YARN DYERS STRENGTHEN LINKS WITH DESIGNERS
[Wool Record: Feb 2001]
Left to right: dyer Gordon
Campbell, technical director Bill Renwick, and Jason Renwick, laboratory
Ettrick Yarn Dyers Ltd., the new company
set up at Riverside Mills, Selkirk, Scotland, by three senior
members of the former Laidlaw & Fairgrieve dyehouse team,
continues to grow.
They have invested in a new, computer-controlled package winder
- which will enable the company to treat very fine yarns - a new
boiler, and three hank-dyeing machines.
Technical director Mr. Bill Renwick said:
"Most of the yarns we dye are for the weaving trade,
but we also deal with a few knitwear companies, providing smaller
quantities of fine yarns. We are hoping to expand dyeing of
fine-quality yarns such as cashmere and fine lamb's wool.
Designers complain, for example, that spinners will only make
a minimum of 20 kilos for them, when they want 5 kilos. We feel
with the setup here we can work more closely with designers,
and my view of designers, especially new designers, is that
they like to put their mark on things.
They demand shades and colours unique to them, and we think
we have the expertise and equipment to give them a quick response."
company, operating from the former Laidlaw & Fairgrieve premises
beside the River Ettrick, offers a commission yarn-dyeing service.
It concentrates on wool package-yarn dyeing, but has equally wide
experience of dyeing silk, linen, cotton, cashmere and fancy yarns.
Laidlaw & Fairgrieve's woollen-spinning business closed at the
end of last June. Mr. Renwick, head dyer there for 18 years, led the
buy-out team, which also included Mr. Rob Anderson, and Mr. Renwick's
son, Mr. Jason Renwick, who is in charge of the laboratories. Mr.
Anderson, commercial director, deals with order intake and customer
Ettrick had only been in operation three months in November when the
Wool Record visited, and Mr. Renwick was enjoying a "hands on"
approach, at work in the dyehouse.
He said: "People are nervous of going into an industry that may
be seen to be in decline, and they are also nervous about dealing
with someone new, but we already have a history and the contacts.
Dyer Gordon Campbell oversees
the dyeing of a linen/silk blended yarn, which is in demand in the
We are known in the trade as a yarn-dyeing unit and as far as I'm
concerned the mill just 'stopped for a break' and then carried on
as usual. We lease the yarn dyehouse and have bought all the machinery
and we feel we have adequate room for expansion. The dyehouse is one
of the newest in the United Kingdom."
Ettrick's Scottish and English customers export to Europe and America,
where there is presently a demand for linen/silk.
The company's capacity is 10 tons a week; Ettrick has a laboratory
with a colour computer and a total of 14 staff. The company processes
special heat-resistant yarns for aircraft, and although this is viewed
as an environmentally unfriendly process, tight controls keep the
mill well within permitted consent levels of metal and chrome content
Mr. Renwick said: "We pump effluent from here to the sewerage
works 100 yards down the road. We have to be within strict limits,
and we receive a regular trade-effluent report. Because of the demise
of a lot of textile industries, demand on the sewerage works has dropped."
Ettrick hopes to continue steadily building the business. Mr. Renwick
remarked: "In the dyeing business there is no substitute for
experience, and I think that's where we are scoring on the quality