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Wool Week: William Lockie

A Rich Textiles Heritage

The Scottish Borders has a long running history with the textiles industry, dating as far back as the 13th century. The premium production of Scottish knitwear is world-renowned. As we’re celebrating Wool Week, we’d like to focus this blog on one of the oldest family-run knitwear businesses in the Borders, William Lockie.

Situated on the banks of the River Teviot in the heart of Hawick, Lockies’ doors have been open since 1874. The company has employed generations of local families, using traditional skills to produce garments of the highest quality.

Knitwear Assembly

William Lockie manufactures fully-fashioned knitwear for both men and women in timeless classics such as V-necks, cardigans, and slipover vests.

  • ‘Fully-fashioned’ refers to garments that have been knit as individual panels, such as the body and sleeves. Increasing and decreasing stitches shapes the panels. Each piece is knit to the exact size. This creates less waste in the process! At the seams of fully-fashioned garments, there will be ‘fashioning marks’ where the stitches have been increased or decreased.
  • ‘Cut and sew’ is another method of knitwear assembly. Pattern pieces are placed on a large section of knitted fabric which are then cut and stitched together.
  • There is also ‘whole-garment knitting’. This process creates entire pieces of clothing ready to wear straight from the machine. There is no need for cutting or linking!

All garments are knit in the highest quality yarns – cashmere, merino, geelong, and camelhair. The yarns are sourced from spinners located around the world from places such as Australia, Mongolia, and the Gobi Desert.

If you’d like to read more about the yarns we use in our hats, check out the link to our blog post Which Wool?

Tradition meets technology

Some of the machines in the mill have been in use since the early 1920’s. Shima Seiki knitting machines were introduced as technology advanced -allowing for more intricate knitwear designs and patterns to be produced. A perfect mix of advanced machinery and traditional hand manufacturing skills means there is no compromise in the quality.

All garments produced at Lockies go through 30 detailed processes such as pressing, cutting, linking, and most importantly – quality inspection. The soft, Scottish water helps in the washing process, ensuring for a unique finish that is soft to the touch.

A new look

The company recently underwent a rebranding – transitioning from burgundy tones to a sleek grey and white design. This new look resembles the contemporary age of luxury fashion while maintaining the values of tradition and heritage of the brand.

William Lockie Knitwear Store

As well as producing their own brand garments, William Lockie supplies private knitwear labels around the world. The local William Lockie store in Hawick keeps a large stock of knitwear straight from the mill with full traceability.

The company’s experience, knowledge, passion and care all lends itself to creating some of the finest quality, Scottish knitwear. We feel very lucky to have such a prestigious company as one of our neighbours!

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