Business Bio

Gainsborough was established in 1903 in Sudbury. The business moved to its present location in 1924. 

The founder, Reginald Warner, had been on several Grand Tours and amassed an extraordinary collection of fabrics, around which he and successive generations of weavers and designers have built up the famous Gainsborough Archive that easily exceeds 7,000 designs today. 

Loan Amount



East of England

Funding Need

Working capital



Their Journey 

Over a twenty-year period, Gainsborough had been starved of investment and commercial management, and had not grown revenues despite strong growth in the premium fabric segment.

A majority stake in Gainsborough was acquired through an EIS Fund managed by Oakfield Capital Partners, (“Oakfield”) a private equity investor, in August 2015. Oakfield invested a total of £1.5m to put in place the organisational, design and sales infrastructure to enable significant sales growth. 

Gainsborough then approached ThinCats via introducer Capital Engine for £500,000 to ramp up its production capacity with the purchase of additional looms and the modernisation of its dye house.


Gainsborough was not the simplest credit story, but we liked their market position and management. We are pleased to have been able to structure a deal which raises the investment capital the business requires and offers good returns to ThinCats investors.

Sophie Muir - Capital Engine

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