TEXTILES are integral to a constantly evolving industry.

They say things come round again and with yesteryear's styles re-appearing down the decades it can certainly be said of the cycle of fashion.

Demand has dictated a greater turnover for so-called 'fast fashion' - items you can wear a few times and, hopefully, recycle rather than throw away.

Mass production is costly, but the switch to manufacturing overseas was what contributed to the initial demise of Bradford's once booming textile trade.

Visitors to this one-time wool capital of the world are more likely to see some of the mills, previously employing masses of local people, transformed into artistic venues or living spaces.

Thankfully though, the mainstays, such as Guiseley-based Abraham Moon and Sons Ltd, are still thriving with their quality cloth appearing in garments created by some of the world's renowned designers, adding a stylish touch to our interiors and keeping us warm and cosy in the winter months with their collection of scarves and throws.

The Guiseley company boasts a fascinating heritage told through the pages of 'Fashionability.' Written by Regina Lee Blaszczyk, Leadership chair in the History of Business and Society, and Professor of Business History at the University of Leeds, this narrative history explores 'the interlocking worlds of textiles, fashion and international commerce' while tracing the mill's history from the Industrial Revolution to the era of globalisation.

'Fashionability' is an inspirational insight into the early innovators, the entrepreneurs responsible for manufacturing quality cloth which has, in the past, been almost side-lined for alternatives such as man-made fibres and synthetics.

But with wool enjoying a resurgence, and vintage coming back into fashion, manufacturers such as Abraham Moon are being called upon for their expertise and quality cloth by some of the big name brands.

The story behind Moon's progression from weaving shawls in a cottage to building a factory and transporting cloth to Leeds, Liverpool and the wider world, is indicative of an enterprise that has adapted and evolved with the times.

It was Moon's chairman and managing director, John P T Walsh's fascination with the Moon dynasty that prompted the collaboration with the author. What they knew about the mill's history was largely anecdotal.

"What we really needed was a forensic historian," writes Mr Walsh, whose great-grandfather, Charles, purchased the mill from the Moon family in 1920.

Weaved within that is the history of the founder, Abraham. Surprisingly, little was known about the man whose name the company bears, and who - to this day - callers to the firm often ask for!

Abraham died in 1877 following a carriage accident in Yeadon, yet the fascination to learn more about the man behind the mill, and its importance in putting Yorkshire on the global textile trading platform, prompted the delve into the company's past.

'Fashionability' examines design and innovation in the British woollen industry from the 1830s to the 2010s.

It tells the interesting tale of two clothiers, Abraham and his likely half-brother, William Moon, and charts the success of the business locally and globally in fashion conscious cities such as London, New York, Paris and Toyko.

Quality textiles such as those produced by Abraham Moon and Sons Ltd are sought after by big name fashion labels - Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce and Gabbana - to name but a few.

Interestingly, we learn about the workings of the woollen mills and the interaction of garment makers and manufacturers to create the perfect cloth and how 'heritage-minded companies' such as Abraham Moon and Sons Ltd have adapted their traditional expertise, putting it into contemporary practice while developing a keen awareness of the market which is essential to the reinvention of the industry.

The book traces the history of Abraham Moon and Sons Ltd through the Victorian craze for tweeds, the manufacturing of military cloth for the two great wars to the innovation which has helped to shape the industry's future.

Regina's research has also exposed the history of a subject, she acknowledges, has over the years been considered by the mainstream academic history profession to be 'feminine, frivolous and generally unworthy of study' when, in fact, the revelations are fascinating.

However, piecing together the mill's past was a particular labour of love when a lack of archive material gave the author very little to go on.

Regina explains while the firm had 'fabulous design archives' and minute books it was lacking in correspondence or internal memos.

"They didn't keep old stuff hanging around," says Regina.

But the story of Abraham Moon and Sons Ltd and the important part it, and many others have played in putting Yorkshire on the global map, was worthy of more than a coffee table tome.

"I just wanted to do something different, something that hasn't been done connecting them to the fashion system and this is what this book does. These Yorkshire mills are not just making cloth, they are part of a global fashion system," says Regina.

The marketing innovations led British tweeds to become the most desirable woollens in the world so when pieces of grey tweed, manufactured by Moon, were apparently stolen from the commercial market - the Coloured Cloth Hall in Leeds - the finger of suspicion pointed firmly at possible industrial espionage.

This is an exciting twist in a wonderful tome charting the highs and the lows of an evolving industry.

In true Yorkshire spirit, mills such as Moons have embraced the changes and gone with the flow. Their resilience was particularly evident following a period of depressed trade when Abraham Moon and his wife, Elizabeth, were turning out around 15 shawls per week. Such practical pieces were functional rather than high fashion - the necessity being to keep the wearers warm.

The wealth the family went on to make following the laying of the foundation stone for the new mill 'Netherfield' in July 1868 would be shared with the local community - St Oswald's Church and Guiseley schools were apparently benefactors of their philanthropic spirit.

Passed on from the hands of its forebears to future generations and beyond, the mill's journey continues with the introduction of other technical processes which have been integral to product innovation and, ultimately, survival in a fast-paced industry such as fashion.

Today, Abraham Moon and Sons Ltd is one of the country's last 'vertical mills' - the transformation of raw wool into finished fabric carried out on one site - and the company's success speaks for itself in the aforementioned calibre of clients.

Now the story of its success has been brought up to date, much to the delight of the company's chairman and managing director. "Not only have we discovered Abraham and his family, but also demonstrated the company's amazing ability to diversify and adapt to changing times. And all against the fascinating backdrop of the evolution of fashion through three centuries," says Mr John P T Walsh.

'Fashionability' is priced £25.00 and is published by Manchester University Press. It is available from all good bookshops.