Sports Wear

The Evolution of Umbro | From Dressmaking to Sports Apparel

Welcome to a tale of transformation and triumph, where needles were swapped for footballs, and stitches paved the way for sports revolutions. Today, we delve into the captivating journey of Umbro, a brand that has seamlessly transitioned from creating elegant dresses to crafting iconic sports apparel. From its humble beginnings as a dressmaking company in Manchester, England, to becoming an emblem of style on football pitches worldwide – join us as we uncover the remarkable evolution of Umbro and witness how this once-thread-and-needle enterprise revolutionized the world of sportswear. Get ready to lace up your shoes and embark on a thrilling exploration through time!

Introduction to Umbro

Umbro is a sports apparel company that was founded in 1924 by Harold Humphreys. The company started out as a dressmaking business, but soon transitioned into creating sports clothing. Umbro became known for their innovative designs and high-quality products. In the 1950s, Umbro began supplying clothes to the English national football team. This partnership helped to solidify Umbro's reputation as a top supplier of sports apparel. In the 1980s and 1990s, Umbro expanded their product line to include footwear and other sportswear items. Today, Umbro is a global brand that produces a wide range of sporting goods.

The Founding of Umbro

In 1924, brothers Harold and Wallace Humphreys founded Umbro in Wilmslow, England. The Humphreys were dressmakers by trade, but they quickly realized the potential for applying their skills to sportswear. They started by making uniforms for local schools and clubs before branching out into casual wear and eventually becoming one of the world’s leading sports brands.

Umbro’s first big break came in 1934 when they supplied the kit for Manchester City, who went on to win the FA Cup. This was followed by a contract to supply kits for the England national team. In 1953, Umbro became the first company to use synthetic materials in football shirts with their revolutionary double knit fabric.

Transformation from Dressmaking to Sports Apparel

Umbro was founded in 1920 as a dressmaking company in Manchester, England. In the 1930s, the company began to produce sports apparel, and by the 1950s, it had become a leading manufacturer of soccer uniforms. Today, Umbro is a global sports brand that produces a wide range of products, from footwear and clothing to equipment and accessories.

While Umbro started out as a dressmaking company, it quickly shifted its focus to sports apparel. This transformation was driven by the growing popularity of soccer in England in the early 1900s. As more people began playing the sport, there was an increasing demand for uniforms and other gear. Umbro saw an opportunity to tap into this market, and it soon became one of the leading suppliers of soccer uniforms.

Umbro’s Impact on Soccer

When Umbro first started out, they were simply a dressmaking company in England. However, they soon rose to prominence in the soccer world thanks to their innovative designs and high-quality products. They supplied the uniforms for many of the top teams in England, including Manchester United, and their products were worn by some of the biggest names in the sport. Umbro quickly became known as a major player in the soccer world, and their impact can still be seen today. Their products are still worn by some of the best teams and players in the world, and they continue to innovate with new designs and technologies.

Innovations in Design and Technology

Throughout its history, Umbro has been known for its innovative design and technology. From its early days as a dressmaker, to its more recent focus on sports apparel, Umbro has always been at the forefront of fashion and design.

In the early days of the company, Umbro’s founder, Harold Humphreys, was constantly innovating new designs for his dresses. He was always looking for ways to make his garments more comfortable and stylish. His innovations in design and technology helped to make Umbro a leader in the fashion world.


Umbro has come a long way since its humble beginnings in dressmaking, and it is now one of the most recognizable brands in sports apparel. With its focus on quality craftsmanship, innovative designs, and commitment to sustainability, Umbro continues to be an industry leader with products that are sought after by athletes and fashion fans alike. Along the way, they have established themselves as a brand that values tradition while not being afraid to push boundaries and stay ahead of trends. It’s truly inspiring how far this company has come since 1924!