Tartan mill rescued by web store’s six-figure investment

D.C.Dalgleish Tartan Specialists, Selkirk. Dr. Nick Fiddes, director of Scotweb.
D.C.Dalgleish Tartan Specialists, Selkirk. Dr. Nick Fiddes, director of Scotweb.

A SELKIRK mill that has provided tartan to the Queen, Nelson Mandela and Neil Armstrong has been saved by a six-figure investment.

Crisis-hit DC Dalgliesh was set to close its doors after struggling to compete with cheap imports before Scotweb, a major online supplier of tartans and other Scottish craft items, stepped in with a rescue package.

As a result, 17 employees at the mill, which is the world’s last traditional tartan weaver, will retain their jobs.

Director of Edinburgh-based Scotweb, Dr Nick Fiddes, told TheSouthern: “Financially DC Dalgliesh has been in trouble for a couple of years.

“As their leading customer, we have propped them up by giving them loans in the past.

“They came to us earlier this year and explained the situation and asked if we could do anything to help.

“We looked into it for a month or two and felt it was in the interests of the industry that the company remains.

“We are taking it on as a going concern with its debts and are making a six-figure investment.

“We have no plans for redundancies.”

Euan Dalgliesh has become the third generation of the family to run the Dunsdale Mill after his appointment as general manager, while an extra weaver has already been taken on.

Dr Fiddes added: “We believe with some better marketing the firm could expand in future, particularly the manufacturing.

“The textile industry in the Borders has gone through some tough times recently and we think there are a lot of skilled workers around who we could use.”

Founded in 1947 by Dick Coultherd Dalgliesh, the company expanded and moved into its current location, Dunsdale Mill, in 1965.

Since then, it has supplied a series of celebrities with its tartan garments, such as Prince Edward, Ivana Trump, rock band Kings of Leon and world boxing champion Ricky Burns.

The firm produced an Antarctic tartan which was sold to tourists visiting the South Pole in 2002.

Dr Fiddes is in no doubt that DC Dalgliesh had to be saved and said it will remain in Selkirk.

He said: “There are larger mills producing a few hundred different tartans but DC Dalgliesh is the only one to be able to make thousands of tartans, which would otherwise be lost.

“It means this company is important to Scottish heritage.

“It is also the only firm to weave in a short length so a single skirt or kilt can be woven in any tartan.

“We won’t be merging the operations. The mill will continue to operate independently, and provide the same outstanding quality of product and service to all its customers worldwide.”