Canadian Fashion Connection – Brampton Knitting Mills

We were recently offered a spool of labels from the Brampton Knitting Mills. I had not heard of the company before but with a bit of googling came up with a pretty complete history:

John McMurchy founded J.M. McMurchy & Sons knitting mill on March 18, 1913 in Brampton, Ontario. The company specialized in hosiery but did other knitting as well. The mill was sold on May 14, 1925 to Abdo Aziz and was expanded in May 1934. On September 18, 1952, the company was renamed The Brampton Knitting Mills. The company survived until 1995 but was not officially dissolved until 2004. The former building is now a Brew Pub.

I also found an interesting quote about the company from the book Canada’s Greatest Wartime Muddle: National Selective Service and the Mobilization of Human Resources during World War II – by Michael Stevenson:

“In February 1943, A.K. Aziz, manager of the Brampton Knitting Mills plant, protested that many of his employees, both male and female, were leaving his employ to work at the Victory Aircraft plant in nearby Malton… In April, Aziz reported that all five of his experienced male knitters had either quit or handed in 7-day separation notices. This action has created a production bottleneck that forced the company to cancel its war order with the DMS. In the same vein, officials of Penman’s Ltd. of Paris, Ontario, reported in April 1943 that their outerwear department had been reduced from 120 to 44 employees. At the same time, the Penman’s plant in Brantford had been reduced to a staff of 210 from a normal complement of 375…”

The maker of the tape was P.P. Payne, an English company based in Nottingham, U.K., that has specialized in making labels for companies since they were founded in 1911. They are still in business but were renamed in 2013.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.

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2 Responses to Canadian Fashion Connection – Brampton Knitting Mills

  1. John Buckberrough says:

    A small correction: Victory Aircraft was located in Malton, not Milton.

    • Jonathan says:

      Thanks – I will make that correction – it wasn’t my mistake – it was in the book I quoted!

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