- Ref No: EL139
- Repository: East Lothian Archive Service
- Date: 1970s
- Description: Material relating to the company of Kilspindie Ltd formerly based in Haddington.
- AdminHistory: Kilspindie Knitwear was established in 1917, with premises in Market Street, Haddington. Its workforce was mainly female. . Its reputation for producing high quality knitwear was world famous.The Kilspindie label was found in top fashion houses, and its products were sold worldwide. The factory supplied numerous quality retailers throughout the country and had its own a sales outlet in Market Street. Increased demand resulted in expansion of the premises, and further expansion was undertaken in 1950 - 65. The workforce was increased to 325 people and it was found necessary to bus workers from Edinburgh. A number of ladies also had knitting machines installed in their homes working on a piecework basis. Production at this time required the post office to provide two collections of parcels per day and sometimes four vans were needed. Trading in the mid 1970s became difficult due to 20% inflation and a worldwide recession. As a result, there was a gradual reduction in the workforce but the company was saved by a take-over by an Irish group with the necessary funds to install more sophisticated machines. Eventually Kilspindie was taken over again by an English group which proceeded to run down the business by transferring work and jobs south. Kilspindie was put into receivership and all remaining employees dismissed in 1991. The Kilspindie Mill shop in Market Street closed in 1990 and the factory was demolished in 1991. Part of the building later became flats. A small number of skilled workers from Kilspindie continued to produce knitwear from a section of the defunct West Mill (Kerr-Knit), supplying the top end of the fashion trade. The Kilspindie label can still be found in fashion shops, but its source is not known. Another mill shop was eventually opened but the goods are not produced in Haddington, unlike the goods from the former mill shops of Kilspindie and the West Mills. There is also a wool shop catering for knitters, and a small shop selling sewing materials.
- Extent: 0.014
- Level: Fonds
- Access Status: Open
- Associated Period:
- For more information contact: East Lothian Archive Service
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