Laxey and Manx Tartan
All our tartan clothing items come from Laxey Woollen Mills, the only remaining woollen mill on the Island.
The Laxey Woollen Mills were established in 1881 by a Lancashire silk weaver called Egbert Rydings, who wanted to revive the traditional skills of woollen spinning and handloom weaving. At that time the local population, male and female, were otherwise mainly employed in the harsh environment of the nearby lead mines. With the support of prominent Victorian artist and writer John Ruskin and his Guild of St George the mills were converted from a corn mill to a water-powered woollen mill incorporating a dyeing, spinning and carding manufactory and became well-known for their high quality 'homespun' cloth. By the turn of the century though, the competition from imported synthetic fabrics proved too much and the mills resorted to using power looms. After the Second World War the business changed tack once again, handlooms were re-introduced and to this day they are the sole method of woollen fabric production at Laxey.