John Hanly Blankets established in 1893. The company has always been under the management of the Hanly family and Brian Hanly is now the fourth Managing Director. It is located in Ballyartella Woollen Mills, approx. 5 kilometres from Nenagh in County Tipperary.
Before moving to Ballyartella , Denis Hanly and his son John operated a number of hand looms in South County Tipperary, approx 40 miles from Nenagh. In 1893 they moved their machinery to Ballyartella in the North of the county. They took over a vacant mill beside the Nenagh River and a large wheel provided the power necessary to operate the machinery.
The business expanded to spinning and carding, the main products being flannels and blankets. At that time, all products were sold within Ireland and the UK under the guidance of the founder’s son, John Hanly who became Managing Director.
Business continued in this way for many years. Local farmers brought their fleeces to the mill for purchase. Spinning, carding and weaving took place within the six storey mill.
In 1950 the company suffered a major set back. A fire within the mill meant that the factory was virtually burned to the ground. The family home of John Hanly which was beside the mill was also destroyed by the flames. A two-storey structure was all that remained of the original six stories and this is still part of the existing mill and is now used to house the yarn for weaving.
After the fire it was decided to discontinue with the spinning and carding operations and the business now concentrated on the weaving trade and was built up from virtually nothing. It became necessary to buy in all raw materials and the cloth was designed and woven in the mill and finished by specialist finishing companies – this practice continues today.
The company first employed a full time designer in the 1950’s and began weaving more varied types of fabrics for the apparel trade. With the advent of free trade in the early 1960’s, John Hanly & Co Ltd joined two other Irish textile mills. They export their products to mainland Europe and the USA. After many years of successful co-operation the companies went their separate ways. But had built up useful contacts and agents in relevant markets.
Since the early 1970’s, the company has been involved in selling fabrics directly to Germany, Italy, France, Belgium. The Netherlands, UK, USA and Japan. This impressive list has now expanded to include Korea, Australia and Scandinavia. In the late 1970’s the company introduced it’s first accessories range with a collection of blankets and lambswool scarves. However, at this stage fabric was still the main product being produced in Ballyartella. Around 75% of fabric production was for ladies wear and 25% for mens wear, this has been a continuous trend during the decades. The main end uses are mens sports jackets, womens jackets and skirts. Hanly fabric is normally of the classic type with the main colour themes of each season being used. John Hanly & Co Ltd export most of their fabrics to designers and well known brands all over the world.
In the late 1980’s the accessories line of scarves and throws was extended using different yarns offering customers a greater selection of products. During the early 1990’s the demand was so great for Hanly scarves & throws that a stock supported service was implemented for this side of the business. This means that in our warehouse all the scarves & throws that we manufacture are on shelves waiting for orders from our customers and agents around the world. With the growth of the accessories range, fabric production and accessories production is now 30/70. Hanly fabric and accessories are sold to top brands, designers and quality retailers around the world.
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