Swaislands Fabric Printing Factory, Crayford, 1955


Because it requires white cloth to make colours stand out and plentiful supplies of water, textile printing grew out of the bleaching industry which, in turn, had been established in Crayford since the 1600s.

Charles Swaisland began his calico and silk printing business at Crayford in 1812 and won a medal at the Great Exhibition of 1851 for the quality of his printing on wool.

His business did not flourish after his death in 1865 and in 1870 the equipment was sold, followed shortly after by the buildings.

In 1893 the firm of G P and J Baker began cloth printing in part of Swaisland's old buildings and continued there until 1961.

See historic maps of Crayford