Bute Fabrics opens its doors to the public for summer event

Bute Fabrics hosted stalls run by local groups and businesses at the summer event last weekend.
Bute Fabrics hosted stalls run by local groups and businesses at the summer event last weekend.

Members of the public had the chance to get an inside look at one of Bute’s oldest businesses last weekend when Bute Fabrics held a summer event.

The mill was open for tours on Saturday, August 12, and various fabrics and other products were on sale in the grounds.

The event included tours, giving members of the public a chance to see inside the Bute Fabrics mill.

The event included tours, giving members of the public a chance to see inside the Bute Fabrics mill.

Local groups, including the Pavilion charity and Ritchie’s fishmongers, also ran stalls.

There were refreshments, a raffle and a bouncy castle for children too.

The raffle’s prizes were donated by those who ran stalls at the event, and proceeds went to the Bute Palliative Care Fund.

This open day is the second such one at Bute Fabrics, though the tours are a new addition.

Fabrics were on sale outside, while a bouncy castle catered for the children.

Fabrics were on sale outside, while a bouncy castle catered for the children.

John Glen, Bute Fabrics’ managing director, told the Buteman: “We wanted to give something back to the community and felt this was the way to do it.

“The tours also give the families of the people who work in the mill, who maybe aren’t familiar with what their jobs are about, to see what goes on here.

“They have been very well received by people from the general public too.”

In April this year Bute Fabrics opened a shop in Rothesay selling fabrics, cushions and throws to the public.

The Atelier on East Princes Street also hosts various crafts workshops for children and adults, and is available for community events.

Wendy Murray is the company’s communications and business development manager, and said of last weekend’s open day: “It was really busy all day, it has been brilliant to see people coming out for it.

“Last year when we had the summer event one of the things people told us that they would really like to see inside and learn how the fabrics are made.”

The tours were hosted by product development and design coordinator Margaret Speirs.

Margaret has over 20 years’ experience at Bute Fabrics and she explained some of the history of the company as she talked visitors through the process of creating the fabrics.

The company was founded in 1947 in order to provide jobs for soldiers returning the war.