Collection: Sirdar

Spinning Yarn Since 1880

Brothers Tom and Henry Harrap founded their spinning business in 1880 to supply the hosiery and fabric trade. It was Tom’s son Fred who saw the opportunity in hand knitting and, by the mid-1930’s, the business was exclusively supplying hand knitting yarns to retailers under the brand name Sirdar, meaning leader.


A family affair from the outset, Tom’s grand-daughter Jean Tyrell brought a keen understanding of how to reach Sirdar customers and was responsible for the first Sirdar editorial features in women’s fashion magazines in the 1950s and 1960s.


Mrs Tyrell, as she was known to everyone, became Chief Executive in 1961 and Chairman in 1970 and, under her leadership, Sirdar became one of the most important producers of hand knitting yarns in the world, investing in the latest yarn technology, acquiring Hayfield and growing to 1,200 employees in the seventies.