A Personal Appeal from Dr Nick Fiddes
Founder & Director, Scotweb

Dear Scotweb Friend,
If you care about Scottish traditions, your help is urgently needed to preserve critical access to a company that is Scotland’s last surviving tartan weaver. The future of Scottish heritage needs your help!

My partner, Adele Telford, and I have stepped in with a last minute rescue package to save Scotland's D.C. Dalgliesh of Selkirk, Scotland, which was on the point of closure.

We have done so because if this mill had gone the way of so many others, then 90% of all family tartans would never be woven again. Most people would never be able to wear their family tartan!

That sounds dramatic but it's a fact. Without this mill, the only tartans that you, or anyone, would find to wear, ever again, would be the popular best-selling designs such as Royal Stewart, Black Watch, and a few hundred other setts that the big mills produce in volume. The thousands of recorded tartans for everyone else's clan, family, business, club, or district would have become effectively impossible to obtain ever again.

The reason is because D.C. Dalgliesh is the only tartan weaving mill able to produce a short length, just for a single garment like a kilt or skirt. The minimum weaving length at most mills is 30-60 yards. D.C. Dalgliesh will weave just four yards, in single width tartan. This makes a special weave affordable for almost anyone, so anyone can wear their own family tartan.

There’s another reason, too. All D.C. Dalgliesh fabrics are produced on traditional flying shuttle looms, which give the tartan the 'natural' or 'kilting' selvedge that any proper kilt should have. Most mills have been installing modern high speed computerised looms that need each line of 'weft' to be cut at each side, leaving untidy threads that give a thick edge when tucked in, and can fray. D.C. Dalgliesh is the only mill promising and delivering the natural or kilting selvedge.

In addition, D.C. Dalgliesh are woven with heavier yarns, and more tightly woven per inch, than is normal elsewhere. This gives their fabrics a quality you just don't find anywhere else. And it's all done by hand, with immense skill and care. Their product is without doubt the finest tartan on earth. It would be a tragedy, not just today, but for future generations, if it weren't to survive.

We don't want to see that happen. We know how much tartans matter, to people like us all over the world. So whether or not this is a sensible business decision, Adele and I are staking our commitment and personal savings on the faith that we can turn this amazing mill's fortunes around. But we need your help. This is a time you can make a serious difference.

Here's how to help

We think the main reason D.C. Dalgliesh has found itself in such financial trouble is primarily because not enough people know about their unique products. So a major part of fixing things is to spread the word about the company and what it provides.

The single most important thing you can do is to put up a link or banner advertisement on your own web site or blog. If you don’t have a website or blog, then encourage friends who do to put one up on their sites.

There's a page with ideas for D.C. Dalgliesh Supporters to help you do this. Even 'liking' the D.C. Dalgliesh site on Facebook, or tweeting, would help. But a permanent link is what we really want. 

So please visit the Supporters page at www.dcdalgliesh.co.uk/support.html and spread the word any way you can.

What we're doing

Until now we branded our D.C. Dalgliesh fabrics as Glen Affric. Over the coming weeks we'll be redesigning our site to make their true heritage more prominent. We'll also be increasing the range of tartans available from D.C. Dalgliesh, for anyone wishing the very best tartan on earth.

Meanwhile, Nick and Adele will be working with the D.C. Dalgliesh management to find new ways to return the mill to prosperity. The one thing they don't want to do is to modernise it; we'll do nothing to undermine the qualities that makes this mill so unique.

Nick has already produced a new D.C. Dalgliesh web site, and a fascinating short video, about the D.C. Dalgliesh production process which you'll also find there. The aim of both is to show the world just how much skill, care, and time goes into each and every piece of fabric. If you can rebroadcast this video anywhere, please do! (Instructions on the site.)

To recap

Please visit the D.C. Dalgliesh Supporters page and add a link anywhere you can. We can't stress enough how important this is. We need everyone if we are to help save this unique and historic mill for future generations. It will only take a few minutes but the benefits will last for generations.

Your friendship and support means a lot to us. We like to think of Scotweb as more than just a business.  If you share our love of Scotland's history and heritage, and would like your children and grandchildren to be able to enjoy it as you do, then now is the time for you to help us help you.

With very best wishes to you all,

Nick Fiddes
Founder, Scotweb