Lea Mill’s starring role in new BBC show

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Knitwear manufacturer John Smedley has been featuring in a BBC4 documentary this week.

The Lea-based firm appeared in the three-part series Fabric of Britain: Knitting’s Golden Age on Wednesday, September 16.

The programme explores how knitting rose from basic craft to the height of popular fashion in the 20th century.

It is being filmed in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Lea Mills specialised in the production of muslin and spinning cotton to send out to local cottages with hand frame looms.

Towards the end of the 18th century, the company had extended its activities to include knitting and hosiery manufacture.

Today, the designer label John Smedley is a familiar name in boutiques, department stores and classic retailers around the world. The company sells to more than 30 countries.