Back to the Future

Posted on 22nd Sep 2015 Categories: News

Many of us wear them every day with little thought of the love, care and attention that goes into producing socks. From knee high socks, to kilt hose, shooting and country socks, to wool and cashmere socks, there's a lot of passion (rarely blood), sometimes sweat and the odd tear but at House of Cheviot, mostly love!

 

In 2002 James Wright and RoHawick: The Heart of the Scottish Woollen Industry bin Deas joined forces to establish the successful brand House of Cheviot. The company has it's base in the world renowned home of luxury knitwear where tradition stretches back to 1771 when Bailie John Hardie introduced the first 4 stocking frames to Hawick. Although the number of frames there remained in single figures throughout the 1770s, compared to 30 in Dumfries, it was Hawick that was to become the centre of the trade. By the mid-1840s over 2,000 of Scotland's 2,500 knitting frames were located in the Borders and more than half of these were in Hawick, producing well over a million pairs of stockings (now fondly known as socks) per year and kick starting a local industrial revolution.

Hawick becoming so prominent in the woollen industry is largely due to its geographical position:

• Hawick lies on a fast-flowing river, allowing water power to be used to drive industrial machinery and to wash wool.

• Being situated on both the main road and rail line from Edinburgh to Carlisle helped the distribution of finished products and the delivery of fuel for engines and boilers as steam power gradually replaced water power.

• The surrounding hills provided ideal pasture for sheep from which the wool was obtained – at least in the early years, before finer raw material began to be imported from Australia, New Zealand and South America.

 

Few woollen mills have survived in the town due to the significant change in technology and production. However, House of Cheviot are proud to incorporate traditional knitting skills first developed over 200 years ago paired with new levels of creativity in design and the very latest knitting technology. This means House of Cheviot produce the finest country socks, shooting stockings and kilt hose anywhere in the world. Today many of our styles have elements of both machine production and hand knitting and every single sock is taken through a manual quality checking process after it's been washed and before it is very carefully ironed, packaged and sent to our customers worldwide. No one can deny that House of Cheviot are at the very forefront in their marketplace, hey we even sell online!

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