Finishing processes for cotton and linen material

Finishing turns the loomstate into a usable product by either mechanical or chemical process. We specialise in linen material, linen unions, cotton and cotton rich greige cloth. Commission finishing a range of colour, tone, handle, texture and performance to British and European standards.


To process the loomstate we wash off the size ready for preparation, scouring, bleaching, dyeing and finishing.


Scouring, is a chemical washing process carried out on cotton or linen material to remove natural wax and non-fibrous impurities (e.g. the remains of seed fragments) from the fibres and any added soiling or dirt to ensure a good quality base for processing.


A globally unique process and our signature product, this process involves the pounding of fabric over many hours allowing the base cloth to develop a beautiful characterful sheen. This process can be done ‘wet’ for a high sheen or ‘dry’ for a desirable lustre. As the last commercial beetlers in the world this a process we are passionate about with production method remaining virtually unchanged for nearly 300 years. This finish is a labour of love that takes time, creating a finish unrivalled by modern processing that can be tailored to suit your needs. For beetled home accessories visit our Earthed online shop.


Bleaching improves whiteness by removing natural coloration and remaining trace impurities from the cotton or linen material. The degree of bleaching necessary is determined by the required whiteness and absorbency look or finish.


The fabric is treated to improved lustre, strength and dye affinity.

Other chemical treatments may be applied to cotton fabrics to produce low flammability, crease resist and other special effects but our four most popular non-chemical finishing treatments are:


Fabrics up to 165cms wide.

Singeing is designed to burn off the surface fibers from the fabric to produce smoothness for onward processing or printing.


Fabrics up to 175cms wide.

The fabric surface is brushed with sharp teeth to lift the surface fibres, thereby imparting hairiness, softness and warmth. The process of cutting the pile on a fabric to uniform height or cutting loose fibres from the surface of a cloth.


Fabrics up to 180cms wide.

The fabric is passed between heated rollers to generate smooth, polished or embossed (Schrienered) effects depending on roller surface properties and relative speeds.


Fabrics up to 180cms wide.

Mechanical shrinking, creates a fabric in which any residual tendency to shrink after subsequent laundering is minimal


Using atmospheric jigs, after treated direct dyes, sulphur dyes and reactive dyes.

Maximum width 180cms. Dye batches 600mts- 1500mts.

After treatment, dye is applied directly to the substrate in a neutral or alkaline bath. The direct dyes adhere to the fabric molecules without help from other chemicals, supporting our environmental policy. They also produce full shades on cotton and linen material without damaging the fibres and can also be applied to rayon, silk, and wool. Direct dyes give bright shades and because we can apply various after-treatments the dyes are considered wash-fast level 4.

Hot Reactive Dyes

Maximum width 180cms- dye batches 600mts to 1200mts.

The most important characteristic of reactive dyes is the formation of covalent bonds with the substrate to be coloured, i.e. the dye forms a chemical bond with cellulose, which is the main component of cotton fibres. Once the bond is formed, what you have is one molecule, as the dye molecule has become an actual part of the cellulose fibre molecule.

Cold Pad Mangle Reactive Dyes

Maximum width 180cms. Dye batch sizes 500mts to 5000mts.

This dyeing method offers the same benefits of the hot dyeing system but enable us to dye variable batch sizes.


We have a wealth of technical expertise in the lamination of foam, films, wadding, fleece and needlefelt. We can process materials up to 2.2 metres wide and through accurate control mechanisms, can meet exacting client specifications in terms of bond strength, performance and ‘handle’ of the finished product. And because we use no solvent based adhesives the process is environmentally friendly. We can produce sample lengths for independent performance or technical testing.

William Clark and Sons

72 Upperlands Maghera

Co. Londonderry

BT46 5RZ

United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)28 7954 7204


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