Nearly three centuries ago, in 1736, Jackson Clark rode out to the place now called Upperlands, a small village in Mid Ulster. There he spotted a dark, narrow stretch of river. With his craftsman’s eye, he realised it was a perfect location for a waterwheel that would drive a simple device called a beetling engine. His actions revolutionised the finishing of linen fabric forever. This machine gave linen fabric a luminous sheen through hours of pounding with vertical wooden blocks.
Today William Clark and Sons has expanded its range and adapted their techniques to include a full range of natural and synthetic fibres. However, the beetling process which launched the company is still carried out in the traditional manner by master beetler Willy Smyth. It is this respect for tradition and quality production, combined with ingenuity and innovation, that has made William Clark and Sons an international success, selling to markets in every corner of the world.