Since 1836 Holland & Sherry has continued to supply prestigious tailors and luxury brands with some of the finest cloths in the world. Stephen George Holland and Frederick Sherry began the business as woolen merchants at 10 Old Bond Street, London, specializing in both woolen and silk cloths. In 1886 Holland & Sherry moved premises to Golden Square, at the time the epicenter of the woolen merchanting trade.
By 1900 the firm was exporting to many countries, it was around that time a sales office was established in New York. In the early part of the 20th century, the United Kingdom, Europe, North and South America were the dominant markets for the company. Amongst other distribution arrangements, there was a Holland & Sherry warehouse in St. Petersburg, Russia – a successful market prior to the revolution and now being successfully renewed.
By 1982 the business moved to Savile Row, which remains as our registered head office.
In 1968 Holland & Sherry bought Scottish cloth merchant, Lowe Donald, based at Peebles, in the Scottish Borders and decided to locate their distribution to the purpose built warehouse there. Of all the cloth merchants of Golden Square, which were established in the late 1800's, only Holland & Sherry remains. Over the decades we have purchased nearly twenty other wool companies.
We are constantly engaged in research for ever fine and more luxurious fibres and fabric qualities; sourcing the finest natural fibres, ranging from Super 240's, cashmere to pure worsted Vicuña. Our cloths are woven in the time honoured way to assured quality and good taste. A bespoke tailored garment in luxury Holland & Sherry cloth is truly an investment and always a pleasure to wear.
A well looked after suit will last a long time. For complete satisfaction follow these basic care instructions to preserve your suit's longevity.
It is believed that sheep are descendents of the wild Mouflon; a sure footed hardy animal whose habitat in the height of summer is steep mountainous woods. This altitude also keeps them safe from predators during the hunting season. In winter they migrate to low ground, in search of shelter and warmth.
Merino is one of the oldest breeds of sheep in the world today. Their origin can be dated back to the middle ages when they became the main source of trade throughout the Mediterranean and Northern Africa. By the 12th century, merino sheep reached Spain.
For hundreds of years, merino flocks were the exclusive property of the Spanish Crown and wealthy nobles. King Alfonso of Spain banned their export from the 14th century for over 400 years because of the merino wool's value to the Spanish economy. It was here, the bloodline of the merino was refined. The refined bloodline produced a much whiter and softer wool, and became as precious as gold. The demands for this superior commodity grew as it became a mark of wealth amongst nobility.
In the 18th century, the King of Spain gave the finest of these coveted flocks to the powerful rulers in Saxony, France and Great Britain. This Gift of Kings was eventually shipped to the further reaches of the world, including South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia, and there the treasured merino sheep flourished. Today, in the 21st century, Australia and New Zealand are the main exporters of some of the world's finest merino wools.
The Cashmere goat is to be found principally on the cold and dry highlands of Central Asia at 3,000 to 5,000metres above sea level. From here the wool travels across India and past the Himalayan Mountains, to China, where it is distributed to mills throughout the world.
The low bulk, high loft fibres combine to make the warmest, most comfortable garments money can buy. In softness, warmth and fineness of fibre cashmere is comparable to Vicuña. Cashmere is appropriate for all climates as the high moisture absorbency rate allows the fibres to maintain their insulation properties in varying conditions of relative humidity.
The finest fibres are gathered from the saddle of the Cashmere goat and are harvested by carefully combing the goat’s fleece during the spring months. Cashmere cloths are luxurious with a soft and seductive handle, beautiful drape and timeless appeal.
Mohair is the hair from the Angora goat. It is distinctive from wool, in that it has a different fibre structure, which hangs in ringlets and is exceedingly fine, soft and silky.
The name ‘Angora’ originates from the province of Angora in Turkey where these goats have been farmed for centuries and are said to have descended from the Cashmere goat. To achieve the best quality of Mohair fibre, the fleece should be shorn from goats under eight years old, after which time the hair becomes too coarse. The first clipping from the Angora goat is called ‘Kid Mohair’ and because it is the first ever clip, the fibre tends to be the softest.
Mohair is the most durable of all animal fibres, with natural lustre and resistance to dirt and creasing. Angora goats thrive in habitats of high altitude, warm climate, abundant grazing pastures and fresh water.
As with wool, mohair can be spun on the woollen or worsted system. Worsted mohair suiting fabrics have a clean, crisp handle with a bright, lively surface as the natural lustre of the fibre is used to full effect. They are light in weight, and yet the strength of the fibre guarantees a hard wearing, long lasting cloth.
Inca legend tells of the vicuña as the reincarnation of a beautiful young maiden who was wooed by an old, ugly king. She would only consent to his advances if he promised her a coat of pure gold. This is how the vicuña came to have its golden fleece. Considered sacred by the Incas, only royalty were allowed to wear the vicuña’s precious fleece, also known as the ‘fibre of the gods’.
The attraction of vicuña fleece has not diminished with time; today, vicuñas continue to be worshipped as sacred animals by the indigenous Aymara Indians of Peru and Bolivia. The incredibly soft and luxurious handle of the vicuña fleece has made this shy and diminutive creature a most sought-after treasure since the time of the Incas. These revered mammals are to be found in the extreme heights of the Altiplano regions of the Andes, most commonly in Peru. A vicuña’s fur is thick but soft and the fibre length is rarely more than 25mm making it more suitable for woollen spun fabrics. However, the fibre that has been used to produce this range of fabrics has a staple length greater than 30mm; making it the first vicuña fibre to be spun into yarn using the worsted spinning system.