About Us

Frank Thomas Collection

 

Frank Thomas started life in January 1982 as the brainchild of two entrepreneurs Peter Laughton and David Wooding who founded the company to make Motorcycle boots. The duo used about 300 outworkers from the shoe industry in Northamptonshire to make the boots in their homes which Peter, the sales & marketing specialist, took to motorcycle shows up and down the country.

 

Back in the early 80’s motorcycle gear was conservative and generally only available in black which is why Peter & David named their company Frank Thomas. They wanted a traditional, classic, British name.

 

Early Frank Thomas Race Boots

 

An innovative company Frank Thomas, in association with Ron Haslam and Roger Marshall, developed their first ever racing boot in a range of bright colours. These boots were very popular and the company was selling them as fast as they could make them.

 

Frank Thomas Ladies Kinkee Boot Frank Thomas Shorty MXW-010

 

They pioneered paddock boots, the latest incarnation of which the Shorty MXW-010 boot is still a best seller today. Other innovations included motorcycle boots specifically designed for Ladies with the launch of the “Kinkee boot” had a sexy vintage styling and was also waterproof.

 

The company expanded into making gloves with David, the mechanical engineer, ensuring that the company had the skills and machinery to make quality clothing. Patterns were delivered to the home workers who made them before they were collated, packaged and distributed to a network of retailers from the Irthlingborough head office.

 

In 1983, in keeping with their use of cutting edge technology and British craftmanship they produced the first ever waterproof motorcycle glove.

 

Aqua Strada Glove

 

Two years later when manufacturing costs in the UK were starting to rise the company undertook another first for the motorcycling clothing industry and set up a bespoke plant in Asia. This new endeavour included a tannery and manufacturing plant enabling the business to control the quality and creating a dual manufacturing base in Asia and the UK.

 

As Frank Thomas became Britain’s leading brand of motorcycle clothing in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s more of the manufacturing was done overseas, with the UK side of the business looking after the new product design and development.

 

The main offices had moved into a new warehouse/distribution centre in Finedon where the company had a small, highly skilled team of machinists/seamstresses involved in the design processes.

 

The company had by now expanded into leather suits, jackets, jeans, and was becoming well regarded for its Aqua range of waterproof textile clothing.

Frank Thomas FTL300 xti 2 1Pc Suit Frank Thomas FTL300 Xt 2 1pc White Red Silver Suit Frank Thomas Qualifier GP Jacket Frank Thomas FTL401 Leather Jeans Frank Thomas Aqua 2 Jacket Frank Thomas Dusk Trousers Frank Thomas Rmaster Beige Wax Cotton Jacket

A management buyout in 1999 saw a change in ownership with David retiring and Peter keeping a small shareholding. At the same time, the new company bought Motrax a supplier of motorcycle helmets, luggage and accessories.

 

Red Route Jeans

The early noughties saw the company expand further with the purchase of Lintek, a replacement parts business, Bikezone kids clothing, BKS Leathers and Red Route motorcycle denim jackets and jeans. These independent companies, along with Frank Thomas Limited became the Frank Thomas Group.

 

In 2011 the Frank Thomas Group Brands were acquired by J&S Accessories, the largest independent motorcycling clothing and accessories retailer in the UK.

 

Frank Thomas still has a base in Northamptonshire, with the Finedon warehouse and Factory Shop which also houses the same skilled team of machinists/seamstresses who now offer a quality repair and alterations service.

 

Frank Thomas has continued to go from strength to strength under the expert stewardship of J&S Accessories improving on the commitment to quality and innovation of the original founders Peter and David.

 

The company continues to work with the same suppliers and factories to improve the Frank Thomas Clothing and Helmets and is constantly bringing new products to the marketplace.

 

Frank Thomas Wax Jackets