Visit the Scottish Borders
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Visit the Scottish Borders

Visit the Scottish Borders

The areas of southern Scotland and northern England are termed as Scottish Borders. The River Tweed flows west to east through this region with its flattest part in the eastern area. It is known as the heart of the Scottish textile industry. Many mills were set up in this area due to a great source of fast flowing rivers (necessary for providing instant water power for the industrial machinery), availability of both raw materials and a strong workforce, and location supportive for trade due to a strong infrastructure (via branch lines that fed into the Victorian railway system which helped give a direct link to London). By the 18th century, and the Industrial Revolution, the textiles industry was booming.

After WWII, the railway branch lines were closed for decades. By the end of the 1950’s, the Scottish textile industry began to decline due to competition from the Far East. In the 1990’s, strikes over workforce cutbacks, forced nationalisation and a re-emergence into the private market produced a smaller workforce. But in recent times, declines in other industries, such as the international value of Brent crude oil (one of Scotland’s main exports since the 1960’s), shifted focus towards Scotland’s other exports. This includes niche markets such as artisan textiles. This combined with the recent re-introduction of Scotland’s heritage and history via movies and shows worldwide has re-awakened the international interest in Scotland and associated goods, such as tweeds and knitwear.

In November, Highland Natural Accents visited the Scottish Borders to see in person the operations of mills and finisher/dyer entities with whom we associate due to HNA’s business. Hundreds of years of history are being kept alive through these fully-functioning businesses. The sharing of information and education by their owners was amazingly open and giving. We had the opportunity to see the process go from setting up the looms to having the final check of the finished throw. Highland Natural Accents is honoured to be a supportive part of the Scottish textile industry.

We hope that during your visit to Scotland you will take the opportunity to not only experience the woven and knitted cloths but also explore the history of that textile you hold in your hands.

Many thanks to the following entities who were so hospitable and opened their doors to Highland Natural Accents, allowing us to take a glimpse at the mechanics and efforts that go into producing these fine textiles:

Drove Weaving Company          A. Elliot (Fine Fabrics) Limited          Lovat Mill          Schofield Dyers & Finishers          Sinclair Duncan Textiles          Eribé Knitwear

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