Alex Begg draws on a century and a half of weaving expertise. Combining time-honoured traditional weaving and finishing methods, while embracing innovation with cutting-edge production techniques, making a highly successful marriage of the two.
Producing handcrafted exquisite scarves, wraps and throws that are a pleasure to touch, wear and own.
The company was founded by Alex Begg in 1866 in the industrious Scottish town of Paisley, then a focal point for the Scottish weaving industry and today best known for that iconic pattern of the same name. There, on the banks of a River Clyde tributary, the first Begg shawls came into being, inspired by Scotland’s textural landscape, lochs and seas and hand-loomed by a small team of local weavers. The earliest surviving paisley shawls, both woven in the 1860s, are beautiful and finely crafted – one on display in the Paisley Museum, for all to admire, and the other privately owned by a member of the Begg family.
At the turn of the century, in 1902, the company relocated 35 miles south-west to the seaside town of Ayr on Scotland’s west coast, from where it operates to this day. In Ayr, Begg expanded and invested in machinery and adopted new, exploratory weaving techniques. This was a period when the Scottish textile industry was developing rapidly, partly because of improved water quality and the increased availability of raw materials.
Today, in the 21st century, Alex Begg is more enterprising than ever. Rooted in nearly 150 years of shawl-making expertise, yet unafraid to diversify, expand and innovate, it has truly earned its standing as a quintessential Scottish supplier.