Wednesday, August 3, 2011

J. & A. D. Grimond

The jute spinning and weaving industry was highly localised in Britain with practically the whole of the jute industry being centred in Dundee. In the early 19th century, jute was introduced and developed in Dundee by mills that were already involved in the production of coarse cloth. Jute manufacture required supplies of whale oil, which was readily available in Dundee as the city was a centre for whaling. The principal source of raw jute was Bengal and by 1840 Dundee had obtained the privilege of trading directly with Indian interests to obtain supplies.

J. & A. D. Grimond were jute spinners and manufacturers established in Dundee in 1840, originally as cloth merchants. In 1847 the company purchased large handloom factories in Maxwelltown for the production of various jute fabrics. In 1857, the first large plant for the production of jute was established in the Bow Bridge Works, making J. & A. D. Grimond the second-largest manufacturer of jute in Dundee. The company manufactured carpets, rugs, bags, sacks, and mattings.

1917 Advertisement

After the First World War, the jute industry in Britain was failing. There was a slump in the demand for jute and an increase in competition from manufacturers in India. This precarious situation prompted J. & A. D. Grimond to merge with a number of other Dundee jute manufacturers to form Jute Industries Ltd. in 1920. Jute Industries Ltd. became part of Sidlaw Industries in 1971, which later became Sidlaw Group plc in 1981.

By Mark Matlach

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