Hathern is a large village and civil parish in the Charnwood district of Leicestershire, England. The village itself is located in the north of the district, and is just north of Loughborough. It is served by the A6. The parish has a population of about 1,800. Nearby places are Dishley, Long Whatton, and Zouch, over the border in Nottinghamshire. Residents of the village have, in recent years, campaigned to prevent the green "wedge" separating Loughborough, Shepshed and Hathern from being built on. The village is also home to the Swift Sock Factory, one of only a small number of independent sock manufacturers left in the UK.
John Heathcoat originally of Duffield and later of Long Whatton, Leicestershire was apprenticed to a Mr Swift, a framesmith in Hathern, unfortunately this did not work out and he left to work in Nottingham where he invented a machine for making lace (English net or bobbinet)in 1808., He moved his business from Nottingham due to 'the intrusion of competing inventors'to Loughborough and then to Tiverton in Devon after 53 lace frames were destroyed and £6,000 worth of damage caused by 17 Luddites on 28 June 1816.