Nearly one hundred and fifty years after its foundation in Scotland in 1866 as Alex Begg & Company and with a long standing reputation as one of the best weaving and cashmere companies in existence, this autumn marks the beginning of a new chapter in the company’s history as it launches itself as a brand under the new name, Begg & Co.
From its factory in Ayr on the West Coast of Scotland, the company handcrafts exquisite scarves, stoles, wraps and throws from the finest cashmere, silk and lambswool angora yarns and is the only mill in Scotland currently producing stunning ‘lightweight’ cashmere scarves.
Two new collections – one for Women and one for Men – are also launching this autumn for Autumn/Winter 2013. The in-house design expertise has been complemented by the creative input of two design consultants – Angela Bell of Queen & Belle, a cashmere specialist based in Hawick, Scotland’s cashmere capital and Michael Drake and his design agency, Man Drake, with Michael being a long established and celebrated designer of men’s accessories.
'''The result of this design collaboration is two highly appealing and relevant seasonal collections which draw their inspiration from contemporary, retro and historic archive sources – including sister company, Robert Noble’s extensive Cloth Archive, and include product innovations unique to Begg & Co.
An example of this is Begg & Co’s ‘Wispy’ quality, a beautifully soft and summer-weight cashmere which uses a patented technique - with Begg as the sole official licensee, to weave and finish this 100% cashmere yarn. This is then used to make stunningly beautiful stoles in original print designs and delicate weave patterns that are unique in the marketplace. Each stole requires 5 miles of yarn to complete.
Another unique product is the ‘Nuance’ quality, a 100% cashmere in which up to five different colours seamlessly merge, one after another, into the next one. This effect is exclusive to Begg & Co and involves a special technique used to dye precise amounts at raw material stage which are then spun to allow one colour to merge seamlessly into the next.
Available in the traditional ‘brushed’ cashmere finish, a new ‘lightweight’ version and a ‘washed’ option in the lightweight, the washed option is another innovative finish which gives the scarf a distressed look and transforms it into something much more casual but still luxurious.
In terms of designs, there are two new designs called ‘Nagas’ and ‘Shaman’ in a 65% cashmere-35% silk quality called Staffa, both of which are inspired by Angela Bell’s long fascination with the Nagas Tribe in Northern India who wear shawls with designs very much like a tartan. The Nagas ‘green’ colourway is already proving very popular.