A Carlisle-based tweed weaver has claimed £274,000 in R&D tax credits over six years with the latest addition of over £66,000. The well-established company design and manufacture innovative fabrics for the women’s fashion industry.

Specialising in small runs, the tweed weavers develop novelty or unusual yarns to produce complex patterns, taking projects from design to cost effective up-scaled manufacture. A portfolio of unique tweeds has been built using combinations of yarns and colours that no other producer anywhere in the World can match.

Innovation is shown through the willingness (and often failure) to combine multiple yarns with hugely differing characteristics such as manufacturing process, dying or washing. An experienced workforce with unique skillsets undertake trial & error and problem solving with the aim of reducing costs, enhancing quality and improving sustainability.

Research and development is vital due to high fashion industry demands for exacting standards with low volume sample runs having to be up-scaled into exact replicas on higher volume production runs. The industry demands rapid, seasonal and new innovations in woven fabrics using an increasing amount of exotic yarns such as raffia, rubber, yarn with sequins attached and cellophane. The company have heavily invested in improving laboratory technology which require a degree of R&D work to incorporate into daily beneficial use.

Previous R&D tax credits have enabled the tweed weavers to become ever more innovative and more likely to invest in newer capital equipment to help them remain as world leaders in specialist fabrics.