The eight founding members all traded in textiles, either as importers or as the end product manufacturers. They were involved in everything from recycling and manufacturing of jute bags, to making tarpaulins, loin cloths, and waterproof goods for the London horse-drawn carriages. Tent and marquee hire featured too, including frame and pole tents.
In 1939 many tents were required for the war effort, never to be seen again. So after the Second World War new stocks had to be manufactured to get the agricultural shows up and running again.
It was not until 7 May 1974 that the association changed its name to Made Up Textiles Association Limited, and we are known by a contraction of that name today - MUTA.
To this day, the President's badge of office is a silver sailmaker's palm (a device for pushing needles through thick fabric) and a needle on a webbing sash. An earlier logo depicted the same.
MUTA was formed to help keep the industry together and to talk with one voice to Government departments and Standard making bodies. Today MUTA is actively involved in representing the industry within the British Standards Institute, CEN (European Committee of Standardisation) and the AGOTS committee of the Institute of Structural Engineers. Its work in these areas is benefited by all in the industry - members and non-members alike. Its vital work is what helps us shape our industry, rather than leaving us all on the receiving end of rules that others create.
MUTA's networking through meetings and dinners helps to create fellowship amongst its members who, although often competitors, frequently help each other out when the need arises.
Today, the majority of members are hirers of marquees, tents or structures. We still represent a thriving group of suppliers and manufacturers as well and these find a ready market amongst the hirer members.
To further strengthen MUTA, the following recent initiatives have been implemented:
- The launch of the 'Use a MUTA Member' campaign - putting promotion of our members to their customers at the front and centre of our marketing for the first time.
- Strengthening the inspection regime to underpin the core message that our members work to the highest standards.
- A fresh new look at our website and documentation to present a modern, up-to-date image to the outside world, and to make access to benefits even easier for our members.
- A complete change of personnel in our Member Services Team to deliver a much enhanced service to members.