When the 21year old Edward W Andrew founded Andrew Industries in Bury, Lancashire in 1894, he commenced a commitment to the laundry textile care industry which would last for more than a century.

One hundred years on

Today, Bristol-based Severnside Fabrics clearly practices the commitment to the textile care industry made so long ago by the young Mr Andrew. The strong tie with the past is not surprising considering the core activity of the business was then, and remains today, the same – the research, development and manufacture of laundry machinery textiles.

Severnside Fabrics’ managing director, David Neary is a firm disciple of the company’s century old goal, having begun his own career at the mill in Bury, Lancashire.

“The Andrew Group laundry division today is the largest manufacturer worldwide for laundry finishing machine textiles with manufacturing plants on both sides of the Atlantic,” claims Mr Neary.

The Group’s plants are completely vertical operations, processing raw, virgin, first graded and branded fibres into fully finished woven cloths and felts designed exclusively for laundry flatwork ironers, presses and feeding and folding machines.

  “The development and manufacture of these highly specialised fabrics is the first of our commitments,” said Mr Neary.

“The second step includes the necessary technical knowledge to marry fabric with machinery. This second phase keeps the company at the head of innovation and gives it the knowledgeable edge for full involvement in the development of new fabrics.” Mr Neary added “We clothe machinery made by other companies, in fact, in another industry to our own, but with a vital connection.”

The importance of this twin involvement is crucial. As machinery designs change and modify, textile design follows. Continually developing new fabrics and experimentation with new fibres keeps both textile and machinery industries, which share this commitment, working together.


The Group’s manufacturing standard is an arduous one when its own quality assurance measure (ISO9001) is so closely bound to those of world leaders in both fibre and machinery production.

Experimentation and development of new fabrics for the laundry industry would not be possible without this triangle of dedication to our industry.

Product range

The range of products is international and in particular covers both sides of the Atlantic. The company manufactures fabrics for both European and American markets and so the weaving of cloths and the needling of the felts is varied to suit both American, and European-designed machines. All ironer clothing, press coverings, feeding and folding bandings come within a wide scale.

Widths: 12mm – 5000mm

Weights: 50gsm to 4200gsm

Thicknesses: 0.5mm – 18mm

Mr Neary said, “The range of our manufacturing capability is flexible and needs to remain so.”

He added “the group’s acquisition and expansion over the past years has broadened our range considerably and brought very significant technological knowledge of the requirements of foreign markets.

“The changes that have taken place as a result of growth and expansion place us in a unique position to supply superior products for machinery of today and in the future.”

  Mr Neary also said that he felt that no other textile manufacturer was equal to this job at the moment.


The past five years have been a major growth period for the group globally. The consolidation of major acquisitions was made possible through the combined efforts of the group’s overseas subsidiaries and is now complete.

A list of the laundry activities acquired leaves little doubt of the company’s claims to be the largest manufacturer world-wide.

1996 F Goodman, England

1997 Dollfus & Noack, France

1999 Nordifa, Sweden

1999 Nordifa, Belgium

1999 TTL, Germany

The founding mill at Bury, Lancashire, (Andrew Textiles) continues to manufacture for the European Machinery markets serviced by Servernside Fabrics England and European Laundry Products, France, whilst the mill at Augusta, Georgia (Southern Felt) manufactures for the American market serviced by American Laundry Products USA. All are subsidiaries of the Andrew Group of companies.

  Mr Neary outlined the product knowledge gained by these acquisitions by saying: “Dollfus & Noack reputedly produced the best feed-banding (Introtex) and ironer dryer-belts (Dolnex) in the world. Our Bury mill in Lancashire now makes both.”

“Nordifa’s Kenlex range of ironer clothing constructed from Nomex(R) and polyester fibres and is also produced there. The German monoturn felts, produced to TTL specification at Bury enjoy world recognition” He went on to say: “We couldn’t go further to achieve step one of our group commitment than this and we now concentrate on phase two of that commitment, service.

“Many companies talk about service. Severnside Fabrics offer it as a reality with startling clarity. The offer is, We will supply, deliver and fit our fabrics to your machines anytime, 24 hours per day, seven days per week, anywhere in the UK.”

Steve Warfield, Severnside’s production manager said: “The service team receives in-depth training on the application of our fabrics and it has a great deal of knowledge of the machinery, so ensuring we give the customers the service we offer and that they require. Our supply and fit service units are our company’s ambassadors and the final stage of our commitment to the industry.”


It may appear that the group is in line for a well-earned rest following these years of change. but all member companies are kept busy and Mr Neary outlined the expansion currently underway by saying, “Yes, we’re all influenced by the changes brought about by the takeovers but we welcome their benefits at our individual operations.

“Severnside fabrics has installed automated handling equipment for its wider range of heavy felts while also enlarging its service units.

“Our French operation has installed similar equipment at its new factory located on the French, German, Swiss borders. American Laundry products in Augusta is currently extending its factory to accommodate a larger range of products. Eastern Felt Co, also in the USA, has commenced manufacture of a range of press clothing.

“Here in the UK and Eire, our facility at Webron in Lancashire has undergone a massive re-equipment programme, whilst the plant at Sligo, Eire is purchasing its own factory unit.

Further afield, the company on the South Island of New Zealand has opened an office on the North Island, at Auckland.

The Factory at Johannesburg, South Africa has a new sales office and a warehouse in Cape Town.”

Looking worried, Mr Neary joked “I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone.”


Severnside Fabrics and the entire Andrew Group are obviously committed to the laundry industry, and it would be interesting to know how the young Mr E W Andrew would view these changes. Perhaps he would not be too surprised at a century of finishing first.