William Brown and Sons, Ltd

Scope and Content

Clan and Regimental Tartan fabric samples; list of fabric quality for Officers uniforms.

Administrative / Biographical History

The firm was based at Wilderbank Mill in Galashiels, which was built by William Brown in the 1860s on a site which had had a woollen mill since the 1780s. By the late nineteenth century the mill was being run by three of his sons - Andrew, James Rae and Gideon. At the peak of production in the 1930s-1950s the mill contained eight carding sets and sixty looms. It was a vertically organised mill - that is it carried out all processes from carding and spinning to dyeing and finishing. They produced a wide range of goods such as heavy woollen overcoatings, tweeds, trouserings, ladies woollen cloths and tartans. In 1962 the firm was incorporated into Scottish Worsted and Woollens Ltd. The business was transferred to Wallkerburn and the mill was sold and subsequently demolished in 1976.


Tartan organised alphabetically by clan and Regiment.

Access Information

Available by appointment at the Scottish Borders Campus, Netherdale, Galashiels.

Acquisition Information

The collection was originally collected by staff at the Scottish College of Textiles.

Other Finding Aids

Item level catalogue on CALM database.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Fabric samples.

Archivist's Note

Description created by Helen Taylor, Archivist, Heriot-Watt University Archive, Records Management and Museum Service.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents. Permission to publish material from the Archive must be sought in advance from the University Archivist. Responsibility for obtaining copyright clearance rests with the applicant.


Accruals not expected.

Related Material

Business records are held by the Scottish Borders Council Archive Service, Hawick.


Galashiels; A Modern History, Published Galashiels History Committee and Ettrick and Lauderdale District Council 1983.