Join us for a tour of the John Smedley’s knitting factory where you can see how they design, manufacture and produce innovative contemporary knitwear of the highest quality.
The guided tour of the factory at Lea Mills will show you to see the production process from yarn to finished garment, packed and ready to send to the customer.
There are lots of steps on the tour, which will last around one and a half hours, the guide introduces the company, still in the hands of the original family owners, and then tours the site highlighting each of the key stages in the manufacturing process.
You will see ‘Yarn Preparation’, ‘Ribs and Trims’, fully-fashioned and Shima Knitting, ‘Dressing’ (where the garments and washed in local spring water and then pressed), ‘First Make-Up’, followed by the final stages of garment construction and finishing and lastly ‘Packing’.
John Smedley’s knitting factory was founded in 1784. It is a stone building on a hill in the Derbyshire Dales. For over 200 years John Smedley has designed, manufactured and produced innovative contemporary knitwear of the highest quality. After the tour we can visit the Factory Shop on site, where you can purchase a John Smedley garment – a lasting souvenir of the visit.
The factory shop is open from 10am till 4pm so you may wish to visit it before the tour.
Lea Rhododendron gardens: The visit timed to coincide with the Rhododendron season. Just up the road is Lea Gardens who happen to have a great café where we can have lunch and after lunch you have the option to have a look around their Rhododendron gardens. They have 500 or more varieties of rhododendrons, azaleas and other plants. There is a small additional charge of £5 for the gardens. Here is a link to their website