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Led by renowned Interior Designers; William & Sarah Woods
Woods of Harrogate is an historically important family business like no other; with roots in linen production and supply dating back to 1733. It is with our profound understanding of linens and design along with our scrupulous attention to detail that Woods has become widely regarded as one of the finest linen shops in the world. Located in the beautiful spa town of Harrogate and boasting the most comprehensive range of home linens and luxury accessories, our family business established as a shop in 1895 is a ‘must visit’.
Our promise is a family driven level of care and attention to every detail unlike anywhere else. We curate with a passion, the very best home luxuries and linens, without compromise.
Drawing upon over 250 years of manufacturing expertise, we pride ourselves on selecting beautifully designed goods that deliver on quality and longevity. Your satisfaction truly matters to us.
“I’m passionate about beautiful colours, textures and tradition. So when I’m not designing interiors, I’m buying goods from all over the world which embody these principle elements and presenting them for you.”
“I have one mantra: ’It’s never good enough’. Unfortunately, mediocrity has become so commonplace and that is just not acceptable to us as we strive for perfection.”
“As a little girl I remember visiting my Father in his magical shop, I was dazzled by the beauty of home design and especially the wonderfully-woven fabrics.
After qualifying in London I joined my Father for my ‘real’ interior design education. After 50+ years as a BIID professional interior designer, his wisdom and nationally-recognised style inspired me to new heights.
To this day I live my passion for period interior design, and am so driven to always do better. I was of course proud when we were nationally recognised by The Telegraph in their ‘Top 20 Interior Designers in Britain’ awards but I won’t rest there!”
Our Harrogate shop.
Established in 1895, our customers describe stepping into Woods as a serene and inspiring experience.
A shop full of curiosities, like the letters from Royal patrons; the oldest working exterior clock in Harrogate and beautiful oak-panelled gated-lift, still in day-to-day use. They often spend time taking in all the showrooms set over three floors in our Grade II listed building; bursting with period character and unique charm. They appreciate our carefully designed displays, which are colourful and aspirational and always changing, giving them the perfect excuse to visit regularly.
William Woods begins his career as a Mercer in Laugharne, South Wales.
During the reign of King George II and a period of great upheaval in the textile industry. Cloth production is moving from the home to the factory and artisans are seeking ways to increase productivity. Silk, wool, fustian and linen are being overtaken by cotton, and weaving and spinning technologies are becoming mechanised.
During the reign of King George III.
William’s trade is passed down to his son, Thomas Woods. British Agricultural Revolution has reached its peak and the Industrial Revolution is in full flow, fuelled by unprecedented growth in the rural population. Cotton and wool mills, powered by water then by steam, are starting to become a common sight, particularly in the North of England.
Thomas' son, George starts at Castle Mill, Knaresborough
Having worked as a travelling salesman based in Bristol, aided by recent developments in the infrastructure of canals and railways, Thomas’ son George moves to Yorkshire to work for Knaresborough’s famous Castle Mill.
A promotion for George Woods to Castle Mill Manager.
Never one to rest on his laurels in this prestigious supplier to all Royal Palaces. His work ethic did not go unnoticed, he's rewarded with a significant promotion to Manager of Castle Mill.
William E. Woods founds the family’s first linen shop in Princes Street, Harrogate, cementing the Woods’ reputation as purveyors of the finest luxury linens and consolidating their rich heritage.
The door read 'Wm. E. Woods, The Draper' and featured the same exterior clock as on the present building.
Woods relocates to its present location on 67 Station Parade, Harrogate.
The famous Woods' clock also moves to its' new home, high up above the now listed veranda on Prince Albert Row.
Upon William’s passing, one of his two sons, George Appleby, takes over the family business.
Employee James Lambert goes off to serve in the Eighth Army in the Second World War and fights at El Alamein in 1942.
George enlists leaving the business in the hands of his brother, the eminent Lawyer: Ernest Woods.
The war is over! James Lambert and George return from service, George having reached the rank of Major.
Having joined in 1913, loyal staff member, Tom Bryant completes 50 years with Woods.
Longevity, a traditional value continued here at Woods to this day.
A tragic accident. George is tragically killed in a car accident with his wife Thalia on the way to visit one of the company’s suppliers.
Their memory lives on in everything we do.
George’s son, also named William Ernest, relinquishes his pursuit of a career in law to take over the family business, aged just seventeen.
He is mentored by his uncle Ernest and joined by a group of loyal staff, including James Lambert and Stanley Newbould.
After a stint working in Ireland for a firm of spinners, weavers, bleachers and dyers; William attends a formal course of interior design training at Heal & Son in London, William then returns to Harrogate.
In the years that follow he travels to the Far East, India, America and Europe to learn about linen in all its guises and create links with designers and manufacturers. He then goes on to develop the company’s interior design service and establishes new in-house workshops.
Loyal employee James Lambert passes away after dedicating 64 years to Woods.
Many of the traditions of Woods were upheld by Mr Lambert, he was held in high-esteem by customers and colleagues alike.
William becomes one of the first members of the BIDA (British Interior Design Association) which later becomes known as the BIID (British Institute of Interior Design).
The BIID aims to promote professionalism in interior design.
William marries Jennifer and they have two children, Sarah Thalia and Jonathan William.
William goes on to purchase the adjoining shop to accommodate the growing business.
A milestone is reached and Woods celebrates its' centenary.
A '100 Flower Garden' is planted in the town centre by the whole family.
William’s daughter, Sarah Thalia, starts working for Woods as Interior Design Director.
Her eye for detail, maturity and professionalism soon earn her a loyal client list and a reputation that belies her age.
William’s son Jonathan starts working for Woods, following in the footsteps of his father, having travelled extensively and lived in the Far East for three years before settling into the family business.
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Embroidered 'Bells' Design Cotton Ladies Handkerchiefs
We were delighted with the thoughtful packaging of the three linen dishcloths. Excellent cloths. I was especially pleased how lightweight yet good the quality of the cloth is. Dries quickly.
Great Quality. Ordered them for colder weather, so haven’t tried them out yet
I ordered these tea towels for my daughter's linen (4th) anniversary and she loved the designs. As a special request, Woods kindly enclosed a message from me, so we were both delighted!
Beautifully wrapped towelling which is lovely to use - thank you!
Comfy easy to use and wash , goes in all white and light washes.
Beautiful quality & the colour was a perfect match with the online photograph so it matches up exactly with the other items in my bathroom. I'll be ordering another one!
My husband was so pleased that I bought him this friction towel. It is of a very high quality and totally recommends it.
The items as I assumed from your site presentation, were excellent.
Arrived very quick, well packaged and the mat is absolutely beautiful, feels very lush under foot.
Quick delivery, beautifully wrapped and great bath matt. Excellent quality. Thank you
I was delighted to receive my dishcloth beautifully wrapped in wax paper accompanied by a hand signed note presented in a smart envelope- wonderful attention to detail which made me feel hugely valued as a customer! The cloth is of generous proportions so I cut it in half, and one half again, and hemmed the edges to make some smaller cloths which are proving excellent for washing-up with! I had searched for a natural fibre cloth that doesn’t biodegrade quickly (which bamboo does) and has a bit more ‘scrub’ than cotton and up popped this! I love its retro appearance, hanging from a wooden clothes pen whilst not in use! I’m also delighted to have found Woods and look forward to visiting for a serious shop when I’m next in Yorkshire! Many thanks Woods.
Simple and old fashioned, which is exactly what we wanted. Small enough for my elderly mother’s hands and more flexible than a lot of gloves she’s tried (and rejected!).
The linen tea towels arrived so beautifully packed that I left the packaging inside mum's birthday parcel. She was absolutely over the moon with the tea towels... the quality and the designs. Thanks so much.
Excellent product, excellent service