kathleen e. blake, cpa, joined the Company as its Chief Financial Officer in 1992. As she rose through the corporation's ranks, she also mastered the skills of overseeing production, customer relations, quality control, and contract negotiations, becoming the firm's President and CEO. The Company itself has been operating since the early 80s, witnessing the dissolutions and consolidations of many prominent US and UK carpet mills. The Company has a long trading history with varied mills such as The Royal Wilton Carpet Factory, C.P. Carpets, Heckmondwike Carpets, U.S. Axminster, Wilton Weavers, Master Weavers, owners & co-founders of Enterprise Weaving Co., Carpets of Kidderminster, Ax-woven Carpets, Steele's/Tomkinsons, Victoria Carpets.
English Wilton's design studio, led by Gillian Hames for over 25 years, has continued to produce proprietary designs as well as maintain their ever-expanding historical archive, which was assembled from the acquisition and compilation of many of the aforementioned fine mills extensive design libraries. Gillian started her career at The Royal Wilton Carpet Factory as a staff designer, hand-painting the beginning of what has become our premier "Preservation Collection" library of historic checkpapers and textile C.A.D. library of over 10,000 digital designs.
We maintain a roster of highly qualified carpet installers throughout North America whose specialty is working with narrow-width goods. They are skilled at hand-sewing and installing both our narrow Wilton and Axminster weavings as well as Broadloom carpets anywhere, from the smallest house museum to the largest state capitol.
from early times Kidderminster was a cloth weaving town with a cottage industry based on wool. In 1735 it introduced its own flat weave "Kidderminster Carpet" but it was the introduction of the Brussels and Wilton weaves around 1750 that firmly established it as a carpet town. The early hand looms were replaced by power looms in the mid-to late 1800s and all the town's establishment companies were soon weaving Wilton carpet for prestigious locations.
today, the carpet industry has significantly changed but the Wilton looms of Kidderminster remain. In the town's Museum of Carpet [www.museumofcarpet.org.uk] visitors can experience the weaving of narrow Jacquard Wilton on a loom that dates back to the late 1800s. It’s pleasing to know that The English Wilton Company is playing its part in keeping the tradition alive.
- Melvyn Thompson, author of "Woven in Kidderminster" and Historian
at the Museum of Carpet