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MADE IN SCOTLAND SINCE 1797 - OUR STORY

 
  • Over 200 Years in the Making

    Johnstons of Elgin was established as a family run business in 1797, and we're still here today.

  • Alexander Johnston

    This portrait of Alexander Johnstons dates from around 1797.

  • Exhibitors

    In 1855 Johnstons of Elgin exhibited at the Paris Exhibition and won a Diploma at the same show in 1867.

  • The Pattern Shop

    Early 1900s photo of The pattern shop, Newmill, Elgin.

  • Exporting

    1860s Exporting begins to the Italian, French, German, Belgian, South American and Japanese markets then later into the USA market which became the main market for Johnstons of Elgin for many years.

  • The Press

    A visit in the 1960s from Vogue Magazine.

  • 1978 Queen's Award for Export

    Johnstons are awarded the Queen's Award for Export.

  • From the archives

    1985 – Autumn/Winter Advert featuring round neck dress worn with ribbed basque & scarf collar jacket

  • From the archives

    1985 – Autumn/Winter Advert featuring saddle shoulder V neck pullover

     

  • James E Sugden OBE becomes Group Managing Director

    1988: James E Sugden OBE became Group Managing Director. Mr Sugden was awarded an Honorary Doctorate at the Robert Gordon University of Aberdeen for services to the textile industry in July 2009 and awarded the OBE in HM The Queens’ New Year Honours List for 2011.

     

  • 1994 Queen's Award for Export

    Johnstons are awarded the Queen's Award for Export.

  • Celebration

    In 1997 Johnstons of Elgin celebrated their Bi-Centenary. The book Scottish Estate Tweeds was first published in anticipation of the bi-centenary celebration

  • St Andrews store opens

    2006: Johnstons of Elgin open a shop in the historic town of St Andrews

  • Scottish Textile Brand of the Year

    2008: Johnstons of Elgin win 'Scottish Textile Brand of the Year' at the Scottish Fashion Awards. Our design team are constantly pushing the frontiers of innovation & creativity; as well as own collections, each year Johnston of Elgin produces cashmere for the world's biggest luxury brands and fashion houses.

  • UKFT Gold Award

    2011 - Johnstons of Elgin is awarded the prestigious UK Fashion & Textile Gold Award, awarded to UK companies who boast a long standing record of export success.

  • Appointment of Simon Cotton

    2013: Simon Cotton is appointed as Chief Executive

  • Founded in 1797

    Johnstons of Elgin is founded by Alexander Johnston on the banks of the River Lossie, Newmill, Elgin. The original mill was situated here for the availability of skilled workforce, proximity to the sea and the river itself, which would power the mill.

  • An Early Leader

    By 1810 Johnstons of Elgin had quickly and firmly established itself as a leader in the Wool Industry.

  • Pioneeers

    By 1851, Johnstons of Elgin was pioneering the weaving of Vicuna and Cashmere in Scotland. The Firm exhibits at the National Exhibition in London and is awarded a medal for it's superb vicuna shawls.

  • The family

    This photo dates from the 1890s. James Johnston with family seated in front of Newmill House, Elgin. Since 1797, the company has been owned by only two families – the Johnstons & the Harrisons.

  • War

    1939–1945: All territorial employees are called to war, including Ned Harrison. Considerable reorganisation is required with the chronic shortage of labour. Wool supplies are rationed. The mill continues to function with the ingenuity of employees present & cloth is produced for the war effort, export (USA) & home market.

  • Vogue comes to visit

    1965: A group of Europe's' leading fashion press visit Johnstons of Elgin, attendees include journalists from Vogue, the Sunday Times and fashion forecasters

  • Hawick

    1970s: Johnstons expands with investment into a knitwear mill in the Border town of Hawick, the heart of the Scottish knitwear industry.

  • First Shop

    1981: Johnstons open their first retail shop in Elgin.

  • Lady Thatcher

    1982: Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister, visits Johnstons Mill in Elgin.

  • New production facilities open

    1988: New production facilities at Johnstons of Elgin are officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal

  • Devastation

    1997: Four feet of water swept through the Mill in Elgin with the 1997 Flood. Nothing escaped devastation, with damage running to more than £20 million. A vast clean up operation swung into action, with staff rallying round and responding magnificently to the crisis

  • Heritage Centre & Shop

    2008: Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay officially open the new Heritage Centre & Shop

  • Fashion and Textile Export Awards

    2010: Johnstons of Elgin win the UK Fashion and Textile Export Heritage Award, presented by HRH The Princess Royal

  • Continued Investment

    2011: Karl Meyer warping machine - Continued investment in to both the Elgin and Hawick Mills mean Johnstons of Elgin now have one of the most sophisticated weaving and knitting plants in the world

  • Launch of new range

    2011: Johnstons of Elgin 2011 collection - A Twist on Tweed

  • Cashmere Visitor Centre in Hawick Opens

    2012 The Duchess of Northumberland officially opens Johnstons of Elgin’s Cashmere Visitor Centre, Cafe & Retail Outlet in Hawick, Scottish Borders.

  • Royal Warrant for Johnstons of Elgin

    2013 Johnstons of Elgin are granted The Royal Warrant of Appointment to The Prince of Wales.