William Lockie was born in 1835, and his career began in the finishing department of a hosiery manufacturer, Messrs William Laidlaw and Sons. Lockie found himself setting up his own business at a time of industrial boom and entrepreneurial highs. The sleepy town of Hawick in the Scottish borders was transforming into an internationally renowned knitwear hub that would soon be producing over one million pairs of woollen socks a year. This growth was down to the development of mechanical knitters by Baillie John Hardie in 1771. You may be familiar with the term Luddite, but what you may not know is that this term directly comes from Hardie and his new technology, which metamorphosed Hawick, sparking the Luddite Riots between 1811 and 1816 as workers protested the advances of technology in textiles. In the 1870s William Lockie began his business at the peak of the town's industrial power. Seizing an opportunity to buy his old workplace's equipment when Laidlaws abandoned their hosiery work, Lockie set about building a company that soon found a readymade market for his goods.
After his death in 1900 the company was passed down to his nephew, Walter Thornburn, as Lockie never married. The mill survived the ever changing textile landscape of the 20th century. Despite the overall move towards consumers buying cheaper cashmere, William Lockie stayed true to the impeccable quality that it was famous for.
It is here William Lockie and our stories merge. In 2016, 200 years after those luddite riots and Scotland being put of the map for excellence in producing woollens, our founder Lynne McCrossan set about writing her second book all about the magic of Scottish cashmere. In her quest for the best William Lockie became clear. While commissioning six iconic jumpers to photograph for the project it was William Lockie Lynne turned to. The results of this collaboration became the unisex capsule collection that you see today.