Woollen merchants since 1846

Including the supply of:

  • Real Shetland
  • Harris Tweed
  • Irish Donegal (Handwoven and Machine woven)
  • "Superfleece"
  • Saxony
  • Scottish Cheviot
  • Genuine Irish Linen
  • "Dreamtouch"
  • "Lamlana"

A short history

Old W Bill shop
  • 1846. The company was founded by William Bill in Chester Street, Mold, Flintshire, Wales and was selling Welsh flannels and blankets.
  • The company later moved from North Wales to larger premises in Tenby, South Wales. The second William (Thomas) Bill introduced tweeds to the product range.
  • 1892. William (Thomas) Bill moved to London and opened one shop for knitted garments and another for cloth.
  • The knitted garment and cloth shops were later combined and a single store was opened in Great Portland Street.
  • 1920's and 1930's. Brooks Brothers and other American brands began buying from W Bill.
  • The Second World War. Despite the difficulties of war and the danger of working in London during the bombing raids W Bill's reduced staff continued its shipments to America.
  • Late 1940's and early 1950's. W Bill was one of the few companies licensed to export cashmere and supplied many American servicemen before they returned home.
  • A new export-only shop was opened in South Molton Street and later a despatch department in South Molton Lane under the management of Ray Hammett.
  • 1960's and early 1970's. The company continued to grow, particularly in the US and further abroad.
  • 1994. W Bill was taken over by Smith & Co, who continue to run it.
W Bill, cloth, scissors, labels
W Bill, cloth

What others are saying

Put This On
Video interview with W Bill's Ray Hammett
London's Best Basement
A Suitable Wardrobe
The good news keeps coming
Eleventh Doctor Costume
Tweed Dreams
The London Magazine
A present from 'Dr Who' for W Bill's Ray Hammett

A present from 'Dr Who' W Bill's Ray Hammett with a photo of Matt Smith in his jacket made with cloth supplied by W Bill.

W Bill, cloth racks

Some famous customers

Pablo Picasso
Had a jacket made from W Bill cloth.
Sir Ernest Shackleton
The firm supplied Shetland pullovers for the voyage to the Antartic in 1908.
Sir Edmund Hilary
The firm supplied Shetland pullovers for the first Everest expedition in 1953.
Dr Who
The Donegal Tweed used for his Series Five jacket and the Shetland Tweed used for his Series Six jacket were supplied by W Bill.