In 1896, Henry Percy and Frederick Herbert Dugdale established their cloth merchants business in Huddersfield, the centre of Britain’s fine worsted industry.
Using skilled designers, weavers and finishers their ranges soon found favour with the finest tailors and their reputation quickly spread throughout Europe and the Americas. Today, Dugdale Brothers and Company Limited, remain exclusive designers, fabric merchants and suppliers to Savile Row and top tailors, couturiers and retailers throughout the world.
Two generations of the Dugdale family would follow the founding brothers in the business guiding the company through prosperous times and the perilous war years. Ironically for a company that specialised in material for military uniforms, the war years of 1914-18 and 1939-45 would prove particularly difficult, with Government restrictions on the sale of wool in the First World War and clothes rationing in the second.
In the 1960s Keith Charnock joined the firm. He had begun his professional life as an apprentice at John Foster’s in Queensbury. After National Service and a spell with his father at Kaye & Stewart, in Huddersfield, he switched to merchanting, joining the iconic firm J G Hardy.
Eighteen years after he joined the firm, Keith Charnock bought Dugdale from Betty Dugdale the last of the Dugdale family in the business. Keith’s son, Rob Charnock, joined the company in 1990 and went on to acquire the firm from his father in 2000.
KLTV’s Dave Hodgson speaks with Simon Glendenning from Dugdale Bro’s & Co to find out more.