300 years and still innovating

July 29th, 2016

It’s a sunny day in the Upperlands and it feels like summer is officially here up at the mill. Freshly retted flax is drying, linen is being finished and orders are being loaded to go out. The team have been hard at work this summer manufacturing and attending a variety of exhibitions such as, ‘Meet the Manufacturer’, spreading the story of William Clark. People are excited to hear that Irish Linen production is stronger than ever and the orders flying in are the proof. The mill is getting busier and busier as more people demand our fine linen.

With so much excitement already happening we are proud to bring you even more news. Things are changing here at the mill. Our team has been working away over the last number of months preparing. As our business continues to grow, so does our team. Recently there have been some exciting new positions and appointments created for new sides to our business that we will reveal soon.

Not only has our team grown but our Mill is growing too. In order to produce the premium linen that William Clark is known for we require lots of specialised machinery. Our master craftsmen are always keeping watch for the latest equipment that can help to fine tune the nuances of our craft. Travelling to Italy and England early this year we have invested in some new pieces of machinery that will increase production capacity and the speed at which our skilled team operates.

In preparation for the imminent arrival of our new machines a skilled team under the precise eye of Robert McCord has been hard at work. Renovation of the old building has begun on a number of new outhouses for our new machinery. Robert’s team are due to begin the installation phase of the project on the 8th of August and our aim is to have commissioned the first product from the new machinery 6-8 weeks later.

With the ever growing demand for our product we invested £500000 in a new ‘Wash range, ‘Cold Pad Bleacher’ and ‘Digital Printer and Steaming Unit’. These new units will complement the machines already in place and allow us to maximise our output, improved consistency and offer a wider range of products. Quality trials will be completed later this year. This investment will enable William Clark to be very well placed to take advantage of the demands on UK manufacturing post Brexit which is going to require exceptional productivity and competitive pricing

In the past we have written articles on the importance to community for local manufacturing and on the duty we all have to protect our natural resources and environment. As a company and a family we have often been called mavericks. Never content to do what everyone else is doing, our success has been carved from a pursuit of innovation. This entrepreneurial spirit lives on and we are continually looking for ways to improve our mills capabilities and impact on the environment. We are incredibly proud to say that with our new machines we will yet again be able to reduce the impact we have on the environment while expanding our offering.

Both our new wash range and cold pad bleacher are specifically designed to minimize their energy draw whilst maximizing their output. The wash range is a continuous wash system that will be used primarily with our bleached fabric, it will enable better preparation and dye penetration of the fabric. Our new cold pad bleacher used to apply bleaching chemicals to the fabric, will have increased energy efficiencies, reducing the number of chemicals that go into the effluent, resulting in a more environmentally stable machine.

The third piece of machinery that is on its way to us from Italy is our new digital printer. Compatible with our wash range this new machine will allow for a new product diversification. Allowing us to innovate and create a brand new medium for the linen industry both in Europe and beyond. State of the Art technology means that we can control and moderate dye usage resulting in virtually no wastage.

All of our new machinery has been purchased with a thought to its individual energy efficiency and environmental impact. Each machine will be powered by our innovative boiler system.

Using specially designed heat recovery units we have for a number of years now been reducing our energy draw by channeling the excess heat and used water from our boiler into part heating the water for our other machines. Effectively cutting the amount of energy that we are wasting.

These changes will allow us to continue to protect our environment and diversify our offering.

If you would like to know more about the William Clark and Sons Mill in the Upperlands then please contact us using the details below.