It’s now a few months since we stepped in to rescue this historic weaving mill. Since then we’ve been taking stock of the issues that led to this wonderful business finding itself in such trouble, and what we needed to do to give it a secure future.
The good news is that we’re confident that we can not only return D.C. Dalgliesh to sound health, but build on the mill’s undoubted strengths to make it a very successful enterprise for the modern age. This is great news for anyone who cares about Scottish heritage, as it keeps alive the tradition of wearing your own tartan, which would have become unaffordable for most had this mill been lost. (So if you have to pay a little more in the future, we hope you’ll agree that it’s a price worth paying for your heritage still to survive.)
Rest assured, one thing this will NOT mean will be any significant changes to the artisan production processes that that have given their tartans a reputation as simply the world’s finest quality. Ours is not the cheapest way to produce tartans, but it’s the best. (Ask any tartan expert.) So that will stay just as it is. (Check out the video on the Dalgliesh web site if you’ve not done so yet!)
We will be bringing some big improvements, both on the production side, and to the business operations. In fact we’ve already started to invest heavily in the production, building our yarn range and yarn stocks to levels never before seen. Our intention is to stock a full range of common colours (around 100 shades) all in both our heavy and light weight wools, both for consistency and immediate availability. (Special dying is also available for a surcharge).
We’ll also be bringing some spectacular enhancements to the ordering process, offering a level of custom-specification and customer-friendly convenience offered by no other weaver. All will be revealed in time.
There will also of course have to be some less popular changes… not least, of course, is that prices must rise. We’re keeping the increases as modest as possible, particularly given the soaring price of wool on world markets. And we’re taking the opportunity to simplify and update the trade price list, with lower increases on larger volumes but a bit more on the short lengths that are especially labour-intensive.
Another significant change with immediate effect is that in future D.C. Dalgliesh will be only a trade supplier. Only producers or retailers who are purchasing fabrics for resale or manufacture will deal direct with the mill in the future (which includes individual kiltmakers, making for customers). Other groups or individuals will be asked to approach a retailer (of which we intend to publish a worldwide list on the Dalgliesh site). The only exception will be members of accredited Highland Dance schools, who will still be able to order dance fabrics direct.
Finally, we’ve also now settled on our own business structure moving forward. Our existing “Scotweb” production & retail operation will in future become known as “Tartan Mill” (with a period of transition when we’ll use both names in tandem). And the Scotweb name will increasingly be used to refer to the overall group of companies, including both Tartan Mill and D.C. Dalgliesh. The operations will continue to be run entirely separately, as a producer/retailer and a manufacturer respectively.
Hope all this makes sense! Wish us luck. And we’d still love to ask for your help with raising awareness of the D.C. Dalgliesh weaving mill’s unique speciality - if you can add a link to your own site, it would be much appreciated!