The Birds in Spring a Congress held,
The Blackbird and the lark,
The Oriole; Thrush and Nightingale
Each made a sage remark.
If Mortals could but understand
The language of the Nest
Quite likely they would often hear,
CLARK'S MILE-END is the Best.
The Clark Thread Company was originally a Scottish firm which specialized in manufacturing embroidery and sewing thread. The company was established in the 1750's by two brothers, James and Patrick Clark.The Clark company was initially based in the Scottish town of Paisley, which at the time was rapidly becoming famous for the production of Kashmir style shawls. The more expensive Kashmir/Paisley shawls were made with silk and wool. As a result of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) and a French blockade on the exportation of silk to Britain, the Clark company created a method of plying cotton yarns which created a thread similar in appearance and strength to that of the silk formerly used by the Paisley weavers.The cotton thread was brought onto the market in 1812. In 1817 the Clark company opened a mill dedicated to the production of this type of thread. A few years later, the firm discovered a method of winding this thread onto small, wooden spools.
In the 1840's, the Clark company started to send commercial agents to the USA. Despite restrictions on the production and sale of cotton due to the American Civil War (1861-1865), Clark's sales in America increased. So much so, that in 1863 the George A. Clark & Brother Company was formed. In 1864 their mill began manufacturing in Newark, New Jersey under the name J. Clark.
In 1896, the Clark Thread company, now with a large base in the USA, joined its interests with a firm in Britain. One year later, the company merged with fourteen other companies, which led to the creation of the English Sewing Cotton Company, Ltd. Although not officially part of the English Sewing Cotton Company, P. Coats had a strong financial interest in them. By 1952, J Clark & Partners; P. Coats and the Clark Company decided upon a complete merger, which was effectuated in 1954, under the name of Coats & Clark, Inc. Another merger in 1961 led to the creation of Coats Patons, which in 1986, after yet another merger, emerged again as Coats Viyella.
In 2003 the firm was bought by Guinness Peat, which took it back to the market in 2015 as the Coats Group. The name of Coats & Clark is still being used for various types of thread, which can be found in any craft or sewing store in America!
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