Today I visited the knitwear production factory of the famous Scottish brand Johnstons of Elgin, which is situated in the nearby town of Hawick. I was privy to the entire process of production, starting from collecting the correct yarns from the yarn shop, through to knitting on amongst others Shima Seiki and Stoll machines, followed by linking and finishing of the garments.
Johnstons of Elgin is one of the only companies in Scotland who make their products entirely from scratch. Last November I was able to visit their other production facilities in Elgin (a 6 hour trip by car) where they process raw cashmere, card it, dye it, spin it, twist it, weave or knit it according to customer specifications and then also finish it in-house. Both visits were wonderful experiences packed full of valuable industry specific and yarn production knowledge. And in both cases I had excellent tour guides who answered all of my questions !
I was even able to try my hand at linking at the Hawick factory, a skill that takes an entire year to master and many more years to perfect.