Johnstons of Elgin – Part I

Although we are still in a warm late summer so it’s about time to look towards autumn and the pure style-perhaps the most enjoyable time of the year. After attending the casually dressed in holiday and summer times, many of us look forward to picking up autumn garments and acquire new ones in flannell, cashmere, tweed and wool. Our site comes with today’s text highlighting Johnstons of Elgin, Scotland’s largest independent manufacturer of wool and cashmere products.

As there is so much to say about this unique business, we choose to divide this article into two parts where we focus on their knitted products today and in the next part tells of their tweed fabrics.

As usual, we would like to start with a brief look back, what seems like an important part precisely Johnstons because of their rich heritage. Since 1797, they have at the mouth of the River Lossie in the Highlands in the village of Elgin and run as a textile manufacturing excellence. Today they can boast to be Scotland’s only so-called vertical factory that make all the torque from the fibers and wool arrives at the factory until the finished goods are sold in the form of knitted garments or woven tweed fabrics. Although the company has been around for more than two hundred years, so they have only had two owner families, Johnston and Harrison. From the beginning, the major of linen and flax, but from the mid-1880s was the wool in all its forms which dominated, and they were pioneers when it came to more luxurious wool as vicuna and cashmere.

Today, the focus is mostly on cashmere and lambswool. Just Kashmir comes from the finest in the fur of a race of Chinese and Mongolian mountain goats. When this raw material arrives at the Elgin wool is matted, greasy and full of coarse hairs. In Johnston’s begin the process of separating the cashmere you want to use from the coarser outer coat. In the 1800s, this was done by hand, but in the late 1800s, the company developed equipment for this work. They were in many respects in the early industrialization and regarded as pioneers at that time. Nowadays, it is obviously a method that everyone uses. Today, it is very common that many manufacturers are buying cashmere wool “avhårad”. Johnstons still has this capacity which they consider to be important because they are the only Scottish manufacturer that boasts the motto ” from fiber to garment .”

In the dyeing of the fibers can easily become matted as to prepare them for carding teased out over the rollers with spikes, which is called teasing. In connection with this, sprays also fibers with a light coating of oil to protect them in the next step and make them easier to handle. After this goes fibers via a hopper to the machine that handles carding. Carding means that the fibers are mixed and straightens them out before they are spun. Carding creates a so-called rovings of the desired thickness and weight. As curiosity is that the equipment used for carding and which was bought by James Johnston in 1868 was used as late as 1993 before it was updated. These rovings are then spun to become the yarn which is then used. When spinning fibers are twisted together to create a durable yarn. The entire process is closely monitored and carefully checks the quality and thickness of the yarn will be the right one.

Next, weaving. When the fabric is finished so it is pretty rough and need a final finish before it becomes a finished product. This processing has remained unchanged since its inception. Via rinsing as they may remove oil, dirt and grease and the fabric shrinks and thickens slightly. The fabric is then dried by tensioned headed over heated rollers. Depending on what the finished woolen be used to occur some special treatments that last moment. For cashmere present a special treatment by the dried heads of teasel is placed between the metal bars which are fixed around a large rotating drum. When these plants are wet, it becomes flexible and their little tags carding gently pull the cashmere fibers for its characteristic and soft finish.

The long tradition and knowledge in all stages in the production together with a very knowledgeable staff empties into extremely fine garments, whether it’s a sweater in cashmere or lambswool scarf.

Some of the stores in the Nordic countries that sell garments and accessories from Johnstons of Elgin is: His Allde, Lund & Lund, Linnégatan 2, Gunnar Oye, House of Scotland, NK Herrekipering, and Ferner Jacobsen’s.

Finally, we refer to the company and their own view of its business:

“US heritage is not about nostalgia; it is the heartbeat Which drives us into the future, harnessing the wisdom Gained from over 200 years in textile manufacturing, our Ensuring Continued prosperity. We’ve Learnt a lot since 1797, but we always have been and always will be – Made in Scotland “

 

Gallery

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Two new directors on board at Johnstons of Elgin

Source: www.pressandjournal.co.uk

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