This film is part of Free

Axminister Carpets

Axminster Carpets by appointment

News 1967 6 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Westward TV's Clive Gunnell reports on the history of Axminister Carpets. The business started with Thomas Whitty when he began making carpets in 1755, in Axminster. Samuel Rampson Whitty, Thomas’ grandson had to declare bankruptcy due to a fire destroying the looms. Axminster Carpets were not to be made there again for 182 years. Harry Dutfield re-launched the carpet manufacturing industry in 1937.

The largest and most expensive piece created by Axminster Carpets in the 1700s was for Mahmud II the Sultan of Turkey, it depicts the sun, the moon and constellations. Axminister carpets are ubiquitous they adorn; royal residences, the first purchased by George III and Queen Charlotte after visiting the factory; high end hotels all over the world; the transport network such as trains, boats and planes. Axminster remained the only company to pre-manufacture its raw materials before having the carpets weaved in-house. The company was saved from closure in 2013.