Scottish textile firm invests in new, environmentally friendly technology
One of Scotland’s last remaining textile finishing companies is investing around £50,000 on new technology which will help to safeguard jobs and deliver increased efficiency for the company.
Galashiels-based Schofield, Dyers and Finishers Ltd is investing in a new dry-cleaning machine to help increase its competitiveness, deliver low carbon solutions and achieve its growth ambition following an increase in demand last year which saw the company increase its production staff by 10 per cent to over 50 people.
Managing Director at Schofield Dyers & Finishers, Aidan Queen, said: “Historically, our main customer market has been high-end Scottish textile manufacturers, however, over recent years we’ve seen a significant increase in demand from the Republic of Ireland and steady growth from the rest of the UK. During 2013, the increase in demand saw the company increase its production staff by 10 per cent. The new employees are mostly young local people who are being trained in-house in order to preserve skills for the longer term.
“However, some of our existing machinery is around 30 years old and as such is not as environmentally efficient as more modern machinery and is also expensive to operate. Investing in this new technology will not only help us to manage our costs through improved efficiency levels, but will also help increase our competitiveness and support our long-term growth ambitions.”
Hermetically sealed, the new machine is much more environmentally friendly and expected to help save the company costs in Perchloroethylene, the solvent used in the dry-cleaning process. Scottish Enterprise is supporting the company’s investment, helping it deliver training needs.
Head of textiles at Scottish Enterprise, Cathy Black, added: “Schofield Dyers & Finishers is a great example of a forward thinking, ambitious company which we’ve worked closely with since 2005 through our account management support. We are helping the company to deliver training to ensure a successful roll out of the new technology, which will safeguard jobs and contribute to the company’s growth ambition.
“Investing in this new technology not only helps to secure Schofield Dyers & Finishers’ position in the marketplace but, as one of the country’s last remaining finishing companies, it also helps to secure Scotland’s future to create fabrics which are completely manufactured in Scotland.”
“In addition to this, it contributes to the sector’s wider ambition of reducing waste and developing a low carbon industry, a key objective of the sector’s strategy.”
Based in the heart of Galashiels, Schofield Dyers & Finishers started life in 1958 by establishing a specialist commission finishing facility to service the thriving tweed business of the local weaving mills. Following this successful beginning, it diversified over the years and now processes a wide range of fabrics in addition to wool, including cashmere, woven cotton, mohair and linen.
Having developed from their purely traditional origins, they now handle quality fabrics from weavers the length and breadth of the UK and some in continental Europe, and is certified by the Soil Association for organic finishing and dyeing. Their experienced and highly skilled workforce has an extensive understanding of the handle and qualities of all the fabrics processed, from cotton to cashmere and from the lightest of lightweights to heavily milled meltons.
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