HAT-MAKING business Noble Headwear is moving into a new location in the Scottish Borders after receiving support from Bank of Scotland.

The company, which manufactures for the likes of Daks and Jaegar, as well as private clients, had been on the hunt for new premises to expand staff numbers and its manufacturing capacity for the past few months.

The expansion comes as the business juggles its bespoke creations for private clients with a growing number of volume contracts from upmarket fashion brands.

Loading article content

Now owner Yvette Jelfs has confirmed a move from Hawick to a larger site at Newton St Boswells, which also offers the opportunity for a retail operation and a possible visitor attraction.

She said: "What is wonderful is we can have it as a visitor centre as well and [people can come to] see the hats being hand-crafted and blocked.

"We have permission to have a shop and cafe. We won't be having a cafe to start off with but we will have [hats] there available for sale.

"It won't just be your usual wedding hats, but a lot of cut-and- sew hats like trilbies and flat caps for both men and women."

Ms Jelfs said the bank has provided an overdraft which will help to cover the cost of the move and also give a "safety net" if needed over the coming months.

She said: "We didn't really need much for us to move but they have given us a large overdraft if we need to use it, which is great.

"We have it there if we need it but it doesn't necessarily mean we will use it."

The intention is for Noble Headwear to effectively double staff numbers to eight in the coming months, and Ms Jelfs said recruitment would begin in earnest when the move takes place on May 19.

She said: "That's the next step."

As well as people involved in the manufacturing of hats the company wants to boost its digital marketing and e-commerce presence.

A possible crowdfunding plan to provide a bigger pot to spend on marketing is still being considered.

Ms Jelfs said: "It is something we will continue to look at once we have moved. The website is doing OK at the moment but it needs to be doing a lot better but we need more people to push that forward and market it."

As well as that Noble Headwear is continuing to work with Scottish fabric providers including Harris Tweed Hebrides and Holland and Sherry on hat collections.

Collaborations with cashmere companies are also in the pipeline.

Ms Jelfs said: "We are picking and choosing who we want to work with, which is a nice position to be in. We are going for upmarket people to work with as we can afford to do that."

Meetings about a possible link-up to teach hat making to fashion students at Heriot Watt University are also taking place.

The company recently won a Heritage Crafts Association Made in Britain award.