New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog


28/03/17 Events at New Lanark , Uncategorized # , , , , ,

Would you like to Knit New Lanark?

Would you like to Knit New Lanark?

Guest blog from Sara at DigIt!

Calling all knitters, crochet-fiends and all other woolcraft folk!  Have you ever wanted to yarnbomb a World Heritage site?

On Tuesday 18th April – World Heritage Day – we’re staging six events across Scotland, one for each of our UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as part of Scotland in Six, an Event Scotland signature event for the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.  At New Lanark, we’re going to yarnbomb the Institute – the traditional social hub of the village – and have a day of workshops, talks, plenty of tea & biscuits, and of course, knitting!  The event is free but ticketed (so we know how many of you are coming), and you can pick yours up here:

Can’t make it on the day?  Well, we still need your help…

It’s going to take a lot of wool to transform the site, so we’re looking for advance submissions from individuals and groups all over Scotland – and we can offer you a free workshop box to get you started.  Our workshops-in-a-box contain all sorts of goodies, including some suggested patterns, and of course, some New Lanark yarn.  If you’d like one sent out, just email [email protected]  We’re looking for bunting, flowers, vines, squares, and pennants – all kinds of goodies that we can tie to railings, drop out of windows, wrap around pillars, and generally decorate this wonderful site.

So whether you’re a craft group, knitters’ collective, or solo stitcher, we’d love to hear from you!

Sara – DigIt!



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01/08/16 New Lanark Wool & Textiles # , ,

New Lanark Organic Tartan

New Lanark Organic Tartan

New Lanark is home to the world’s first Organic Tartan. The Organic Tartan is certified by the Soil Association. The tartan is made using 100% organic wool from HRH The Prince of Wale’s flock at Duchy Home Farm, in Gloucestershire. Our tartan here in New Lanark is a blue/green colour with a subtle purple and a hint of yellow shining through – shades all inspired by the River Clyde and New Lanark’s woodland surroundings.

Why do we have Organic Tartan?

New Lanark introduced the Organic Tartan range in order to honour our Scottish connections. The unveiling of the tartan was on the 27th of November 2015, just before St. Andrews Day. The Organic Tartan represents New Lanark, not just due to the colours included in it but also because of the uniqueness that the tartan has to offer. Both New Lanark and the Organic Tartan are unique in their own ways, however, can both represent each other in their own way.

What is the Organic Tartan being used for?

New Lanark Organic Tartan is currently sold in the New Lanark Mill Shop and is sold through a variety of products such as: throws, bags, purses and cushions.IMG_3154 IMG_3155

The Organic Tartan Process

The process for the organic tartan is completely UK based as all the stages for it take part in different locations of Britain. First of all, the wool originates from Duchy Home Farm, Gloucestershire. It is then sent to Hawarth Scouring in Bradford to be scoured. The wool is then blended, carded and spun into top quality yarn using traditional methods on the historic machinery here at New Lanark World Heritage Site. The yarn is then sent to Bradford to be dyed at Paint Box Textiles and finally finished by Schofield of Galashiels.

Below are pictures off the organic wool being woven into the tartan…


IMG_8885 IMG_8888 IMG_8897 IMG_8902 IMG_8967 IMG_8918 IMG_8904 IMG_8981 IMG_8959 IMG_8935 IMG_8928

As you can see there are many steps during the process of the wool being woven. Each step is carefully monitored and manned to ensure the best quality of tartan is being produced.

Be sure to have a look at our Organic Tartan in the Mill Shop on your next visit to New Lanark World Heritage Site!

Ronan Moore – Marketing Intern

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18/07/16 New Lanark Search Room # , , , , ,

Search Room Spotlight: New Lanark Shipping Label

Search Room Spotlight: New Lanark Shipping Label

shippinglabel (2)

This is a photographic reproduction of an original drawing of New Lanark by resident artist, John Winning. By 1813, the value of the mills had risen to £114, 000 (from £60,000 in 1799) and enough cotton was produced in a week to go around the world 2.5 times. As a result, Owen had commissioned Winning in 1818 to produce a series of illustrations of New Lanark to be used as export labels as a way to promote their product. Each 10lb. bundle of yarn from New Lanark had a label with a print of the mills and became recognized by foreign buyers as “Picture Yarn”.

The bulk of New Lanark’s home sales were done through the Glasgow yarn market while still maintaining sales throughout Britain to places as far apart as Dublin and Norwich. New Lanark cotton was also sent all over the world to places such as Holland, the Baltic, and Russia though the majority of sales were made in Amsterdam, Elberfeld, and St. Petersburg.

We currently have an export label in our collection that is on display in the Robert Owen House. This label was translated and attached to packages of yarn that were sent to Russia.


Today, the Mills still continue to produce yarn using traditional 19th century spinning mules powered by our own hydro-electricity production. Now we produce woolen yarn instead of cotton in Double Knitting, Chunky, Aran and Organic varieties. All proceeds from our wool production are returned to New Lanark Trust to be reinvested in the care of our historic village. You can purchase New Lanark Wool & Textiles online at or at New Lanark in our Mill Shop.


Historic New Lanark
The Story of New Lanark
Robert Owen: Owen of New Lanark & New Harmony – Ian Donnachie

Holly – New Lanark Archive Intern

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25/03/15 New Lanark Wool & Textiles # , , , , ,

Mamma Mia…New shades of wool!

Mamma Mia…New shades of wool!

New Lanark Wool & Textiles are delighted to introduce 5 new shades of New Lanark wool which have been inspired by the beautiful cities of Italy. The vibrant shades add a splash of colour to the range of New Lanark wools, and are perfect for creating eye-catching Spring/Summer garments.

The balls of 100% Pure Wool are currently available to purchase in the New Lanark Mill Shop in ‘Double Knitting’ and ‘Aran’ varieties, with ‘Chunky’ coming soon! Aran is also available to purchase in our online shop. 

Aran is priced at £4.50 per 100g, and Double Knitting is priced at £3.50 per 50g.

Take a look at the colours below and please let us know what you think by tweeting us @newlanarkwhs or posting on our Facebook wall!


Milano – A bright purple shade with blue undertones. 

New Lanark Wool - Milano


Roma – A rich red shade with blue and yellow nebs. 

New Lanark Wool - Roma


Verdi – An eye-catching green shade with light yellow and cream nebs. 

New Lanark Wool - Verdi


Como – A beautiful blue shade with teal undertones. 

New Lanark Wool - Como


Verona – A warm purple shade with pink undertones.

New Lanark Wool - Verona

Happy Knitting – Italiano style!

Melissa – New Lanark Marketing and PR Officer 

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25/02/15 New Lanark Wool & Textiles # , , , , ,

10 most popular shades of New Lanark Wool

10 most popular shades of New Lanark Wool

New Lanark was formed as a cotton spinning village in 1785 by David Dale. It gained international fame under the enlightened management of Robert Owen and was a successful spinning centre until its closure in 1968. Since 1974, the site has been restored and brought back to life by New Lanark Trust and is now once more an internationally famous World Heritage Site.

Today we produce yarn using traditional methods in one of the historic mills, where a 19th century spinning mule is still working. We specialise in producing high quality British Organic wool, Aran wool, Double Knitting and Chunky woollen yarns, which are ideal for hand knitting.

We offer three fantastic ranges spun from British wool: Donegal Silk Tweed, Heather Mixtures and Natural Blend – all available in a range of stunning shades.

Our wool is sold in the Mill Shop, online and wholesale around the world. To give you some knitting inspiration we’ve pulled together a list of some of most popular shades…

1. Blue John

Blue John wool

Did you know that New Lanark Wool was used to create the iconic Christmas jumpers featured in the Harry Potter films? ‘Blue John’ and ‘Damson‘ are sold to Lochaven International, in Stewarton Ayrshire who make the replica Harry Potter jumpers that are sold at Universal Studios in Orlando and Warner’s Bros Studios Leavesdon near London.

2. Damson


Our range of natural colours are also very popular…

3. Pebble


4. Woodland


5. Ecru


6. Limestone


Not fogetting the bright colours!

7. Denim


8. Cherry


9. Heather


10. Sky


All proceeds from the sale of New Lanark Wool and Textiles are returned to New Lanark Trust to be reinvested in the care and development of New Lanark World Heritage Site. You can learn more about the wool making process at New Lanark Visitor Centre. 

We hope to see you soon…Happy Knitting!

Melissa – New Lanark Marketing and PR Officer

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13/09/12 New Lanark Wool & Textiles # , , ,

New Lanark Wool Used in Tapestry Exhibition

Don’t miss the ‘Inspired Landscapes’ exhibition of wall hangings by Forth Community Resource Centre, in the River Room at New Lanark until 11 October.  The hangings are approximately the size of postcards and are very appealing.  Inspired by local landscapes, many of the tapestry items are woven from New Lanark wool in soft natural colours. Weaving, embroidery and crochet stitches are combined to create impressions of trees, water, moorland and hills.  One hanging shows Dundaff Linn waterfall at the end of New Lanark village.  Brilliant!

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New Lanark World Heritage Site Aerial View

New Lanark is a beautifully restored 18th century cotton mill village in Scotland, and is one of Scotland's six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

On our blog you'll find a behind-the-scenes look at all the latest news, events, stories and general 'goings-on' from New Lanark World Heritage Site.

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