Caerlee Mills, Eribé Knitwear, Johnstons of Elgin, and Hawick Knitwear are among some of the members of the Yarn Exchange

Caerlee Mills, Eribé Knitwear, Johnstons of Elgin, and Hawick Knitwear are among some of the members of the Yarn Exchange

Ten Scottish knitwear manufacturers have introduced an initiative to help textile firms overcome problems such as sourcing small batches by allowing them to buy and sell excess yarn on a new Yarn Exchange.

Yarn is very often sold in minimum order quantities, meaning that when a small amount is needed to produce a garment, manufacturers still have to buy large supplies.

However companies including Caerlee Mills, Eribé Knitwear, Johnstons of Elgin, and Hawick Knitwear are hoping to save thousands of pounds through selling their surplus yarn on the Yarn Exchange.

Members of the public can also buy through the Yarn Exchange.

Hugh Williams, co-ordinator of the South of Scotland Creative Clusters Project said: "The new Yarn Exchange will enable companies to convert their surplus yarn back into cash by offering it for sale to other textiles businesses. It will benefit both the buyers and the sellers. The sellers get the money and the buyers can access smaller quantities of affordable yarn."

Rosemary Eribé, director and founder of Eribé, said: "Not only is Yarn Exchange a great marketplace for buying and selling yarn and other materials, our members will also be able to interact with each other through their company profiles and our message boards."

The Yarn Exchange is supported by the South of Scotland Creative Clusters Project, an initiative managed by Scottish Borders Council in partnership with Business Gateway. It is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, while the ten textile companies supplied the remainder.

There are also plans to extend membership to the rest of the UK.