Sitting proudly on the banks of the River Lossie in Scotland is one of the last vertical woollen mills in Britain.
Johnstons of Elgin’s mill has presided over the river in Elgin since 1797; the only one in the country to oversee all processes, from raw material through to finished article, be it accessories, knitwear, woven fabrics or a cashmere throw. As Alan Scott, creative director, explains: ‘Johnstons has sourced, washed, dyed, milled, spun, woven, finished and produced the garments in a truly vertical process. Our mill is one of the very few left in the world to do this.’ And it has been doing it for over 220 years.
A family-run business spanning two centuries, the brand’s production takes place in two mills, one in Elgin, the other in Hawick, where products are created for Johnstons and some of the world’s most coveted designer brands. They may originate in the heart of Scotland but they appear at the couture houses and catwalks of Paris, London and Milan, the sartorial excellence of Savile Row and the world beyond.
Johnstons of Elgin is absolutely rooted in its traditions and expertise, its impeccable credentials stemming from a mastery of the yarn and how its craftspeople handle, finesse and manipulate it in ways impossible for any other manufacturing brand to match. This is down to the brand’s investment in a community of highly skilled textile craftspeople, employing around 1,000 staff, some of whom can claim 50 years’ service. The training centre in Hawick offers apprenticeships, further nurturing Johnstons’ investment in the future of manufacturing in Britain.
And it continues to innovate, just as it did when the brand pioneered cashmere and vicuña in Britain, acclaimed with a medal for their ‘superb vicuña stoles’ at the Great Exhibition of London in 1851. Its creative vision is grounded in timeless, classic references that are constantly redefined for contemporary culture through design, craft and innovation. An example is its Estate Tweeds which pioneered the concept of camouflage and received the Royal Warrant of Appointment to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in 2013.
A flagship leader in the Scottish textile business, Johnstons of Elgin continues to elevate the brand, further building on the enormous potential of its vertical manufacturing capabilities.
Firmly established in the luxury market, today Johnstons leads the way in technical innovation, using state-of-the-art techniques and tools, such as Shima Seiki whole garment technology, digital knitting, ultra-fine jacquard weaving and 3D design to create fashion-forward collections. Longstanding partnerships with some of the world’s leading fashion brands enhance the brand’s reputation further, while its own flagship store is in the very heart of the capital’s luxury fashion quarter at 77 New Bond Street.
With a global reputation for heritage, craft, style and luxury, Johnstons of Elgin attracts consumers who appreciate quality, innovation, authenticity and longevity. After all, there is nothing like the artistry and romance of over 220 years of traditional weaving combined with modern sensibilities and technology; values that are priceless.
JOHNSTONS OF ELGIN NEWMILL, ELGIN, MORAY, SCOTLAND IV30 4AF +44 (0)1343 554000