Ulster Carpets celebrates 85 years in the community

Now a globally successful company, the manufacturer’s headquarters has remained on the same site in Portadown, Northern Ireland, that the company was formed on in 1938. Ulster Carpets is also still owned and run by the family of founder, George Walter Wilson, and his motivation for starting the company remains central to Ulster’s philosophy.

During the 1930s, like most of the UK and Ireland, people in Portadown were facing the Great Depression with traditional industries in severe decline and unemployment levels at a record high. To combat this, Mr Wilson – who at the time was 60 years old – explored different manufacturing opportunities that would create much-needed employment for people in the town.

Ulster Carpets was officially registered in 1938 with 19 employees based on the site of a former linen mill. Fast-forward 85 years and the Ulster Carpets Group now employs over 700 people across the world.

Nick Coburn, Managing Director, said: “When my grandfather started Ulster Carpets his key objective was to support the local community by creating jobs that the people in Portadown and the surrounding areas so badly needed.

“From that simple idea of helping people into employment, we have grown to become one of the town’s largest employers, with carpets designed and manufactured in Portadown now found in homes, hotels, casinos and cruise ships across the world.

“My grandfather would be proud of how successful his company has become and of the fact that we have been granted a Royal Warrant.”

From job creation, the community ethos at Ulster Carpets remains important.

“As we have grown, supporting the local community has remained an important philosophy for Ulster Carpets. Both as a company and through The John Wilson Memorial Trust we continue to help local businesses, charities, community organisations and sports groups to build a stronger society.”

That ethos has also helped develop strong service levels, with repeat business and long-term relationships to the fore. This high level of service is combined with manufacturing excellence, with Ulster’s attention to detail and commitment to the highest quality woven into every carpet.

Ulster’s pioneering spirit is again connected to the ethos of their founder. Known for a focus on innovation, Ulster have taken traditional techniques and combined them with new technology. The best example of this is PSYLO™ – Ulster’s patented weaving technology.

PSYLO™ provides complete design freedom which has allowed Ulster to continue to be at the forefront of the residential market as well as diversifying into the Contract sector through the design and supply of bespoke carpets to the world’s leading hotels, casinos and cruise ships.

The same high standards expected by five-star hotels are used for the residential sector. All the carpets are manufactured in the UK, with the best wool sourced from across the UK, Ireland and New Zealand.

In doing so, Ulster Carpets continue to meet the ever-changing demands of the residential sector. The addition of new colourways in popular ranges and the creation of new designs keeps their carpets relevant in today’s market.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the hugely popular York Wilton range, with the latest additions giving customers a choice of over 60 different colours.

In the new release of 11 colours, Ulster have introduced warmer neutrals and earth tones that match the current trend of home-owners bringing the outside in, these stylish colours reflect feelings of safe, warm spaces at home.

Plaids are another mainstay which have had a new lease of life through additions to the Beaumont and Glenmoy ranges. The introduction of a modern colour palette transforms a classic and traditional design into a contemporary range for the modern home.

The recent launch of Natural Choice Textures also meets the growing demand for environmentally conscious carpets. This 100% wool tufted loop range is made from 100% undyed British wool and is available in eight different colourways that blends different coloured fleeces to create a broad bank of entirely natural colours. Textures enhances a successful Natural Choice 100% wool collection that already includes Axminster and Wilton carpets.

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