More than 170 jobs are at risk after Scottish Borders-based JJ&HB Cashmere Mills - better known under its former name Ballantyne Cashmere - went into administration.

The Italian-owned firm, which is one of Scotland's oldest cashmere manufacturers, is continuing to trade while a buyer is sought.

Joint administrator James Stephen of BDO blamed "difficult trading conditions" for the decision.

"It is unfortunate that the economic climate and difficult trading conditions have significantly affected the retail sector," he said.

"However, the company is a long-established manufacturer of cashmere products recognised for its quality output.

"We are continuing to trade the business and hope to sell the company as a going concern and have already received an expression of interest in this respect."

The firm was established in Innerleithen in 1921, and operates from Scotland's oldest continually operating textile mill at Caerlee.

In 2008 it sold a controlling 55% stake to Massimiliano Zegna Baruffa, with US retailer Brooks Brothers taking a 25% share with a view to securing cashmere supplies for its stores around the world.

At the same time the firm changed its name from Ballantyne to JJ & HB 1788 Cashmere Mills Limited.