Introduction and Information

The application of our materials stretches as far as the mind can reach!

Welcome to F. J Ratchford Ltd., established since 1889 specializing in quality coverings for many different markets.

With over 100 years experience we aim to supply quality materials at competitive prices, with our friendly family service. Ratchford materials are being used daily around the world, in trade binderies and workshops (from large run publications, library journals, thesis, photo albums, coffee table books, stationery, diaries, menus and also for luxury packaging, display and presentation and corporate folders etc.)

Our materials are specified by publishers, book and packaging designers, who have confidence that Ratchford’s will supply the right product at the right price for the job, using our wide range of covering papers, starch filled cloths, canvas, rayon lined cloth, water resistant buckrams, leathercloth or real leather, we have the expertise to help you make the right decision, and we are always pleased to help take on new challenges!

Our design department will make recommendations based on wear and tear, shelf life and specifications required for each project. and our lab can colour match required shades within commercial tolerance, using modern technology and creating eye catching lab samples ( special makings may be required ).

In addition to books, our beautiful Dainel and Lynel suede products are used in the luxury packaging markets, for perfume packaging, luxury jewellery packaging, CD/DVD cases, including traditional wooden cabinets and furniture, they can also through the vacuum forming process.

The finished products are to be seen in libraries, law courts and barristers chambers, photographic studios, high street retailers and department stores, on coffee tables, and royal houses throughout the world.

The application of our materials stretches as far as the mind can reach!

Contact us for more information: or telephone (UK) +44 (0) 161 480 8484 or follow our tweets @RatchfordFJ


Covering materials can be produced in a variety of different finishes, or surface coatings. At FJ Ratchford, we have a wealth of knowledge developed over many years, in the manufacture of book cloth and case covering materials. This knowledge along with many bespoke samples, has been passed down the family over the years, and although many finishes were developed before their time, we are delighted to say that we are still using many of these production processes today!

Production Process

With over 125 years experience in the production of book, boxes, menus and luxury packaging etc, means we fully understand surface coatings, special makings, durability, strength, design and budgets. All these aspects are considered in the production of our materials, and we constantly continue to try and create dynamic new products for our markets. Please contact us for further information into how we can assist you.

Attention to Detail

At F.J.Ratchford Ltd., we continue to try and ensure that we pay particular attention to detail regarding our products and services. From a company point of view this is always work in progress, and over the last 125+ years, we have changed our business model considerably, by improving our operating systems, developing exciting new materials, and making product enhancements wherever possible. These days, we have to be aware of our customers increasingly high demands, and we constantly strive to try and reach these levels, and once met, continue to ensure that they are maintained. Once our materials are produced, we check them against our master lab samples to ensure that they meet both ours, and our customer’s requirements, by paying close attention to detail. Whether you order a roll or we produce a special special making to match your own shade, we take great care to ensure the colours, and specifications firstly meet with our approval. A great deal of work, time and money are placed in our hands, from the moment we receive your order, and we are compelled to ensure that we give the service required.

Boxes and Cases

Our comprehensive range of materials are well suited for covering, lining and strengthening boxes and packaging products – in particular our Dainel suede with Paper, PVC, Thermo and Self-Adhesive backings. We also offer many metallic effect PVC Coated Papers, available in a wide range of designs and shades, alongside our self-adhesive Universal Cloth Tape, available in a wide range of colours and width’s which can be used for strengthening the spines and hinges of books as well as boxes, and our very popular Wrappertex packaging fabric, which is used in between the pages and leaves of photo albums as well as being used for storing or packaging products when being dispatched, and is perceived to add more value to the finished products. For more information about our packaging materials, or to request samples, please contact us at or phone 0161 480 8484 – or you can now also fill out the online enquiry form on the contact us page.


Our design department, will be only too pleased to discuss over the phone, email or meet you here or at your premises, to discuss what requirements you may have for your project. Whether it be based on; shade, texture, durability or price, or perhaps a selection of all, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience in guiding you to the right product. After a brief meeting or discussion over the phone we will be pleased to advise and make suggestions into what we believe meets your requirements, and notify you of any relevant issues which you need to be aware of in advance. Please contact us on 0161 480 8484 or email to discuss your projects with our design department.

Lab samples

Lab samples are available upon request for orders in excess of 500 metre special makings, and are produced in our colour matching laboratory which usually takes around 2 weeks to produce (dependent on projects at the time) and we reserve the right to make a charge for this service, which would be redeemable against your order. Please contact us at or telephone 0161 480 8484 for more information regarding samples.

Bulk Orders

Materials are usually available on 100 or 50 metre rolls, however in production most materials are re-rolled from master batches of 1000 metres+. Due to escalating manufacturing costs, it is possible for us to supply materials on master rolls, or cut down into sheets to meet your production schedules. Please contact to see how we can meet your requirements.


Our export department, have many many years experience sending goods out across the world. Whether you require a small roll sending by courier to Spain, or a pallet sending sea freight to New Zealand, we have done this before on many occasions, and have an extensive number of reliable partners, to ensure that the moment our goods leave our dispatch department, they are well packed, until the moment they arrive at their final destination, great care goes into making sure that all paper work, and regulations are met. We will be only too pleased to discuss over the phone, email or meet you, to discuss your export projects and we will be pleased to notify you of any relevant issues which you need to be aware of in advance. Please contact us on 0161 480 8484 or email to discuss your export requirements with our export department.

Ratchford Cup

Every couple of years at the Society of Book binders event, we present the Ratchford cup to the winning participant of the chosen book binding field, which we are delighted to say is usually the cloth bound book section. FJ Ratchford have a long association with the Society.


Quality Books

We are delighted to be associated in some small way with the contribution towards some truly outstanding, and magnificent volumes, which have been produced over many years. We fully understand that in these difficult times, our covering materials have to meet the high standards set out by our customers and the tough demands undertaken during the various printing production processes during manufacture. Our knowledgeable sales staff will be only too pleased to assist you, by offering years of expert advice, by sending samples, and will be pleased to offer help if required through each stage of the production. After 125 years, FJ Ratchford would like to see our quality covering materials continue to enhance the books and boxes, and wide range of finished products for which they were designed for, being used and displayed well into the future.

Customer Care

Our staff will be only too pleased to assist you with your enquiries. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information by email or phoning 0161 480 8484.




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