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Our Story

Present Day

  • The Beginning

    The Beginning

    Ulster Carpets was established in 1938 by George Walter Wilson in Portadown. Ulster's headquarters are still located on the same site.

  • Castleisland Weaving

    Castleisland Weaving

    Castleisland Weaving was developed in 1941 following the outbreak of World War II. When the supply of cotton and jute to make carpets became impossible, Castleisland Weaving became a means of diversification and a way to provide much needed materials for the war effort. George Walter Wilson wanted to alleviate unemployment in the town as well as sustaining business throughout wartime and so decided to return to his roots in weaving cloth.

  • Jacquard Loom

    Jacquard Loom

    The first electronic Jacquard loom was installed, simplifying the process of manufacturing textiles with complex patterns.

  • PSYLO™ <br />


    We developed the innovative PSYLO™ weaving technology. PSYLO™ (Pre-Selected Yarn Loading Operation) revolutionised the carpet industry by having no pattern restriction, allowing a greater range of colours and greater design freedom.

  • Package Dyeing

    Package Dyeing

    We introduced package dyeing into our manufacturing process, resulting in time efficiencies and a richer of coverage of dye on our yarn.

  • Queen's Award<br />
for Enterprise

    Queen's Award
    for Enterprise

    In recognition of our innovative PSYLO™ weaving technology, we received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2006.

  • Carbon Standard Award

    Carbon Standard Award

    Ulster Carpets was the first company in Northern Ireland and the first textile manufacturer in the UK to be awarded the Carbon Standard Award.

  • 5m Wide

    5m Wide

    Keeping in tune with decades of market leading innovation, Ulster Carpets became the first carpet manufacturer to offer 5m wide, premium quality, woven wilton carpets.

  • 75th Anniversary

    75th Anniversary

    We marked our 75th anniversary in 2013 and celebrated by hosting a gala dinner with over 550 guests, including past and present employees, shareholders and members of the wider Ulster community.

  • Global Expansion

    Global Expansion

    We opened our Middle East office in Dubai to enhance our presence in the region.

  • HRH The Prince of Wales &<br />
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall

    HRH The Prince of Wales &
    HRH The Duchess of Cornwall

    Ulster Carpets was delighted to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales & HRH The Duchess of Cornwall for a tour of our Portadown headquarters in May 2016. Our Royal visitors took time to speak with a number of employees during a walk around at Castleisland.

  • The Queen Mary 2

    The Queen Mary 2

    2017 saw the iconic ship, The Queen Mary 2, undergo a £90 million refurbishment, taking over 8 million hours to complete. This huge project included 21,500 sqm of bespoke Ulster axminster carpet.

  • Dye House and Energy Centre

    Dye House and Energy Centre

    Our state of the art dye house and energy centre became fully operational. This £10m investment has seen our efficiency and productivity increase while vastly decreasing our use of energy and production of waste.

  • 80th anniversary!

    80th anniversary!

    Ulster Carpets has been manufacturing carpet for 80 years in Portadown, Northern Ireland, and today 75% of our product is exported out of the United Kingdom.

  • Nick Coburn receives his CBE at Buckingham Palace

    Nick Coburn receives his CBE at Buckingham Palace

    Nick Coburn, Ulster Carpets Group Managing Director and Deputy Chairman received the award of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) at an investiture ceremony performed by the Duke of Cambridge in Buckingham Palace on 28th March 2019

  • Edward Wilson CBE, Chairman of Ulster Carpets, has retired after over half a century

    Edward Wilson CBE, Chairman of Ulster Carpets, has retired after over half a century

    Known for his diplomacy, patience and people skills, Edward – who is the son of company founder George Walter Wilson – steps down after 58 years, having played a pivotal role in making Ulster Carpets one of the province’s leading exporters and the largest single site producer of axminster and wilton carpet in the world.

Present Day

George Walter Wilson signature