In the sixteenth century, the long staple wool from local sheep farmed in the East Midlands, had been spun into thread and sent for weaving into fabric in the townships of West Yorkshire. There was no weaving tradition in the East Midlands region and this may be why hand knitting became a well established industry in Leicester, Nottingham and the surrounding towns and villages. With the invention of the stocking knitting frame in 1589, the process of manufacturing knitted hosiery was greatly improved, and through the "cottage industry" it became possible to increase output and sell to a wider public. One such business was that of Henry and Ann Wood. They and their sons began their enterprise in 1755 in Leicester, over two hundred and fifty two years ago. That business survives to this day as WOLSEY. Wolsey's heritage and status within the textile industry has been built on design and quality attributes that remain integral to the business today.