ABC Wax was first established as F W Ashton when brothers Benjamin and Joseph Ashton purchased land at Newton Bank to establish a calico printing firm in 1812. The company traded under this name until 1970. In the early days of the business, F W Ashton was a conventional calico printing company. It did not start specialising in wax printing until 1908. In 1899, F W Ashton was one of the 46 companies which formed the Calico Printers Association. In 1959, the CPA purchased a Swiss trading
company called A Brunnschweiler & Co and in 1970, F W Ashton began trading under this name. During the 1980s, the company became widely known as ABC and this became its brand name. Production at ABC Wax continued until 2007, by which time all production had been transferred to its sister company Akosombo Textiles Ltd in Ghana. ABC has been part of the Hong Kong-based Cha Group since 1992. A Design and Admin office has been retained in Hyde.