The entrance to the Glenoit factory with the brewery in the background.

The Glenoit factory was set up around 1961 in premises on the canal side next to what was then Ragasine Oil. The end product was a synthetic fur fabric.

The parent company, Glenoit of Raleigh North Carolina, presumably chose a site in West Yorkshire because of its textile history and many of the key managers were people who had worked in the the weaving mills of Bradford and Calderdale. The managing director was D. Labovitch, a Bradfordian of Russian Jewish extraction.

The Glenoit factory from the air in about 1999 during construction of The Maltings estate on the site of Bentley’s brewery.

The process utilised raw acrylic fibre which was first blended to achieve the required colour and finish, then carded and spun into yarn after which it was knitted into cloth leaving the machines as a continuous tube. This was then split, opened out and the backing coated with a water based polymer and dried in an oven to bond the fibres. The final stages involved shearing the fabric and finally spraying with a kind of polish to produce the desired gloss.

The rolls of fabric were sold to wholesalers who then sold them on to garment manufacturers in the UK and Europe.

The production manager in 1968 was Dennis Duttine whose brother John was an actor. After drama school he formed his own drama group and later starred in the television dramas “Day of the Triffids” and “To Serve Them All Our Days,” amongst others. Another person of note was a very accomplished production engineer, Peter Bishop, who was offered a post in the United States of America.

Another aerial view from about 1999.

Manufacturing at Woodlesford ceased in the 1990s and the site was cleared and remains unused.