Shipping and Returns

Covid-19 Updates

26.09.20 - Update - Delivery Times

For all orders placed on or after 26.09.20 we are running at approx 2-5 Days from date of order to leaving Empress. Although in many instances this will be shorter.

If you ordered before 26.09.20 we still hope to have your order out within 2-5 days although do ask for your understanding if this slips a little as per the guidance (below) which was in effect at the time you ordered.

Thank you all so much for your orders. Each and every one is appreciated. We are working 7 days a week and hours of overtime to bring times down and service back to where we like it to be (orders despatched within 1-2 days of ordering) in the not too distant future.

Why the range of 2-5 days? Usually, we can ship pretty quickly at the moment however we are still experiencing erratic deliveries from all suppliers. It is strange, they seem to be back to normal and then woosh the deliveries are impacted again. The range 2-5 days is us being totally honest & transparent with you that if your order contains an item that is caught in that short term interruption it may take a few extra days for us to ship to you.


Shipping Rate & Specific Service Class Info.

Next Day

Next Day orders are still treated as a priorty and are handled as usual. Orders received before 12.00 Monday - Thursday should be expected next day. If you order on Friday upto 12.00 delivery will be Monday. Orders placed on Saturday or Sunday will be despatched on Monday for delivery Tuesday. Please see below for more info. specific to Next Day despatch.

First Class

With regret we can no longer prioritise this option for despatch. However you can still select it and your order will be shipped on a first class service via Royal Mail once it is ready. To reiterate, from the 21.05.20 onward choosing this option will not fast track the order through our system as it would do usually. It will be consolidated with all orders and despatched in date order of receipt.

We are finding Royal Mail's First Class service is still on the whole much faster than Second Class but it does on occasion lag from its usual speedy shipping times. Royal Mail are doing their best during this unprecedented time. We thank them for their efforts and hope you will understand they are under enormous pressure so cannot always be as fast as usual. They assure us that First Class is still treated as a higher priority in their operations.

Second Class Royal Mail

22.03.20 - Flat Rate Fee Just £1.50.

From this point on Empress is reducing the fee for standard shipping to just £1.50, no matter the size of the order.

Many of our customers will be affected by the need to isolate for weeks. We understand that sewing can be a welcome relief during these times and want to ensure you can continue projects without the need for masses of contact.

We can only offer this within the UK and usual pricing (below) will apply to international shipping addresses.

This is currently for an unspecified time period.

Usual Second Class Pricing:

Up to value

£10.00 – £3.20
£20.00 –  £3.50
£50.00 –  £5.00
£50.01+ –  £6.00

Next Day (orders before 12.00)

Up to value

£10.00 – £9.80
£20.00 – £11.50
£50.00 – £12.50
£50.01+ – £12.50

NB next day delivery excludes Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays.

Rest Of World

Up to value

£50.00 – £12.50
£100.00 – £16.50
£100.00+ – £20.00

First Class Royal Mail

Up to value

£10.00 – £4.20 
£20.00 – £4.50
£50.00 –  £6.00
£50.01+ –  £7.00

EU Delivery

Up to value

£10.00 – £6.50
£50.00 – £10.00
£120.00 – £12.50
£120.01+ – £30.00


We operate a maximum wait of 28 working days for a delivery within UK & Europe – however we process orders in date order of receipt and pride ourselves on our rapid despatch. If for some reason you do not receive your order within 14 days, please call us on 01282 863181 or email us at

No matter what shipping option is selected Empress Mills is not liable for any loss incurred through a delay in delivery.

Shipping Times

Next Day Option orders leave us the same day when placed before 12noon.
First Class Option orders usually leave within 1-2 days.
Second Class Option orders usually leave within 1-3 days. However we do constantly strive to beat these targets.

Orders are despatched during our usual trading days – Tuesday to Saturday (Saturday cut off 11am due to carriers closing at this time). No despatches take place Sunday or Monday without prior arrangement – please Contact Us with any specific requirement, we would be delighted to help.

Please note that delivery of your Order may take longer during sale or other busy periods – please Contact Us if you are unsure or for clarification.

If an item is likely to be out of stock for longer than 14 days we will contact you as soon as possible to discuss various options with you – these include but are not limited to a full refund or back-ordering of the product.

Returns & Cancellation Policy

Please Always Contact Us Prior To Making A Return.

We aim to offer you the very best service including in the event of a return for any reason. With this in mind should you wish to return or exchange any item please contact us first, as there are occasions when it may be unnecessary for you to be inconvenienced by sending an item back. Alternatively returns should be made following discussion with an Empress team member.

Contact: 01282 863181 or email:


Under The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 you have a right to cancel your order* within the period of 14 working days, beginning with the day after your order was received. You must make notice of cancellation, clearly stating your request to cancel, in writing, by one of the following options:

  1. Empress Mills (1927) Ltd., Glyde Works, Byron Rd, Colne, Lancashire, BB8 0BQ.
  2. Email:

If however the goods have already been despatched prior to us receiving your intent to cancel you have a legal duty to retain possession of them and to take reasonable care of them. You are under obligation to restore these goods to the supplier (Empress Mills) and, under this contract, you will be responsible for sending your order back to Empress Mills at your own expense, with the exception of faulty or substituted goods, where returns costs will be reimbursed to you (subject to the below).

Please always Contact Us to discuss the best method of return.

Faulty Items / Items Which Were Not Ordered

Returns postage will only be reimbursed if the item is faulty / not what was ordered. Please always Contact Us prior to making a return so we can advise on the method of return – if a return method is used which has not been specified by us a full reimbursement for the cost may not be possible.

If the item is being returned for other reasons please Contact Us to discuss the best method of return.

Contact Empress Prior To Any Return

Please always Contact Us prior to making a return for any reason. That way we can ensure you receive the best possible service regarding the return.

If a return method is used which has not been specified by Empress Mills a full reimbursement for the cost may not be possible (subject to the above).