Stories & Characters

John Arbon Textiles in north Devon

Our brochure is divided into different areas of the West Country and we felt the best way to introduce each of them was to find someone who really represents that part of the world, a like-minded pioneer, a person passionate about where they live and work. Someone like John Arbon of Arbon Textiles. He follows a similar ethos and encapsulates a little bit of where he lives.

We believe a holiday is more than just the place where you lay your head for the night, we want you to fully immerse yourself in what the South West is all about, see the sights, hear the sounds and fall in love with the local way of life.

And so we introduce...

Arbon Textiles logo

Spinning wool in north Devon 

‘I moved to Exmoor to start a small textile industry. Our production concept is simple – a return to old style textile manufacture, sustainably sourcing raw fibre locally where possible and converting  it into high quality tops, yarns and textiles.’ 

John Arbon working the wool

‘The John Arbon Textiles spinning and processing mill is one of only a handful in the UK, situated in a lovely traditional, small market town called South Molton, by the River Mole. There is a fabulous weekly market and our wool depot is just up the road, where the Exmoor Blueface fibre is graded and sorted, ready for spinning into yarn at the mill. The shop is in Lynton, a beautiful clifftop town right on the coast of North Devon, looking out over the British Channel.’

From his teenage days in a punk band to spinning sheep wool on the moors, the three things John loves about where he lives (and works) are the sea, the moor, the countryside and the local ale. ‘Oh, that’s four!’

‘We’re lucky to live and work in the bubble of Exmoor National Park, a protected area where very little changes. It’s a beautiful and inspiring haven, the vibrant colours of the moor, the calm that surrounds us, and the Exmoor Blueface sheep grazing the clifftops.’

Here at Classic, we firmly believe in Pub Philosophy, the idea of getting under the skin of a place by chatting to the locals, and John’s chinwag in his local with farmer friend, John Stanbury, is proof of a woolly pudding. So now John Arbon makes socks (etc), John Stanbury has sheep and Juliet Arbon sells the woolly products.

John Arbon at work in the wool mill Arbon Textiles wool top John Arbon wool processing


It's the perfect enterprise, making the most of local living, with local sheep grazing the surrounding landscapes, putting their fleece to good use in a mill just down the road that produces quality woolly products; products direct from Devon, made of Devon, in Devon.

Juliet Arbon at work in the mill


North Devon is good for hearty stomps along the coastline and over the moors so have a look at some of John's walking socks on the JArbon website before picking your perfect place to stay in north Devon.

John Arbon, Arbon Textiles


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