Established in 1978…
Rowan started life above a grocery store in a village near Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire, England. While initially specializing in weaving supplies and knitting kits, founders Stephen Sheard and Simon Cockin wanted to produce yarn which was both high quality and perfect for the hand-knitting design trends of the time. Their business focus was to showcase natural fibers in a paint-box color palette, and so Lightweight DK was born with 98 shades. They placed the utmost value on providing yarn shades which could be translated into timeless design, and these values are still at the core of Rowan today.
The Rowan name was inspired by the beautiful shrubs lining the banks of the Holme River in Yorkshire, an area deeply entwined with British textile heritage and traditions. There has always been a nod to the Rowan leaves in our logos as they have evolved. In 1979 the company purchased the Green Lane Mill in Holmfirth, and that was our home for the next 15 years. While our studio has moved and our needs have grown over the years, we are still in Yorkshire some 40 years later. And, though our ownership has changed several times, the ethos of growing our brand, providing quality fibers, and staying true to our knitters and crocheters has remained the same. As local to our roots as we are, our influence has become global. Rowan partnered with Westminster Fibers to take the brand to the US in 1985, and from there we have expanded our reach to over 30 countries around the world.