The heart of the Industrial Revolution, a fast corner into the modern world, began with fabrics. Looms, weaving, and textiles launched a social revolution at the start of the 19th century, and one modern company was there to see it – Dickson.
In 1836, a young Scotsman, David Dickson, headed to northern France to launch a new textile mill. Northern France was already the heart of the fabrics industry for France, but Dickson was something new. Dickson started with linen, but quickly began experimenting with combed fabrics that made new and more durable cottons for ship’s sails. By 1840, Dickson was actively cultivating new processes and finishes to make better shipping fabrics.
Dickson merged with American company Glen Raven in 1998 (making it a sister company to US-based Sunbrella), but Dickson has maintained its roots. Its main facilities are still in France, with its largest facility in Wasquehal in the north. Dickson is an international company, though – 70% of its 25,000,000 square meter production is exported.
Two centuries later, Dickson still specializes in high performance outdoor fabrics. Dickson now produces solution-dyed acrylics, a long-lived man made woven fabric with the softness and versatility of cotton. Acrylic even boasts natural mold- and rot-resistance and vibrant colors (since the dye is part of the fiber itself). Dickson adds the tactile feature of a heavy canvas-style weave and special fabric finishes like Cleargard to enhance the soil-resistance and water repellent of its solution-dyed acrylics. (Cleargard uses fluorine to resist oil and fatty stains, water, and deposits.)
To ensure performance, Dickson fabrics undergo rigorous and detailed testing – like testing the color-fastness of their solution-dyed acrylics with dry friction (like constantly opening and closing a retractable awning).
Dickson offers a 10-year warranty for basic wear on their fabrics, covering fraying and fading in normal weather conditions, from high humidity to scorching sun.