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Changes at Avena Carpets under new ownership

AVENA Carpets is a specialist Brussels Wilton manufacturer initially founded in 1976, when John Crossley and Sons, of Halifax, discontinued weaving the narrow width Jacquard Brussels Wilton carpets it had produced for more than 100 years.

Now it’s been revealed that the looms, archive and equipment have recently been purchased, moved to new premises, and painstakingly recommissioned by Avena’s selected team under new owner Richard Hughes, who the company says has extensive experience and knowledge in the high-end and historic flooring sector.

Avena Carpets designs and manufactures its bespoke carpets in traditional weaves on the original Crossley looms, continuing in the passing on of specialist skills over to new generations. There’s also a large archive of contemporary and historical designs. Several of the historic designs are documented, and a design team uses CAD technology to support new design work and the recolouration of existing designs if needed.

The seaming of the narrow loom carpet can also, the company says, be taken care of inhouse, as part of the service. It can truly be a ‘concept to installation’ experience, says the company, when you approach it for your flooring requirements.

Although tight-lipped about some of the rich, famous and celebrity customers they’ve provided carpets for, Avena says there’s obviously a market for this niche bespoke product, attracting the attention of some of the most renowned and respected designers and interior decorators worldwide.

The company says it works closely with these contacts. Some recent prestigious projects that are included in its portfolio are a royal castle in Norway, and a residence in Germany and it also says it’s happy to have installed projects in exclusive residences in London’s more sought-after areas.

Avena’s project and design manager Rachel Tighe thinks it’s a truly positive start for the new company in its first year. ‘Our carpets can be found all over the world in the US, Canada, Middle East, Europe, Australia and the British Isles. It’s not just the private clients we love manufacturing for – we’ve produced carpets for several restoration projects, The Savoy Theatre, Brodsworth House, Windsor Castle, The Royal Physicians Hall, Leeds Castle, Derngate House and Wordsworth House working with the National Trust, English Heritage and the equivalent organisations in the US and Australia. We’ve provided historically accurate reproductions in the past and have a couple of restoration enquires in development at present.’

Owner/director Richard Hughes commented: ‘I’m very lucky to have the support of a highly skilled workforce. We’re committed to continue to manufacture and supply a first-class product and have implemented training schemes to ensure survival of the skills required, with an apprentice and a kickstarter on the team in the early days, supported by our production manager Gary Charles we can be assured we’re building a team for the future.

‘We take pride in the raw materials and have the pile yarns etc spun and wound to our specifications by a company based in Yorkshire. We dye our yarns in Yorkshire and hope to be sourcing our wool from Yorkshire in the near future, with the help of the British Wool Board, we’re members of the Campaign for Real Wool and are utilising Huddersfield’s Textile Centre of Excellence for our training. It’s looking positive for our carbon footprint and our duty to the environment, sourcing and using local companies. As all our carpets are 100% wool, waste yarns are recycled by another Yorkshire firm into high quality underlay.’

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