Johnstons of Elgin
Business Address: Johnstons of ELgin, Newmill, Elgin, Moray, Scotland IV30 4AF
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About Johnstons of Elgin
Johnstons of Elgin has been recognised as the experts in creating luxurious textiles for over 200 years.
Set in one of Scotland's oldest towns, surrounded by breathtaking scenery and immersed in history, sits Johnstons of Elgin. Our original working mill on the banks of the River Lossie, is where we proudly manufacture luxurious cashmere and extraordinary tweed products, and have done ever since 1797.
For more than 200 years we have created classic, contemporary and timeless pieces merging luxury, fashion and real Scottish history using only the finest of wools and conventional methods passed down from generation to generation. Not only is our mill in the border town of Hawick at the heart of the Scottish knitwear industry, it’s been a long standing part of the community for over 140 years. Each and every product reflects true heritage, natural landscape, historic values and old traditions of our skilled craftsmen and women.
Our story begins in 1797 when Alexander Johnston, a 23 year old entrepreneur established his business, soon becoming renowned within the Scottish woollen industry and by 1810 became the towns’ largest employer.
Members of the Johnston family developed the skills of this trade and began to make a name for themselves producing tweeds, shawls and rugs woven from some of the world's most exotic animal fibres.
It was back then that a certain Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, newly resident at the Balmoral Estate, became aware of the family’s unique products. Just as tartans had defined the clans before them, the Royals were keen to maintain those same traditions and commissioned a distinctive Estate Tweed which blended with the landscape in order to avoid being seen when hunting. Around this time, Lord Lovat also requested a cloth to reflect his local mountainous landscape of the seashore, lochs, bracken and heather. This infamously became known as 'lovats' inspiring the camouflage colours for armies around the world.
By 1846 Alexander's son James had taken over with an interest in the export market and the business began to thrive. Experimenting with exotic fibres, the company became the first in Scotland to begin weaving cashmere and sales grew around the world. In 1851 James exhibited ‘superb vicuna shawls’ at the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace and won a medal for them. When his grandson Charles, an ambitious young man, joined the business in 1868 he became influential in the investment of new equipment and eagerly explored previously untouched markets. With the death of Charles' son in the First World War the ownership of Johnstons passed into the care of the Harrison family. With great pride and energy, Edward Harrison embraced the Johnstons’ passion and belief in their textiles. Working in the business until he was 88 years old, he became the pioneer for developing revolutionary lightweight materials, exporting scarves to the American market.
Despite suffering a mysterious fire in 1957 and £20 million of damage in a devastating flood in 1997, the company continues to be one of the most traditional, yet innovative, weaving and knitting suppliers in the world.
In the last two centuries Johnstons of Elgin has been recognised as the experts in creating luxurious textiles. The recent Royal Warrant of Appointment as manufacturers of estate tweed woollen fabric, has given our product the ultimate seal of approval, demonstrating the highest level of service, quality and excellence. We are extremely proud of our achievements.