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Royal Visit to Marton Mills

 

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited our traditional family-owned weaving mill in Otley, West Yorkshire, on 20 February 2024, in her capacity as President of the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT).

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal being shown around our production facilities by Duncan Watts, Chairman of Marton Mills.

During the visit, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was given an immersive tour of our facilities here at Marton Mills, where she gained insights into every stage of the manufacturing process, from yarn preparation to warping and weaving. She witnessed first-hand the meticulous craftsmanship and dedication of our highly skilled workforce, many of whom have spent their lives in the textile industry.

Paul Bevin, a twister who has worked with us for over 20 years, showing Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal the knotting of individual threads from warp-to-warp.

The tour provided a comprehensive overview of our commitment to quality, sustainability and innovation. From the creation of bespoke fabrics with our in-house design service to the intricate processes of yarn preparation, warping and weaving, every aspect of production reflects our unwavering dedication to excellence.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal being shown the weaving process by Robert Brannan (Weaving Manager) and Robert Lythe one of our skilled overlookers.

Additionally, Her Royal Highness learned about our plans for increased sustainability, here at Marton Mills, through the addition of more solar panels to the yarn warehouse roof. These initiatives underscore our commitment to reducing our environmental impact while continuing to uphold the highest standards of craftsmanship and quality.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal learning about our plans for increased sustainability from Duncan Watts (Chairman) and Carolyn Watts (Non-Executive Director)

As part of our ongoing commitment to innovation, Marton Mills unveiled new launches, including Arrochar Tweed shades, featuring yarns specially dyed to create a distinctive salt-and-pepper colouring. The Arrochar cloth, renowned for its durability and traditional dry handle, remains an ideal choice for highland jackets. Additionally, new Herringbone tweed shades, woven from a unique blend of multi-coloured yarns, offer rich brown fabrics with deep blues, reds and yellows. To complement this, our design team have produced a new range of tartans known as the Kintyre collection inspired by the peninsula on the west coast of Scotland.

Laura Watts (Managing Director) introduces Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal to our in-house design team (Charlotte Howson & Alice Compton)

One of the highlights of the visit was the presentation of a Service to Industry Award to our Chairman, Duncan Watts, who has been working in the British textile industry for over 50 years. This award serves as a testament to our deep-rooted commitment to all our employees here at Marton Mills and the contribution they have brought to our company’s success over the years.

Laura Watts our Managing Director added:
“It was such an honour and pleasure to welcome Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal to Marton Mills. We are very fortunate that she is so supportive of our industry to help us raise the profile of British textiles, where raw materials are ethically sourced and quality fabric is sustainably made. Duncan, my father has been an inspiration to us all at the mill. He paved the way for Marton Mills and has been the foundation of our success. We are thrilled that he received an award to recognise his outstanding contribution to the industry.”

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal presenting a Service to Industry Award to our Chairman, Duncan Watts

The Royal Visit forms part of UKFT’s mission to support the sustainable growth of the UK fashion and textile industry and we are very grateful to them for this opportunity.

Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT, said:
“We were truly honoured to introduce Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal to the team at Marton Mills. Her visit not only recognises the rich heritage and craftsmanship that defines our industry but also highlights the importance of British textile manufacturing on the global stage. Marton Mills is embarking on new initiatives to increase sustainability and new product launches yet remaining steadfast in its dedication to upholding the highest standards of excellence. The firm is a great example of a UK company continuing a tradition of excellence that spans generations and showcasing the best of British craftsmanship to the world.”

Here at Marton Mills we set the standard for excellence in British textile manufacturing, blending tradition with innovation to create fabrics that are both timeless and contemporary and look forward to continuing this in to the future for many generations.

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Arrochar Thornproof Tweed

Introducing our new collection of Arrochar Tweed shades, featuring yarns specially dyed to create a distinctive salt-and-pepper colouring. These additions complement our tartans and tweeds, and also address a gap in our existing Arrochar range that didn’t meet our customers’ current needs.

Our Arrochar cloth is synonymous with durability and impenetrability, earning its ‘thornproof’ title. The cloth is woven with a plain weave structure, and 2-fold twisted yarns, boasting a traditional dry handle and making it the ideal choice for highland jackets.

Made from 100% Wool
Weight: 540glm/360gsm
Width: 150cm useable

Click on image to order samples.

ARR020 Dark Brown
ARR016 Waterfall
ARR010 Flintstone
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New Tweed Shades

 

Introducing our new Herringbone tweed shades, woven from a unique blend of multi-coloured yarns, including deeps blues, reds, and yellows, resulting in rich brown fabrics.

Made from 100% Wool
Weight: 475glm/317gsm
Width: 150cm useable

To view the full range and order samples, click on the below images.

CHE288 Haze & Ocean
CHE289 Umber & Black
CHE287 Moorland & Coffee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Jura Fabrics – Kintyre Collection & Copper Haze

 

Kintyre Collection

The designs in the collection are inspired by the Kintyre peninsula on Scotland’s west coast. With its rugged cliffs, serene beaches, and rolling hills draped in heather, this land of ancient castles and historic landmarks is an area with rich history and breath-taking natural beauty.

Storm

The transition from dark navy to lighter greys within this design elegantly mirrors the tempestuous seas and ever-changing skies enveloping Kintyre, capturing the dynamic essence of its weather.

JR1405T Kintyre Storm

Dusk

Areas of warm pinks and purples are combined with deep blues to reflect the warm hues that light up the Kintyre sky during dusk.

JR1406 Kintyre Dusk

 

Bramble

A design to illustrate the breadth of flora in the Kintyre region; from common brambles to some of Scotland’s rarest ferns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JR1407 Kintyre Bramble

Fen

From rugged cliff tops to grassy marshlands this design embraces the varied landscapes of Kintyre.

JR1404 Kintyre Fen

 

Copper Haze

Combining blazing golds and fiery reds alongside natural browns and lush greens results in a design reminiscent of a splendid autumn landscape.

JR1403 Copper Haze

To view the full range and order samples, click here.

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Melton LM100 Range

Marton Mills is proud to introduce a new collection of stock-supported Melton shades, drawing inspiration from earthy and organic tones. Melton’s were first made for hunting cloths, and have since become ubiquitous for overcoats, blazers and uniforms.

Our LM100 Melton range boasts signature drape, crafted through the natural felting characteristics of woollen fibres. These fabrics undergo expert finishing involving a blend of moisture, heat, and movement to ‘mill’ the wool fibres. This process conceals the woven structure of the cloth, leaving a lightly brushed nap that lends the fabric a soft and smooth surface. This unique finish enhances the cloth’s durability and versatility, making it suitable for accessories, apparel, and interiors.

Made from 100% Wool
Weight: 640glm/430gsm
Width: 150cm useable

To view the full range and order samples, click here.

 

LM100 559 Plum
LM100 1127 Maroon
LM100 6053 Navy
LM100 3105 Flintstone
LM100 2061 Waterfall
LM100 2062 Khaki
LM100 560 Caramel
LM100 4044 Buff
LM100 4048 Biscuit
LM100 791 Warm Grey
LM100 4046 Greige
LM100 Natural
LM100 BLK
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Harry McHale at Marton Mills

Young Textile Technician Fund

At Marton Mills we are grateful to have the support of UKFT and this year they have helped us in the development and training of one of our young weavers.

Harry McHale, aged 25, was one of the young professionals to access funding enabling him to advance his knowledge and career. Harry undertook a training course on the Picanol Optimax Weaving Machine at Picanol Steverlyncklaan, Belgium with support from UKFT’s Young Textile Technician Fund.

Harry explained “I am in my third year of training at Marton Mills and soon to become a fully trained weaving technician. Picanol training centre is set up so you can work on the machines under instruction, in a classroom environment. This made it so much easier to understand and the facilities were second to none. The instructors were ex field technicians, and had a vast knowledge of woven textiles and how machines should be set up to achieve the optimum results. Hopefully the company will reap the rewards of their investment in me and I will continue to work hard to ensure this is the case.

Harry has substantially benefited from hands-on instruction in operating and understanding the latest generation of weaving machines. Picanol offers a state-of-the-art training facility staffed by experienced tutors with a global background, providing their expertise to trainees like Harry during his course. Following the training, Harry has returned with significantly increased confidence while operating the new fleet of Picanol weaving machines. His training has not only enhanced the quality and productivity of our machines but has also contributed to his development as a well-rounded technician for the company and the textile industry at large.

Marton Mills greatly reaps the rewards of Harry’s training. The company’s reliance on skilled technicians who can proficiently set up and operate machinery, maintaining the high-quality standards required to meet customer demands, makes Harry’s training invaluable. His training ensures the company’s ability to continually meet customer needs, ensuring the long-term success of the business. Furthermore, training the younger generation is essential for sustaining the skill base in the textile trade. With many textile industry workers nearing retirement, it is imperative to train the younger generation to prevent the loss of critical skills needed for our trade.

Harry’s manager Robert Brannan explained “I myself started off as an apprentice weaving technician, and I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to attend training courses like Harry. And as a result, know first-hand how important this is for your career.”

Training is indispensable for Marton Mills’ growth because customers and potential clients must trust in the company’s ability to deliver the highest quality and most productive service. Competitiveness in the market hinges on the company’s capability to provide top-notch products at a competitive price, a feat achievable only through a highly trained workforce. This necessitates investment in employees, including courses like the one Harry has undertaken, complementing the company’s in-house training efforts. The Young Textile Technician Fund serves as a perfect instrument to accomplish all their goals concerning trainee development and the future of the company.

Robert Brannan concluded that “I also believe that us as a company investing in Harry’s training, it shows our commitment towards him and his future at Marton Mills and in return hopefully, he will be more committed to us as a company, and a big asset to the textile industry going forward.

The Young Textile Technician Fund will cover 50% of the costs of in-depth training for young textile technicians, thanks to the generous support of The Worshipful Company of Weavers, The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers and The Worshipful Company of Drapers.

Harry McHale at Marton Mills | Young Textile Technician Fund