Lloyd Loom

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Piece of Lloyd Loom weave

The Lloyd Loom process was invented in 1917 by the American Marshall B. Lloyd, who twisted kraft paper around a metal wire, placed the paper threads on a loom and wove them into what was to become the traditional Lloyd Loom fabric. Lloyd Loom chairs quickly became very popular in the United States and in 1921, Marshall B. Lloyd sold his patent to an English manufacturer, W (William) Lusty & Sons, who used the Lloyd Loom fabric to create a collection of typical English utility furniture. Primarily due to its durability and secondly the relative affordability of the finished product, Lusty Lloyd Loom as it became known was soon all the rage in Europe. At the height of its popularity, in the 1930s, Lusty Lloyd Loom furniture could be found in hotels, restaurants and tea rooms, as well as aboard a Zeppelin, cruise ships and ocean-going liners, becoming a household name. The Lusty family developed over one thousand designs, and over ten million pieces of Lusty Lloyd Loom were made in America and Great Britain before 1940. Pieces of Lusty Lloyd Loom made in 1922 are still in regular use today[citation needed].

William Lusty began in business in 1872 with a hardware shop in London's East End. Specialising in timber products the business benefitted from the demand for am munition packing cases during the First World War. In May 1920 Frank Lusty sought the British rights to the new Lloyd Loom fabric, having been tipped off by the New York agent for W Lusty & Sons products. Full patent rights were acquired in 1921 and the Lustys were in production the following year.

A few years later the Lusty Lloyd Loom factory covered seventeen acres at Bromley-by-Bow in East London. Employing over 500 people, the Lusty Lloyd Loom products covered a range from baby carriages to fitted kitchen interiors. By 1933 over four hundred designs graced the Lusty Lloyd Loom catalogue. When the factory in England was bombed on 7 September 1940 the factory was completely destroyed, together with over twenty thousand items of stock; though, thankfully, no loss of life. Remarkably, the Lustys relaunched their business with a new catalogue in 1951, though post war austerity prevented them achieving the sales they had enjoyed before the First World War. The London factory site was eventually sold, the business moved to Martley near Worcester and in 1968 it stopped production. Whilst the Lusty family found other interests and pursuits Lloyd Loom production continued in the United States in Menominee until 1982. After a brief hiatus, production resumed in Menominee in 1982 after Flanders Industries purchased the Lloyd Manufacturing works there, forming the Lloyd Flanders company. Lloyd Flanders continues to make Lloyd Loom furniture in Menominee, MI today.

Geoffrey Lusty, a grandson of William Lusty who founded the business, rekindled production in the last decade of the twentieth century by moving production to the Far East. Whilst the production standards were as good as the original, and all items were made to the original W Lusty & Sons designs, sadly the sales could not be developed in the United Kingdom and in 2008 the business called in advisors to find a new owner. W Lusty & Sons became The Lusty Furniture Company in July 2008, backed by private investors interested in preserving the legacy of Marshall B Lloyd, the inventor or Lloyd Loom. Reinstating the original design book the new owners maintained production in Indonesia and now provide the original designs in any colour, like W Lusty & Sons had offered in 1922.

During the fallow period between 1951 and the late 1990s a raft of commercial furniture producers entered the Lloyd Loom marketplace. Lloyd Loom of Spalding in the United Kingdom and Vincent Sheppard in Belgium kept the flame burning creating new designs. A number of Lloyd Loom manufacturers and retailers both in the UK and abroad have emerged designing, producing and selling various indoor and outdoor Lloyd Loom product lines. In fact some manufacturers and retailers have developed synthetic fibres[1] - based on the original paper loom - for use in outdoor furniture.

Lloyd Loom of Spalding Ltd. and Lloyd Loom Weave Ltd. a subsidiary entered Creditors voluntary liquidation at Companies House in February 2016.[2] The factory in Wardentree Lane, Pinchbeck, was emptied under the instruction of company director Anthony Draxler just before Christmas 2015, with production machinery then apparently shipped to Romania. Staff who have been laid off say they are owed up to 14 weeks’ wages.[3] And some ex-workers claim agreed redundancy terms have not been settled. Several firms, are owed money by Lloyd Loom Furniture Ltd – a subsidiary of Lloyd Loom of Spalding[4] Lloyd Loom Furniture Ltd. was placed under a HMRC Winding up Petition[5] and is now in liquidation.

A police investigation has been undertaken into Anthony Draxler due to unfulfilled customer orders a Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: "There is an enquiry under way in relation to this business and an individual involved with it."[6] As of 20 January 2016 Lloyd Loom Spalding Limited has been registered at Companies House. BE WARNED Anthony Draxler is believed to be behind this latest venture.[7] As an update on the saga of Anthony Draxler and the now in liquidation Lloyd Loom of Spalding; the websites lloydloomoriginal.com [8] and lloydloomretail.com [9] were noticed to be live in the week commencing 17 October 2016. Both websites are linked to each other with contact details and addresses and both use the original Lloyd Loom of Spalding imagery [10] and furniture style names, including images of past Lloyd Loom of Spalding exhibitions and past employees which are the property of the now in liquidation Lloyd Loom of Spalding.[11] The well known 'Lloyd Loom of Spalding' logo is being used by the new website lloydloomretail.com as the heading for the website itself. As of the week commencing 24 October 2016, all individual new websites (lloydloomoriginal.com and www.lloydloomretail.com) have been moved to the main website of 'lloydloom.com', which also lays claim to being responsible for supplying furniture to Betty's Tea Rooms, The BBC and the Wimbledon grounds, this is however, an untrue claim and these past business successes remain with the now in liquidation company 'Lloyd Loom of Spalding'.

There have been reported instances of several people paying for furniture from the new company, Lloyd Loom Spalding Ltd, in 2016 and not receiving furniture. A local reporter, Winston Brown, has been reporting these cases http://www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/news/business/mp-offers-support-to-customers-of-collapsed-pinchbeck-furniture-firm-1-7698472 and has asked for more information from customers who have paid for furniture and not received it. Contact details are: Winston Brown; Phone:01775 725021; Email:winston.brown@jpress. co.uk; Twitter:@lfp_winston

Set of St. Tropez chairs in Lloyd Loom

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