received the Queen’s Royal Warrant. The Austin Reed Group bought Viyella in 2009 to build on the core values of the brand.

Tattersall describes a check or plaid pattern woven into cloth. The pattern is composed of regularly-spaced thin, even vertical warp stripes, repeated horizontally, thereby forming squares. The stripes are usually in two or more alternating colours, generally darker on a light ground. The cloth pattern takes its name from Tattersall’s horse market, which was started in London in 1766. Today tattersall is a common pattern, often woven in cotton, but the real deal is obviously in flannel/viyella. Traditional shirts of this cloth are often used by horseback riders in formal riding attire.

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© Austin Reed, Thirsk, UK

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