[Wool Record: Feb 2001]


Left to right: dyer Gordon Campbell, technical director Bill Renwick, and Jason Renwick, laboratory technician.

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."

The 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 liaison.
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 USA

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 in effluent.
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 front."



Riverside Mills, Selkirk, TD7 5EF
Tel: 01750 700024, Fax: 01750700025, Email: