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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.