All of our machine made knitwear is manufactured in Hawick, a small town in the Scottish Borders which is known for being ‘the Home of Cashmere’. Here there is a small, 3rd generation, family run factory who specialise in the manufacture of high quality cashmere and lambswool knitwear.
This year, Scott & Charters Ltd. celebrate 60 years of manufacturing cashmere and lambswool knitwear in Hawick, Scotland.
This close up image shows the very needles that produce our chunky 12ply cashmere. Most fine knit cashmere sweaters are knitted using 1 or 2ply cashmere on machines which have between 12 and 20 needles per inch, this machine has only 3 needles per inch - making it the chunkiest gauge available in machine knitting. When knitting in a ‘Slip Stitch’ this machine can knit up to 10 ends of yarn(working out at 20ply cashmere!), this weight of cashmere is very expensive to produce but has the most incredible handle.
The scarf below is the only one we’ve made at this weight, and is still available to buy as part of our 'Archive' collection – shop the look here...
The yarn is pulled by a carriage, through a row of needles to create the endless interlocking loops. A second row of needles and secondary carriages can be used to create a plethora of different effects - coloured patterns, cables, textured stitches and more complex fabrics. These industrial Japanese machines can knit just about anything - the possibilities are endless!
The ‘linking’ machines, pictured below, are used to put all the pieces together - a fiddly job, but a crucial stage in production. This is a stitch-for-point operation where a skilled operator picks each sequential stitch of knitted fabric onto the points on the dial of a linking machine and then the machine makes a 'linking chain', using cashmere yarn, along the line of the stitches.
The washing or “milling” process is an essential part of production. At this stage, an oil that coats the yarn (to help it pass smoothly through the knitting machine) washes out along with any excess dye. Then the fibres begin to loosen and fluff up, giving the cashmere its famous soft touch.
After washing, any trims such as collars are then attached – these need to be marked, cut and then linked on. This is very skilled work and requires a precise eye for detail.
All our garments are skilfully ‘Hand Finished’ to the highest of standards. This hand crafted touch adds to the quality of the garment and is something not found in mass production operations.
All our knitwear once completed is then steamed and quality checked before being sent up to us in Edinburgh.
We’d like to thank everyone at the factory for all their hard work and dedication, ensuring that all Cameron taylor* cashmere is made to the highest quality possible! We couldn’t do it without you!
We’ll leave you with this great quote from their website – “We’ve 34 employees, with over 896 years of experience in the knitwear industry. So if our people don’t know how to do something, nobody does!”