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.
By 1920 the business had grown to include supplying speciality shops - principally by adding the Club Colour Trim to a plain cable sweater..
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.
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!
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, 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.
In 1955, Alan Paine cable-knit sweaters were worn by the entire Oxford rowing team
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.
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 takes the brand back to its roots - opening a store in Godalming.
James Hinton, who joined Alan Paine in 1986, became the proud owner of Alan Paine.
Alan Paine celebrates its centenary in 2007.
Alan Paine launches its country wear collection.
Alan Paine opened its store in Italy situated in the historic centre of Rome in Campo Marzio.