James Dewhurst opened for business in 1933 and rapidly established himself as a brilliant innovator adapting looms and processes to produce fabrics uncommon even in Lancashire, the home of textiles in Europe. By the Second World War James Dewhurst had over 140 looms in operation. The advent of technical textiles in the 1950s brought new challenges to James Dewhurst. In 1958 the plastics and rubber industry which until then had spread coated rubber or plastic onto dense fabrics was starting to look for open mesh scrims made from high tenacity yarns. These would enable the sandwich lamination of the reinforcement through the interstices. This challenge was to occupy the last 3 years of James Dewhurst’s life. The project was secret to the point of humour when James Dewhurst would lock himself into a specially screened off laboratory for days at a time. ‘A man of infinite patience’ would have been a suitable epitaph and that patience was rewarded with the launch of a new class a technical textile, scrims. Initially known and patented as ‘Jamette’ scrim fabric. Basically the textile has an adhesive applied to it within a few centimetres of production. This adhesive is then dried before the textile is rolled up. While the Company has over the years invested heavily in technology and machinery Jamette was the forerunner of James Dewhurst’s current high performance woven and laid scrims now known as Dewlock™ and Dewtex™.
By 1969 James Dewhurst Ltd, now under the leadership of James’s son Raymond, was focussed entirely on industrial textiles. The Dewhurst family subsequently teamed up with Peter Brierley under whose management the business continued to grow with additional woven scrim capacity. The company also started to source industrial textiles from around the world. In 1981 Raymond Dewhurst modernised the production process. This was a significant challenge as new rapier looms ran at three times the speed and twice the width of the old shuttle looms that they replaced, placing new requirements on the binding technology.
In 1984 Paul Cooper joined James Dewhurst. Paul was frustrated by the limitations of woven and turbine laid scrim technology. Under Paul’s technical stewardship James Dewhurst went on to develop its own proprietary laid scrim technology now known around the world as Dewtex™. This unique process could produce scrims at over 3 times the speed of conventional turbine looms and twice the width. Over 20 years of continual development has led to our latest machines producing fabrics over 5m in width with weft insertion rates of over 3300 picks per minute. Speeds James Dewhurst could never have imagined possible.
In 1999 James Dewhurst developed its first off-line coating and laminating unit allowing it to provide a range of highly competitive coating substrates combining nonwoven materials with scrims. This technology is now marketed as Omnitex™ and in 2007 an entire factory was opened dedicated to supporting this global market.
In 2004 James Dewhurst expanded it’s global reach and opened its first manufacturing location in the USA in response to increased demand for Dewtex™ in Asia and North America. In 2008 this was expanded further with the introduction of the Triatex™ line making triaxial scrims.
Over nearly 80 years James Dewhurst has stood for innovation in reinforcement textiles. This tradition continues today whether in the lighest scrims for foil lamination or heaviest glass scrims for cement or mineral reinforcement, we are committed to value, service and high performance.