In 1913, P.C. Espinasse opened the very first English branch of the already established French Boyriven company in Bloomsbury, London. The Car bodybuilding industry was growing exponentially; In 1910 Henry Ford had built a new factory in Manchester and was the leading UK producer, building thousands of cars that year. Boyriven had opened in the UK to service and offer their outstanding quality products to this burgeoning industry. During the war years of 1914-1918, car production virtually stopped, however the requirements of war production saw the development of new mass-production techniques in the motor industry. Just after the war in 1919, Boyriven Ltd. was registered as an independent British company under the ownership of P.C. Espinasse. His leadership and direction were fundamental in the early successes of the business.
It is also during this time that people started exploring the use of PVC, particularly the idea of its use as a water-resistant coating for fabric thus its increased use in commercialisation.
After the first world war there was a huge boom in car ownership which helped the company to grow very quickly. The list of major customers displayed on the stand at the 1921 Motor Exhibition at Olympia includes many names still connected with Boyriven today and despite economic difficulties of the great depression, Boyriven continues to grow, expanding into the supply of materials to the furniture industry. When the second world war came, the company turned its attention to the situation on home soil, concentrating on a contract for the war department, producing webbing and fitting for the army.
During WWII, PVC Vinyl once again became a material of interest, as it quickly became the most popular fabric used on military ships. This was the catalyst for its long-standing presence in the automotive upholstery industry.
When Boyriven founder P.C. Espinasse semi-retired, his two sons, J.J. & C.G. Espinasse, took over the day-to-day running of the company. Car ownership numbers continued to increase in the UK and by 1955 just five companies produced 90% of the UK's motor vehicle output: BMC, Ford, Rootes, Standard-Triumph and Vauxhall. Boyriven reached a new level of success when they began supplying products such as their leather, vinyl, and hooding to the likes of Ford motor Company and Rootes Group, and many of the relationships established with material suppliers at this time remain steadfast to this day.
During this period the use of PVC vinyl by the car and furniture industries exploded even more! A Vinyl-based latex product was further developed for use on fabric and inflatables. People couldn’t get enough of this durable, efficient and flexible fabric. With this material being a speciality of Boyriven, this helped create huge success for the company; leading it to outgrow its original premises, relocating to Wembley, northwest London.
The third generation of the family-run business took over the reins following the retirement of J.J. & C.G. Espinasse. A prosperous time for the company was led by new director P.L. Espinasse, but with new leadership comes new strategies. The exponential growth of the major manufacturers made them too large to deal with smaller independent distributors like Boyriven. Instead, the company focused its energy towards lower volume, higher quality customers, such as Aston martin and Rolls Royce.
To ensure Boyriven’s continued growth, new markets needed to be identified. The marine industry was targeted with hopeful results and before long, all the major boat builders in the country became customers - including Fairline boats, sunseeker international, princess yachts to name a few. In 2003 the company is forced to relocate once again as the premises was no longer fit for purpose, moving to a brand-new purpose designed premises in Andover, Hampshire.
The late 2000’s brought with them severe economic decline, but Boyriven continued to thrive. They now supply an ever-growing number of customers in the automotive industry with help and advice, fabric for trimming, horsebox refurbishment, and conversion projects; the marine industry with help and advice for marine projects, canopies, sprayhoods and dodgers and more; and furniture industries with fabrics for healthcare, commercials, and hospitality applications.
After over a century of tradition and outstanding quality, the fourth generation has recently joined the company. Today, Boyriven is directed by Oliver Espinasse, and by harnessing the same passion for providing a first-class service as his great grandfather, he is helping us continue to forge trusted relationships with customers worldwide. The enduring philosophy of doing business set by P.C. Espinasse back in 1913 has seen Boyriven flourish into one of the UK’s leading independent suppliers of automotive, marine and contract furniture fabrics.
Browse our extensive selection of fabric to find the perfect match for your project
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"After contacting Boyriven for advice on fabric selection, I was left in no doubt that I had contacted the right people for the job. Great communication, service and products!"
“Boyriven has been our supplier for over three years. Their product range is extensive and the level of service and support provided by the team is outstanding.”
"Boyriven delivered everything in a very efficient and timely manner with complete reliability. We are delighted with the products supplied and service provided."
“After 42 years in the trade I thought another fabric supplier would not be of interest — I was wrong. Boyriven’s new fabrics and innovation have revitalised our range.”
"Boyriven continually work with us – and with our first tier customers – on new products, helping us to specify different fabrics and being totally responsive to our needs.”
“Good quality products, reliable service, competitive prices and speedy delivery — what more could you ask for? Keep up the good work, Boyriven!”