Morton Young and Borland Ltd was founded in 1900 in the Irvine Valley of Ayrshire, Scotland.
Handloom weaving was brought to the Irvine Valley by Flemish refugees who settled in the area at the end of the 16th Century. There was a well-established knowledge of this craft in the valley towns when Alexander Morton introduced lace making in 1876, this was shortly followed by the invention of the Power Loom in 1877, the technology of which is still relevant today.
Many large mills began to emerge in the towns of Newmilns and Darvel. The industry became the largest employer in the area with Morton Young and Borland being one of the larger mills. Lace and madras weaving continued to flourish until the late 1970s, but the struggle for companies to compete with the distribution of emerging European and Asian economies had a profound effect on the Scottish textile industry.
Over the following 20 years many companies failed to recognise changing buying trends or to keep their plants up to date. Most importantly, they neglected the importance of training for succession. This resulted in the closure of almost all of the factories in the area with Morton Young and Borland now being the last remaining lace and madras producer.