William Paine, Founder

1907
In 1907 William Paine founded this famous knitwear brand in Godalming, Surrey, and named it Paines of Godalming. He taught himself to knit as a hobby, but soon this grew into a thriving knitwear business. He developed some of the very first cable-knit sweaters ever produced, selling these to local cricket clubs.

 

1920s club colour cable knit sweaters

1920s
By 1920 the business had grown to include supplying speciality shops - principally by adding the Club Colour Trim to a plain cable sweater..

 

Edward VIII personalised cable knit sweater.

1920s
Cable-knit sweaters were increasing in popularity at this time. It was in this decade that Alan Paine's most famous unofficial patron, the Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VIII) ordered his own personalised sweaters, finished in his regimental colours.

 

Tennis player Joan Lycett wearing an Alan Paine cardigan.

1930s
Joan Lycett, the women's tennis player, is shown here in an Alan Paine cardigan. She was the first woman to play at Wimbledon without stockings!

 

Alan Paine workforce in 1942

1942
By the outbreak of the Second World War, Paines had gained such an unrivalled reputation for the quality of its workmanship that the company was commissioned to make woollen sweaters for Britain's armed forces, particularly the Navy. By 1942, the Alan Paine workforce had grown to 400 staff members in Godalming and 200 in Wales.

 

Alan Paine relaunches the business

1950s
Alan Paine, William's son, takes over Paines of Godalming and the company is re-launched as Alan Paine. This was a turning point for the business and marked the beginning of the expansion to the United States.

 

Oxford rowers wear Alan Paine sweaters

1955
In 1955, Alan Paine cable-knit sweaters were worn by the entire Oxford rowing team

 

Alan Paine exports to the US

1960s
Frank L. Savage was appointed US representative, a turning point and a relationship that spanned four decades. By the early 1960s sound trading relationships had been established with all the major US department stores, notably Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Brooks Brothers.

 

1999

1999
In 1999 an American team found on Mount Everest the body of an Englishman, George Mallory, who in 1924 made an attempt to reach the summit. Some of his clothing bore the label: W F Paine, 72 High Street, Godalming.

 

Alan Paine Godalming store 2004

2004
Alan Paine takes the brand back to its roots - opening a store in Godalming.

 

A portrait of James Hinton

2005
James Hinton, who joined Alan Paine in 1986, became the proud owner of Alan Paine.

 

The evolutionary colours of Alan Paine

2007
Alan Paine celebrates its centenary in 2007.

 

Alan Paine's country collection

2009
Alan Paine launches its country wear collection.

 

Campo Marzio Alan Paine store, Italy

2011
Alan Paine opened its store in Italy situated in the historic centre of Rome in Campo Marzio.