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The origin of Rykneld Tean Ltd can be traced back as far back as 1747.  The Philips brothers were at the source of what has become one of the best manufacturers of narrow textiles in Europe.

The Philips brothers bought Tean Hall, a timber framed house built in 1613, in Upper Tean, Staffordshire; and erected a warehouse in its grounds. This was used for the linen-thread storage for distribution to the cottage weavers.  The woven tape was then collected and stored here.

During the 18th century, tape weaving continued as a cottage industry, worked by muscle power.  The early weaving was linen tape, but cotton production is mentioned in mill records from 1785 onwards.  The firm continued to prosper.

During the first quarter of the 19th century great developments were being made in the design of steam engines, and in 1823 when the financial depression had passed, a mill was built in Upper Tean.  This mill made use of steam power and had 350 looms.

In 1955, Tean Mill was taken over by Brocklehurst Whiston.  Then in about 1968, was taken over by Marling Industries.  The old concept of a four storey mill for weaving had given way to modern ideas of one level horizontal factories.  Marling Industries wove tape in Derby as well as Tean and ran both sites under the name Rykneld Tean.  Tapes were woven on the Tean site using a mixture of modern needle looms and conventional shuttle looms.  The tradition of weaving narrow fabrics at Tean had been continuous for over 250 years, which may well be unique.

Through technical advances and acquisitions, Rykneld Tean’s progression over the years has been quite remarkable.

Ex MD, Terry Wilkinson, who ran the company for over 40 years was at the heart of its success, propelling RTL to the forefront of narrow textiles thus placing RTL “on the map” as one of the major player in the narrow fabrics industry.

His legacy has been ensured by a young dedicated management team headed by his son, Robert Wilkinson.