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Ulster Carpets and Mourne Textiles launch new joint venture

Ulster Carpets has formed a joint venture with Mourne Textiles, a hand loom weaving workshop in Rostrevor, to create a new company known as Mourne Weavers.

This collaborative partnership will create a number of new jobs and will also allow both companies to share knowledge and expertise to explore global opportunities. Both Ulster Carpets and Mourne Textiles will continue to trade as normal, with Mourne Weavers operating separately from new premises in Warrenpoint.

Both Ulster Carpets and Mourne Textiles are third-generation, family-owned companies that have helped retain the rich heritage of Northern Ireland’s textile industry on the global stage.

Mourne Textiles creates a range of artisan goods that are sold in regions as diverse as Japan, Australia, North America and Europe. The new joint venture, Mourne Weavers, will combine the key strengths of both companies to produce luxury woven furnishing fabrics, curtain fabrics, cushions and blankets for the commercial interior design sector.

“In terms of quality craftsmanship, bespoke designs and local heritage, both Mourne Textiles and Ulster Carpets have a shared philosophy and a strong passion for our industry. That is why the creation of Mourne Weavers is the perfect partnership,” explained Mario Sierra, Creative Director, Mourne Textiles. “We are delighted to have secured this substantial investment from Ulster Carpets that will allow us to retain the core strengths of Mourne Textiles while growing into new sectors with Mourne Weavers.”

Ulster Carpets is aiming to build on the company’s success within the artisan sector, following the 2016 acquisition of Herefordshire-based Roger Oates Design, which designs and hand produces unique stripe runners and rugs.

David Acheson, Head of Strategic Operations at Ulster Carpets, explained, “The creation of Mourne Weavers and the product range that it will offer perfectly complements Roger Oates Design. We have no doubt that we will be able to combine this expertise with our knowledge of the global market to firmly establish Mourne Weavers within the commercial sector.”

Nick Coburn, Group Managing Director at Ulster Carpets, continued, “This investment in Mourne Weavers is indicative of the forward-thinking ethos of both companies and is in line with the core values of quality and design at Ulster Carpets.

“Despite the many challenges within the global market, we continue to show confidence in the marketplace and we are excited about the new opportunities that this new joint venture will bring.

“It also underpins our ongoing growth and diversification strategy to invest in the development of similar businesses and allows us to widen our portfolio into this exciting niche sector in Ireland.”

Mario Sierra, Creative Director, Mourne Textiles (left) and David Acheson, Head of Strategic Operations at Ulster Carpets, pictured in the new workshop of Mourne Weavers - a joint venture between the two companies.
Mario Sierra, Creative Director, Mourne Textiles (left) and David Acheson, Head of Strategic Operations at Ulster Carpets, pictured in the new workshop of Mourne Weavers – a joint venture between the two companies.

NEW CONTRACT STOCK COLLECTION

Vescent

| Eclectic energy, inspired design…

Vescent is the new eclectic contract stock collection from Ulster Carpets designed exclusively to meet the varied demands of the international hospitality industry.

Featuring six contemporary designs – Linea, Arbor, Nexus, Calx, Vapor and Nebula – in 21 colourways Vescent is guaranteed to complement any commercial setting. The neutral colour palette used throughout the collection ties in with modern fabric and wallpaper collections while the experimental colours add a flash of colour for those seeking something different.

Vescent is available from stock with no minimum order. This collection is 4m wide and woven in 9 row axminster quality – 80% wool / 20% nylon, making it suitable for use in a wide range of busy contract applications.

Within Vescent, Linea, Arbor and Nexus are structured designs while Calx, Vapor and Nebula are more organic.

Arbor and Linea feature smart, clean lines and shapes positioned on top of multiple layers that create depth and texture. Nexus features a beautifully structured design similar to fretwork with very soft neutral tones and lots of layers adding to its contemporary distressed look.

Within the organic designs, Calx reflects the natural world with layers and tones reminiscent of lichen and lava. Nebula offers a soft textured subtle design ideal for grounding areas hosting statement pieces, while Vapor’s ethereal misty top pattern reveals glimpses of an underlying herringbone pattern.

As with all axminster carpet produced by Ulster Carpets, Vescent is manufactured to the very highest environmental standards.

Take a look at some of these stunning new designs.

 

 

Success for Ulster Carpets at the Wool Carpet and Rug Awards 2018

Ulster Carpets has picked up two prestigious awards at this year’s Wool Carpet and Rug Awards in association with British Wool. The winning entries won:

Grand Central Hotel, Belfast
Grand Central Hotel, Belfast

The awards were established in 2016 by the Campaign for Wool Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, to highlight the diversity and breadth of quality in design, production, innovation and marketing across the carpet and rug sector. The awards also demonstrate the strength of British brands manufacturing in the UK.

This year there were over 100 entries for 12 categories. Judges assessed the entries based on design, colour, innovation and technical excellence.

Receiving the awards at the ceremony in Harrogate, Ulster’s Residential Sales Director Jeremy Wilson commented: “We are delighted to accept these two awards which recognise Ulster’s excellent creative design talent, innovation and quality.”

British Wool Watercolours award Sept 18
Watercolours

To learn more about Ulster’s Watercolours range visit www.ulstercarpets.com/residential

To read about Ulster Carpets supplying over 12,000m² of bespoke carpets to the Grand Central Hotel, visit our projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture by William Cherry / Press Eye (left to right) Mary Montgomery, John Wilson, Nick Coburn, Ulster Carpets Group Managing Director and Deputy Chairman, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Councillor Julie Flaherty, Edward Wilson, Ulster Carpets Group Chairman, and Caroline Somerville pictured at the officially opening of Ulster Carpets’ state of the art Dyehouse and Energy Centre.

Dyehouse and Energy Centre official opening

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Councillor Julie Flaherty today (Monday 10 September) unveiled Ulster Carpets’ new Dyehouse and Energy Centre, the first stage of the company’s £40 million capital investment and regeneration programme.

The state of the art facility located at Ulster’s Portadown headquarters sees traditional dyeing methods replaced with innovative technology which will improve energy efficiency, increase capacity and reduce the environmental impact of the company’s dyeing processes. This new building was designed and constructed by local businesses, a deliberate strategy by Ulster Carpets, supported by Invest NI, to continue to invest in the local economy and support local jobs.

Officially opening the new Dyehouse and Energy Centre, the Lord Mayor, Councillor Julie Flaherty said: “Ulster Carpets is clearly demonstrating their commitment to local jobs and the economy with the development of this impressive new facility. It’s fantastic to see this family business achieving success across the globe while keeping manufacturing here in the Borough.”

Nick Coburn, Ulster Carpets Group Managing Director and Deputy Chairman, added: “We are delighted to mark the official opening of our state of the art Dyehouse and Energy Centre today. This new facility, designed to improve energy efficiency and to significantly reduce the company’s carbon footprint, completed the first phase of our major £40 million regeneration and capital investment programme.

“Ulster Carpets has been manufacturing carpet for 80 years in Portadown and today 75% of our product is exported out of the UK. As an indigenous Northern Ireland company we have proven that it is possible to successfully sell to every continent in the world despite many barriers and challenges. Ulster Carpets has always taken a long view of continually investing for the future and we are proud to be the leading company in our industry on the international stage.”

Apply now

31/07/2018

Project Planner

We are currently looking for a Project Planner to join our team in London.

The Project Planner will be responsible for all aspects of planning custom projects from calculation of initial quantities to producing seaming diagrams for approval and final installation diagrams.

Working in conjunction with Sales, Design and the Project Manager the main objective will be to plan projects as efficiently as possible, taking into account weaving widths, design repeats and customer requirements of final installation.

The role will involve carrying out site surveys as required and also business travel abroad.

Main Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Liaise with Sales, Design and the Project Manager at project inception to establish and advise on weaving widths, design repeats and technical limitations
  • Read and quantify plans
  • Calculate best weaving widths and pile direction
  • Draft drawings for customer approval, design completion, warehouse checking and final installation
  • Compile project control sheets
  • Carry out site surveys as required
  • Compile uniweave projects
  • Create room layouts for customer approval
  • Liaise with the relevant personnel throughout all stages of the planning process updating on progress as required
  • Ensure all planning processes are carried out to meet project timelines for approvals and production
  • Ensure all planning processes are completed to the correct standard to enable projects to be entered accurately and efficiently by other internal departments
  • Liaise with the Planning Department in Portadown as required
  • Provide onsite installation advice / assistance when required

Additional Responsibilities for all Employees:

  • Adhere to Company Health & Safety Regulations at all times
  • Ensure implementation of the Company Equal Opportunities Policy at all times
  • Ensure all procedures are adhered to and a high level of Customer Service is maintained
  • Provide flexibility in supporting other departments as and when required
  • Comply with the Environmental Management ISO 14001 & Quality Management ISO 9001 systems
  • Carry out any other duties as deemed necessary and reasonable by management

Essential

  • GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics and English at Grade C or above
  • Previous experience in and competent use of AutoCAD and associated AutoDesk software
  • Good organisational skills and the ability to work on own initiative
  • IT literate to include Microsoft Office applications, particularly Excel
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work to deadlines and prioritise a number of work demands
  • Attention to detail
  • Professional and approachable
  • Customer focused
  • Ability to travel to HQ, Portadown, Co. Armagh for initial training and ongoing training. Initial training approx. 2 weeks.

Desirable

  • Design or Construction related qualification
  • AutoCAD Qualification e.g. City & Guilds
  • Previous experience in a planning related role
  • Previous use of AutoCAD Release 17 / 18

If you would like to join the team please e-mail your CV specifying how you meet the criteria to recruit@ulstercarpets.com or by post to:

The Monitoring Officer,

Ulster Carpets,

Castleisland Factory,

Portadown,

BT62 1EE.

 

Applicants must also demonstrate their right to work in the UK.

 

In accordance with our Equal Opportunities Policy, Ulster Carpets particularly welcomes applications from Catholics, Women and Disabled people who are currently under-represented in our workforce. The company is committed to selection on merit.

Ulster Carpets Dye House & Energy Centre

Ulster Carpets’ new Dye House and Energy Centre, situated at the company’s headquarters in Northern Ireland will not only facilitate a number of manufacturing efficiencies, it will also bring with it many environmental benefits in line with the company’s Sustainability Policy.

A dedicated building, state-of-the art technology and a complete move to package dyeing from hank, will increase capacity and improve the efficiency of the whole process providing faster response times.

The new dye house will deliver 20% more efficiencies than the building and processes that it replaces. This is mainly due to new a automated dispensing system that allows more accuracy on the weighing of dyes and chemicals.

Ulster Carpets, Dyehouse & Energy Centre, January 2018 from Ulster Carpets on Vimeo.

New technology means that cycle times are reduced by eliminating the requirement to neutralise each dye lot as it is processed, therefore producing more dye lots per day.

Package dyeing uses considerably less water (40%), heat (25%) and chemicals (5-10%) per kilogram of yarn processed, and the system’s capabilities means a greater amount of dye lots can be produced in one day, making the new dye house more energy efficient.

At present, while much of the water used in the dye process is taken from Ulster’s own borehole, the rest comes from the local town supply. A reduction of 40% in water requirements minimises usage from the town supply reducing the environmental impact of the dye house on the local area.

The building has been designed and constructed by local businesses. This is a deliberate strategy by Ulster Carpets, supported by Invest NI, to continue to invest in Northern Ireland’s economy and to support local jobs.

PWC ‘Changing Times’ – A Traditional Business with Technology at its Heart

Ulster Carpets was delighted to be included in the latest article by PWC ‘Changing Times’.

Next year, Ulster Carpets will celebrate 80 years of carpet manufacturing. Dedicated to producing the finest axminster and wilton products, to this day the family owned company remains committed to the original Ulster ethos based on growth and development. Whilst tough trading and financial periods have seen many of their competitors move their operations abroad, Ulster’s long term strategy and proactive business approach has enabled them to withstand the crisis and ensure all wilton and axminster manufacturing remains within the UK and Ireland. From the buying and processing of the wool in Ulster Yarns in Dewsbury, to the winding, dyeing and weaving at the Castleisland site in County Armagh, Ulster have control over every aspect of the process ensuring the quality of the carpet is of the highest standard.

People are at the heart of Ulster Carpets and it is the passion and dedication of its employees that sets them apart from the competition. Continuous demand for their products around the world, combined with expansion into new export markets has led to a recent increase in employment levels with 20 new jobs being created, providing a welcome boost to the local economy. Each year Ulster also runs a graduate scheme, taking on students across all areas of the business including design, sales, engineering and operations.

Technology and innovation is part of the Ulster Carpets’ ethos. Their patented PSYLO™ technology, which allows designers to use a superior number of colours without the need for a repeating pattern, has enabled them to become a market leader in the manufacturing of bespoke Axminster designs for the hospitality, cruise liner and casino markets. To date they have supplied some of the world’s most famous venues including the Ritz Paris, The Regent Fleet Seven Seas Explorer and the Burj Arab Hotel in Dubai.

In addition, investment in infrastructure plays a huge role in their growth and development. As part of a £35 million regeneration of all woven manufacturing facilities at their Northern Ireland headquarters, last year saw the completion of a brand new state-of-the-art Dye House and Energy Centre, designed to improve energy efficiency and reduce the company’s carbon footprint. The remaining phases of the redevelopment will be rolled out in the coming years.

Nick Coburn, Group Managing Director and Deputy Chairman commented:

“Ulster’s continued focus on innovation and investment has enabled us to grow and maintain our competitive advantage. We are a family owned, but professionally managed business committed to operating as a vertically integrated, self-sufficient company in order to maximise our control over the entire manufacturing process. This will ensure we continue to strengthen our position as a premium carpet brand in the years to come.”

Read the full article on PWC’s website