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Scottish technical textiles producer expands in China

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed the expansion plans during a trade mission to China this week.

31st July 2015

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Kirriemuir

Transport/​Aerospace, Clothing/​Footwear, Protective, Construction

Kirriemuir, Angus based J&D Wilkie began producing jute and flax in Scotland in 1868, and has almost doubled production since it established operations in China eight years ago. The company produces a wide range of fabrics for commercial and industrial applications, including for the military.

Wilkie said that the expansion in China would safeguard 90 jobs in Scotland. The new factory in China will house an integrated spinning and weaving unit on one site.

J&D Wilkie director Bob Low told the BBC: "This will further strengthen our position in Europe where we have seen our Scottish weaving unit almost double since starting the yarn production in China."

Ms Sturgeon, who visited the factory along with the mayor and vice mayor of Jiaxing, said: "Across technical textiles, interiors and fashion, Scottish textiles offer the perfect mix of quality and innovation that Chinese businesses and consumers demand.”

"J&D Wilkie has established itself in China and is looking to grow its business and seize on the opportunities open to the firm. They are a good example to others on how to expand into and benefit from foreign markets."

J&D Wilkie Ltd is a privately owned global technical textile manufacturing company with head office based in Scotland. With over 140 years experience J&D Wilkie takes pride in its ability to quickly adapt and implement the necessary changes in both technology and the manufacturing processes, to meet its changing customer and market requirements.

According to the company’s website, all J&D Wilkie manufacturing sites are optimised so that it has the flexibility to respond to its customers needs irrespective of their global geographic location. J&D Wilkie has its head office based in Scotland, but also benefits from a fully owned manufacturing site in China capable of producing "European quality at Chinese prices".

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