One of the biggest names in textile crafts, Anchor is a household favourite amongst cross stitchers, embroiderers and needle pointers alike. But, as well-known as this popular brand of kits and threads is, there is little out there on the world wide wonder web about this much-loved brand.  We stock over 500 of Anchor’s cross stitch kits, not to mention their needlepoint tapestry kits, yet we couldn’t have told you much about them either. So, after much researching (and many cups of tea) I found out some pretty interesting stuff about this textile giant.

The Anchor brand is part of something far bigger than I could have anticipated. One of many household names that are all produced and managed under the umbrella company of Coats – a huge worldwide company of textile brands founded 250 years ago and spanning 67 countries.

Anchor Intermezzo Baby Crochet Book

The story of Anchor begins with the story of Coats, way back in the mid-18th century at the beginning of the industrial revolution.   It all began with two entrepreneurs: James Baldwin and John Paton, who had separate textile businesses, eventually partnering to become Patons and Baldwins Limited in the 1920s.  Home knitting and crafting became very popular and soon the ‘Baldwins Beehive’ and ‘Patons Rose’ because a household name as well as a widespread name in the world of fashion.

Meanwhile in Scotland, the Coats and Clark families were fast gaining notoriety as J&P Coats Limited for their exquisite sewing and embroidery threads - Coats specialising in sewing and crochet threads, and Clark producing the well-known Anchor embroidery threads.

Over the decades, J&P Coats merged with Patons, Viyella and Tootal and today now incorporates a huge worldwide organisation with prestigious printing and kit making by William Briggs of Bolton – prolific for its coats of arms and military badges printed for veterans of the First World War.

Image: LollyKnits


In 1995 the widely popular Rowan yarns joined the already gigantic craft corporation of Coats Crafts adding the cherry on top of the proverbial cake. Now based in Darlington, Coats Crafts supplies cross stitch and needlepoint kits, yarns, threads, craft accessories, haberdashery and pretty much all crafty goodness to the UK and rest of the world.

So now you know.

Coats Crafts has rich tapestry of history, with an abundance of prolific businesses named above, each with their own tales to tell. To find out more visit Coats Crafts’ History page.


Post By Rebecca