The world’s leading manufacturer of tartan based in Selkirk, Lochcarron of Scotland, has launched a new product created with the help of workers in Galashiels and Yorkshire.
The announcement is a timely boost for Lochcarron which has felt the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic after being forced to shed jobs last year.
But the company has still been able to innovate despite the challenging times, as
managing director, Dawn Robson-Bell, explained: “We are proud to introduce our new all-British wool premium kilt cloth, woven locally at our mill in Selkirk. The wool is sourced and spun in the UK, giving us this valuable opportunity to support British wool growers and textile manufacturers across the UK.
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“We have developed our British wool yarn together with our spinning partners, Spectrum Yarns Ltd. The yarn composition consists of approximately 75% Scottish wool from our native Cheviot sheep, blended with British Romney Marsh wool. The British Wool depot, based in Galashiels, sorts through and grades the fleece. The raw wool is then cleaned and spun in Yorkshire before the freshly spun yarn is delivered to us here in Selkirk. We then weave the cloth in our mill before sending the fabric for the final finishing stage.
“This is carried out by our trusted partners, Schofields Dyers and Finishers Ltd in Galashiels. This process is completed without compromising quality, supply, or service as we work to improve our ethical and sustainable credentials from fleece to fabric.
"Lochcarron of Scotland has been manufacturing tartans in the Scottish Borders for over 70 years. From kilt to catwalk, we champion the making of traditional tartan cloth whilst continuing to innovate, through design and production.”
The company shed 14 jobs across all departments in August last year.
In June this year it was announced that the company’s visitor centre in Dunsdale Road, incorporating a shop and cafe, is to close at the end of the year and is to be relocated within the Waverley Mill on Rodgers Road, with the expectation it will be up and running there by spring 2022.