Frequently Asked Questions

Prices – for customer convenience?

Price breaks are offered by John England for convenience. This allows customers to buy small quantities, to try out in their range, before bulk purchase. The minimum wholesale order is only £200.

John England are designers and manufacturers, not just wholesalers.

To achieve economies of scale orders must be over 250 metres (275 yards) in length. Savings made on orders over 250 metres allow greater efficiencies in weaving. We can pass these savings on to our customers to make us more competitive, and encourage larger orders.

An order for fabric under 250 metres (275 yards) length is considered a small order.

If you want the best prices please try to keep orders above 250 metres. Remember cutting to exact lengths is an extra cost, and leaves us with wasted short lengths. There are definite savings if customers take full rolls. This avoids cutting, secondary rolling costs, and leaving us with off-cuts.

John England understand that not all our customers require 250m + lengths of fabric. To help we have price breaks for small quantities under 250 metres in length.

The price breaks are as follows:

150m-250m, 100m-149m, 50m-99m, 13m-49m, 6m-12m. The minimum order is 6 metres.

For orders over 250 metres an up-to-date quotation will be given.
Business can be seasonal, and some times of the year the Company is less busy than others. If customers allow us to weave their order during these periods it will help us quote the best prices.

There is not much savings to be made after 1000m.

What fibres are used in your fabrics?

John England is often asked what fibres are used in the fabric ranges.

The company currently specialise in flax linen fabrics. However, also sell fabrics woven with linen warps, and weft yarns made from other fibres. These include hemp, cotton, wool, polyamide, polyester, and nylon.

The company is rapidly growing its use of hemp yarns, and the new range of hemp fabrics is named the ‘hempy’ range

Various fibres have been added added to enhance the linen and introduce different properties to the fabrics. These properties are physical, aesthetic and organoleptic. They include increased rub resistance for upholstery fabrics, different handles, properties, drapes and appearances to the linens for fashion and home use.

It is important to design, or engineer, fabrics for specific end-uses. As well as the weave construction, the selection of the fibre is a very important part of this process.

Yarns made from fibres such as 100% cotton or 100% hemp, are used. Subject to minimums; at least 1000m.

Can fabrics supplied washed and preshrink?

Almost all John England fabrics can be supplied washed and preshrink.

One problem that can make an amazing garment look terrible is fabric shrinkage. Simple precautions can be taken to very much reduce this, even if it cannot be totally eliminated. Preshrinking is a step that must not be missed at any cost.

This why you can purchase almost all John England fabrics washed, preshrunk and softened. This basically involves various types of commercial laundering. John England has its own laundry and has full control of this process. John England also is in a soft water area, which is of great benefit for washed fabrics..

After this process there may be a small amount of residual shrinkage left, but most will be removed. Generally the trade like the residual shrinkage to be 4% or less.

The purpose of this process is to shrink fabrics in such a way that garments, or items, made up from them do not, or shrink very little, in subsequent washing by the end user. This process also softens the linen, improves the handle, and removes any impurities picked up during processing.

Please note that washed lengths of fabric are usually 20-25 metres at most. This is because this is the optimum amount that can be washed at any one time, and also it produces a roll of fabric that can easily be handled by our staff, and those of the shipping companies.

Some fabrics can be Sanforized. This is a trademark used for fabric preshrink by a patented mechanical process. Please ask our sales staff about this.

Are standard colours always in stock?

Are standard colours always in stock? The company does aim to hold its standard colours in stock to cover smaller and medium sized orders. However, sales can be greater than expected. In these circumstances house stocks may be sold out before the next batch comes back from the dyer and finisher. 

Also, our stocks may not cover an order which is several hundred metres. In this case we would recommend  customers getting us to dye a new batch so that the whole order is from the same dye batch to minimize colour variation.

In these situations we hope our customers can accept an alternative.  Or wait the relatively short period until the new batch comes back from the dyer and finisher.

Please click here to see the latest stock colours.

Who were John England Textiles Ltd?

In November 2012 John England Textiles Ltd sold the assets and trading name of John England. John England Textiles Ltd. was based in Belfast, N.Ireland. When John England Textiles Ltd had sold the trading name to John England (Banbridge) Ltd. the new name of the once John England Textiles Ltd., became MRJO Ltd. MRJO Ltd has no connection with the new company John England (Banbridge) Ltd.

John England (Banbridge) Ltd is a new company formed in November 2012. This new company, as the name suggests, is based in Banbridge, Co. Down, N.Ireland. This is about 25 miles south of Belfast. Banbridge is an old Irish linen town and is situated on the river Bann in the historic Linen Heartlands of N. Ireland.

The owners of the new John England (Banbridge) Ltd. also own a few other small textile companies. One of these being an Irish linen company called Thomas Ferguson & Co Ltd. Thomas Ferguson previously wove fabrics for the old John England company, and this relationship will continue, and most likely increase.

There is some sharing of resources with the current owners other companies, but John England is very much run as an independent company.

Please note that all the bank account details have changed.

It is assuredly the objective of the new owners to keep the memory of the founder John England alive, and to maintain all the best of what he brought to the brand.

Can I get special custom colours dyed?

John England can dye batches of customers custom colours down to about 150 metres.The waiting time, including approval of the new dye shade is about 6-7 weeks. Depending on how busy the dye house is at the time of ordering.

Please note however. The minimum dye batch size for our wide width fabrics is 250m , for fabrics over 183cm (72″) in width.

Colour shade variation between dye batches

John England is sometimes asked about colour shade variation between dye batches. To show how big an issue shade variation between dye batches is to the industry you only need to carry out a Google search on the subject.

The dyeing industry

John England feels there is too much acceptance of this in the industry as an unfortunate characteristic. Improved practices, and greater diligence and concentration by both management and operator is paramount to reducing the problem.

There is not only colour shade variation between dye batches. There is also shade variation within batches or even in a single fabric roll. The amount of dye stuff, machinery, time, fabric quality, employee error, etc., are a few of the many possible issues that can contribute to colour problems.

John England is not a dyer themselves so does not have full control of the dyeing process. Unfortunately we rely on third-party dyers to give us a service. We do use our knowledge of the industry to try and minimise problems for our customers.

A wide range of on-trend colours

John England customers want to buy on-trend colours. They also like to avoid colours that everyone else has. To enable the company to satisfy this demand John England must hold a range of on-trend unique colours.

What John England does

John England is a relatively small company so to make it affordable to hold a range of colours in stock John England must dye small batches of 150-300 metres. Dyeing in small batches is much more expensive, and problematic. This obviously creates the problem of variation between batches. It is much more difficult to control dyeing in small batches, and between small batches. Especially if non-standard dyes are used.

Apart from this fabrics made from natural fibres can often have more of a problem anyhow. There is natural variations in the fibres, yarns and fabric themselves.

Recognising the market they are in, some top end manufacturers make a feature out of this small batch manufacturing variation. This is because it is an indicator, to the cognoscenti, that you are using bespoke made fabrics, dyed in expensive small batches.

As mentioned before John England does not accept this argument. It is a management problem.

Possible Solutions

One of the easiest ways to minimise this problem is to use standard dyes and chemicals. This is not easy to do if you are trying to match a current on-trend colour which has no standard dye.

It also helps to produce large batches to cover your projected requirement for a given period. This however does involve a stock holding. Most of John England customers work in the higher end or bespoke fashion market and do not always want to do this. However, larger batches are often easier to deal with technically and can keep variation to a minimum.

Quality Control

One way John England manages this situation is by issuing every batch with a batch number (FE????). Customers if they are aware of this number can quote it when requesting top-ups. If there is any of this batch still in stock for their repeat order they can minimise dye batch variation. This is especially a problem if the repeat order is being made-up with the previous order. Possibly as extra curtains, cushions, or to repair upholstery.

Quality control is important when managing the problem of dye batch variation. John England get samples for approval from the dyer before the bulk dyeing to allow rejection if not up to standard. However, it is not always easy to reject a dye batch if the customer is pushing for urgent delivery.

You can email our customer services for more information.

Cutting to length

Cutting to length is not a service John England regularly provide, but can quote for.

Normally John England aims to work with rolls of fabric which are 20-30 metres in length. These lengths of fabric fit into our washing machines, and provide the best finish. Lengths of around 20-30 metres are also easily handled by our staff and those of the shipping companies.

Cutting to precise lengths for our customers is a service we can provide. However, it can leave us with lots of short lengths from the rolls which we have not costed in to our normal prices.

Will curtains made from John England fabric fade in sunlight?

John England fabrics are all dyed to good light fastness standards. However, over time curtain fabrics will fade, particularly if they are exposed to direct sunlight. If your curtains are unlined they will fade much faster than lined curtains. The most effective way to protect your fabric is to use a blackout lining as this will prevent any direct sunlight reaching the dyed fabric.

John England cannot accept responsibility for the fading of curtain fabrics where lining has not been used. Prolonged exposure of unlined curtains to daylight even in northern countries can be a problem.

Do JE fabrics meet fire safety regulations?

John England supply fabrics to trade customers for many end-uses. These fabrics do not normally possess any special fire resistance properties or treatments.

As stated in our terms and conditions of trade. Unless stated on the contract. The Company shall be deemed not to be aware of any special, or particular, purpose for which the goods or any product made therefrom is required. If any special, or particular, characteristics are required in the goods they must be stated on the contract.

In the United Kingdom the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989, 1993 and 2010) set levels of fire resistance. These are for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery. These are UK law and are designed to ensure that upholstery components and composites used for furniture supplied in the UK meet specified ignition resistance levels. These items require to be suitably labelled.

Curtain fabrics should also comply with the required fire safety regulations.

There are many companies  which can flameproof fabrics in cut lengths or rolls to meet the fire safety regulations. Upholstery companies, or companies which make-up finished goods for upholstery or curtain end-uses should be aware of these regulations.

Most customers do not state the end-use they intend the fabrics for. However, if in doubt please discuss with our sales team.

Washing/laundering process

The purpose of this process is to shrink fabrics. This means that garments or items made up from these washed fabrics do not, or shrink very little, in subsequent washing by the end user. This process also softens the linen.

John England Washing/Laundering Dept.

John England uses a high labour intensive industrial washing/ laundering process with tumbling to shrink, dry, and soften their linens. There is great care in handling to minimise creasing. Creases if handled wrongly are permanently set in the fabric.

Linens of different weights and weave structures; whether dyed, bleached, or in loom-state require varying degrees of detergents and softeners. Dyed fabric colours can change adversely by the wrong detergents. Also, varying degrees of drum agitation in the machine, amounts of water, spin cycles, lengths of fabric, etc. are carefully monitored and controlled.

It is of great benefit that John England are in a soft water area as hard water can damage the laundry machinery and give fabrics a harsh handle if not properly controlled.

In tumbling temperature, time and lengths of fabric are also carefully monitored and controlled. Adding objects to the tumble can aid softening, and enhance the handle, remove lint, etc.

Laundering Process

For washing fabric John England must support a fully equipped laundry with large expensive machinery.

After several years of research, use of consultants, and trials John England believe they have developed one of the best fabric finishes on the market. Development has not ceased and is ongoing to further improve

To minimise tangling and marking of the fabric during washing it can only be washed in about 20-30 metre lengths. There is a lot of handling. First cutting to lengths, then taking them from the washing machines and tumble drying and then straightening/untwisting and rolling them. Washing can cost up to a few pounds per metre. As the process is a very labour intensive there is little economy of scale.

In addition to the processing costs there is also the cost of shrinkage. On average this is about 8%-10%, but in some fabrics it is considerably more. So, generally, if a customer requires 100 metres of washed fabric they must buy about 112 metres of unwashed fabric. This shrinks down to 100 metres. Customers often forget they must buy this extra fabric, and incur this extra cost, to get fabrics which have been shrunk.

After this process there may still be a small amount of residual shrinkage left, but most is removed.

The purpose of this process is to shrink fabrics. This means that garments or items made up from these washed fabrics do not, or shrink very little, in subsequent washing by the end user. This process also softens the linen.

John England believes that their process, although quite labour intensive, is the method to give the best washed finish for our customers. Costs of the process are not just the cutting, washing and handling itself, but also the cost of shrinkage.

Theatrical Linens by JE – find out more?

The company  weaves its own fabrics so it can design and weave special fabrics for your own production. Minimum orders are sensible, deliveries can can quick, and we are easy to communicate with.

The John England team has significant experience in the theatrical linens business. We have a great many customers in this market across the world. There is even a a film studio in the town where we are based.

John England Theatrical Linens is a division of John England. It focuses on selling fabrics to the theatre, film and TV industries.  The company  weaves its own fabrics so it can design and weave special fabrics for your own production. Minimum orders are sensible, deliveries can can quick, and we are easy to communicate with.

As well as this we have an extensive range of stock fabrics for you to choose from. With a wide range of colours and textures.

John England fabric end-uses


John England can supply fabrics for a wide range of end-uses. The majority of our fabrics contain 100% linen (flax). They also include other blends such as linen with wool, cotton, polyester or nylon to give abrasion resistance. The minimum order size from stock items is 6 metres, and a minimum custom dye run is 100 metres .

As the company are weavers we can also weave your own design, or come up with a new design for you

Examples of John England fabric end-uses can be seen below:

Apparel linens  (plain fabrics (several different weights), Jacquard damasks, 3D fabrics (new*), multi-layered fabrics, extra wide fabrics, coated fabrics)
Theatrical costumes
Upholstery (rub tested) (not supplied flameproofed as standard)
Loose Covers
Curtains (not supplied flameproofed as standard)
Bed linen (fabrics up to 3 metres wide, white and ecru held in stock)
Table linen (plain linens and damask, up to 3 metres wide)
Printing fabrics
Huckaback towelling fabric
Fabrics for ecclesiastical linens (mainly white Irish linen)
Handkerchief fabric (plain)
Irish linen wedding dress fabric

For more on this subject please click here.

The benefits of using linen

The benefits of using linen are asked about a lot by customers. Pure linen fabrics, made from flax fibres, are characterised by a pleasant and cool handle. At high ambient temperatures the physiological properties of linen outclass by far other fibres – in particularly taking into account direct contact with the human body. Linen has a very good absorption properties.

In addition to this the non-allergic, antibacterial, and antimycotic properties of linen are getting greater emphasis. Even low blends of linen have an advantageous influence on fabrics which are in direct contact with the human body. These include items such as clothing and bedding.

Static electricity that can build up on our bodies and everyday objects, and the mini-shocks that may result, these usually only cause mild discomfort. They have not been shown to have a detrimental effect on human health. However, some people do appear to be particularly sensitive to static shocks. In such cases the constant anticipation of the shock can contribute to high stress levels.

In some circumstances, static electricity presents a safety risk. This is especially true where flammable liquid or vapour may be ignited by an electrostatic spark. In certain industries this needs to be taken into consideration and protected against.

Some people produce more electrostatic charge than others, for various reasons including body size and the materials their clothing and shoes are made of. Clothes made from wool, silk or synthetics, and plastic-soled shoes can all cause electrostatic charge to build up. Some people simply feel electrostatic shocks more than others.

Linen is one solution to this problem. It minimises the build up of static electricity, and is not a source of it.

John England Sponsoring students

John England receive a very large number of requests; mainly from students on fashion courses. They can only sponsor students in exceptional circumstances.

John England would very much like to help all students with free fabric as they feel passionately about the industry. They would like to encourage all young design students. However, sponsoring students is just not always possible for a small business.

John England receive a very large number of requests; mainly from students on fashion courses. However, the company can only offer support in very exceptional circumstances.

If you think your situation might be exceptional you should write to John England (Banbridge) Ltd explaining your case. This must be confirmed, on letter headed paper from your college, by a senior member of staff. If John England is not satisfied with this response the offer may be declined.

If requests are too numerous, John England may not reply.

Any support will be in the way of a reasonable amount of John England unique fabrics. This must be acknowledged by you in any papers, design creations, or fashion shows.

Comfort of linen in hot climates

When linen fabrics are in contact with the skin, the nodes along the length of the fibre absorb perspiration. They then swell and release the moisture to the outside air, thus creating a fabric self cooled by evaporation. As a result linen is a popular choice for clothing and bedding particularly in hot climates.

Why can I not get immediate delivery?

There is nothing John England would like better than to have zero lead time for stock fabrics. However, there is a waiting time because we have lots of other orders in the pipeline. It is not generally a case of just lifting the linen off the shelf. In most cases it requires cutting and examination, washing and packing.

If you are prepared to take directly from stock whatever is on the roll; without washing. This is the easiest way for us to speed up your order.

When we take the fabric out of stock to examine, before preparing the order, we may not be happy with the quality. We will not intentionally ship inferior products.

John England assures all customers that we will do our best to get your order out as soon as possible. However, we always try to ship first to those customers who have got the orders in first, and we like to take care with every order.

Real Flax Linen – explained

Real flax linen is a yarn or fabric made from the fibre of the cultivated flax plant, named Linum usitatissimum.

This domesticated species is believed to have been developed during cultivation. It is a cellulosic plant fibre, or bast fibre. It forms the fibrous bundles in the inner bark of the stems of the plant. The flax plant is an annual that grows to a height of about a metre. The fibres run the entire length of the stem and help hold it upright. The fibre strands are normally released from the cellular and woody stem tissue by a process known as retting (controlled rotting). In Ireland this was traditionally done in water in rivers, ponds or retting dams.

Today the term linen can be confusing. Linen was once in such common use that it became a generic word for articles or garments, such as sheets, tablecloths, or underwear, formerly made of linen. Today these items are usually made of other fibres, especially cotton or polyester/cotton. These are not real flax linen.

Flax is European grown, and is more sustainable and environmentally friendly than many other fibres. It is a rare product and represents less than 1% of textile fibres consumed worldwide.

More can be read here.

What is the minimum order?

The minimum order for any one colour of our stock plain fabrics is the very low amount of 6 metres, and our minimum wholesale order value is only £200 for wholesale orders. It usually only takes two 6 metre lengths to cover the minimum order value.

The John England 6 metre length service is generally seen as a sample order to help customers try new fabrics.

John England would very much like to be able to supply any quantity of fabric our customers want. Unfortunately this is not practical, nor commercial. Selling retail quantities at wholesale prices is not an easy problem to overcome.

For our textured or Jacquard woven fabrics the minimum order size is 12 metres. Again this is a try-out quantity. We prefer customers do not repeat purchase the same fabric in such short lengths. Repeat orders for the same fabric should be for greater quantities.

Offering fabrics with on-trend colours in shorter lengths, at realistic prices, is one of John England’s unique services. John England colours are continually reviewed and kept up to date.

The best way to get John England linens, at the best prices, is to buy any one item in quantities greater than 250 metres.

Please contact our sales team for more information.

More from the John England Info Leaflet

– If you haven’t a clue how, but you ‘d love to design your own fabric to give your range a unique look. And without spending a fortune, just ask!
– Our loom vary in width size up to 300 cm+, so our fabrics can vary in width, generally they are around 138/150 cm, but they can be up to 305 m wide.
– John England linens are Irish Linen- the very best quality, they are woven in Northern Ireland, so they are also UK made.
– There are price breaks at 13m, 50m, &100m.
– If you want over 150m always get in touch and ask for a special quote. If you have a large quantity of fabric you need to be woven and it is in a quiet period, the saving could be substantial.
Linen is natural antibacterial, Linen is naturally wicking and anti-moth.
– All John England and Ferguson linen fabrics are Irish linen Guild and European Masters of Linen Certified. On request  we will send out F.O.C. one woven label per metre of fabric purchased from John England. We also manufacture labels under our Franklin’s International brand name- contact info@franklinsgroup.net or phone UK 028 40622230.
– The MOQ for your own design fabric is 12m, if you don’t wish us to sell a design to recoup set up charges you just have to order a total of 50m- 38m more. It’s a great way to order when you get your orders in- cut down on wastage and capital just sitting on shelves. Doing nothing.
– Sorry, but we can’t take fabrics back if they have been cut or treated in anyway. In the unlikely event you need to return something, please get in touch first for a return number to ease the way.
– Linen is a natural fibre. The colour natural, is just that.. natural.. If there has been a wet summer, the natural fibre will be a good few shades darker than that which has been sun bleached in a hot sunny summer. 
– Whilst every effort is made to avoid it, piece dyed linen fabrics will vary slightly in tone. As long as you do not attempt to use two different batches in the same garment/drape/ upholstery, you shouldn’t have a problem.
– Custom dying of both fabrics and yarn take time, usually around 6 to 8 weeks after submit approval. However volume of business will effect the lead times, as will holiday closings. Try to start your project early.
– All new customers  pay via proforma invoice prior to shipping. If a credit account may be requested after a year or the business is in excess of £ 5000.
– If you have a question but it just seems downright silly, don’t worry ask anyway we will do our best to answer or explain.
– If you are buying a 6m sample length and want cheaper carriage, you can opt for fabric to be folded and boxed.
We hope the John England info leaflet helped.