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End of an era: Last remaining Scottish linen mill closes its Kirkcaldy factory

The last Scottish linen factory has closed it's Fife mill.
The last Scottish linen factory has closed it's Fife mill.

Scotland’s last surviving linen mill has closed for the final time, signalling an end to almost 200 years of production at its factory in Kirkcaldy.

Peter Greig & Co, which trades as Scottish Linen, despatched the last of its remaining orders on Friday April 30 as a clear out of its premises on St Clair Street in the Lang Toun continues.

With the last of the firm’s production completed earlier this week,  much of the company’s 30 looms and other machinery have now been removed from the mill which has operated at the site since 1825.

Linen production at the company’s Kirkcaldy factory, opened in 1825, has ended.

The family owned company, which at its peak operated 15 mills in the Kirkcaldy alone, employed around 20 people, a small number of which will stay on next week as the final clearance of the mill is completed.

‘Thanks for the support’

A statement announcing the closure said:  “We have some very sad news to share.

“We are going to be shutting our doors next week, so we are having an everything must go sale.

“Thank you for all of your support over the years, it’s been wonderful seeing our fabric brighten up so many homes.”

Covid accelerated closure

One worker at the near empty premises said the closure had been brought on by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and continuing  economic uncertainties.

He added that the decision to close after so long had been a “difficult but unavoidable one to make” adding that everyone at the firm had been “saddened” by the outcome.

News of the closure saw the firm flooded with a deluge of over 400 last minute orders from loyal customers and those want to support the firm in its last days.

Scores of people also posted messages of support on the company’s social media pages.

Laura Norder, wrote: “Absolutely gutted to hear this. It’s Absolutely my most favourite  fabric in the world.”

Solii Brodie added “Oh guys! This is so sad to hear. This must have been such a tough decision to make. I wish you and all your staff the very best for the future.”

Proud history

Peter Greig & Co had continued to weave bespoke linens and natural fibres for the furnishing, industrial and clothing markets – with around 25,000 metres of linen being produced each week shipped to customers in USA, Europe and the Far East as well as those in the UK.

In 2019, its products featured in an exclusive fashion show at Edinburgh Castle as part of a special tribute to Mary Queen of Scots.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) worked with American fashion designer, Jeff Garner, from fashion label Prophetik, in the catwalk show ‘Women of the Crown’.

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