Patons and Baldwins began as two separate companies, founded in the late 1770s by John Paton of Alloa in Scotland and James Baldwin of Halifax, West Yorkshire.
Both individuals had separately formed their businesses using the spinning mule developed by Samuel Crompton and produced mainly yarns for commercial knitting machines.
The Paton family were regarded as generous benefactors in the town of Alloa, where they provided funding for a significant range of public building projects, including the town hall, public libraries, a school, a swimming pool and a gymnasium.
The two companies merged in 1920 and diversified into producing wool for home knitters.
By the mid 1930s, the company had establishments across Scotland and the north of England, including factories at Matlock and also in Canada, New Zealand and a large factory in Tasmania, Australia.
The company was merged with J & P Coats in 1961 and Alloa’s yarn production factory finally closed in 1999.