Montreux Fabrics was started by Michael Mulligan and Sharan Marsh in March 1973 when Michael was 21 and Sharan 20.
Michael had worked in textiles since leaving school at 16 and he met Sharan, who was a ladies fashion designer, when calling at the company she worked for showing a new range of fabrics. He asked Sharan out and over the next few months of dating he outlined his business ambitions (how romantic) but had no money to start. Sharan gave him her total savings of £200 and the use of her car to get started. In February 1974 they were married and Sharan gave up her job to join Michael in the business.
Over the years since then Montreux Fabrics has expanded into various activities in the textile manufacturing supply chain, but retailing fabrics to the wonderful people who sew has been the greatest joy. From the earliest days of selling fabrics from market stalls as widespread as Criccieth in North Wales and Torquay on the south coast, they never imaged the day when they could bring their fabrics to sewers of the UK through the magic of the internet. This is truly a family business with two of their five children involved in the day to day running of activities with Michael and Sharan taking lesser roles but still having an overview of the business and available for advice when asked.
The future is now with the next generation, and technology will give Montreux Fabrics many opportunities. But textiles will always be about physical emotions and experiences of colour, texture and smell. No amount of technology can replace the tactile nature of textiles, or of meeting our wonderful customers and stories of their passions, creations and frustrations of sewing fabrics.
Michael and Sharan in 1979.
Sharan's dress was made from one of Montreux's fabrics of the time.
Michael outside Montreux's first premises on Fosse Road Central, Leicester, 1974.
Montreux Fabrics was started in Leicester in 1973 by Michael Mulligan and Sharan Marsh. Over the years it has expanded from selling fabrics on market stalls into various textile activities.
Montreux has remained a family business with two of their five children involved in the day to day running of activities. Michael and Sharan never imagined when they first started that one day they could bring their fabrics to the wonderful people who sew through the magic of the internet.
Tel: 0116 299 2345
Mon - Fri: 10am - 4pm