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Coats welcomes new royal neighbour with commemorative Rowan knitted British flag

World leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, Coats plc has a new neighbour – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  In December 2012 it was announced, during a historic visit to Downing Street by the Queen, that part of Antarctica had been named Queen Elizabeth II Land as a Diamond Jubilee gift from the Foreign Office.

The previously unnamed area, which is twice the size of the UK and described as a strange and beautiful landscape of towering mountains and infinite ice, borders Coats Land – the region named after the Coats brothers who funded the first Scottish research expedition to the earth’s southernmost continent in 1902.

To commemorate the naming of Queen Elizabeth II Land and mark Her Majesty’s Jubilee year, Coats has created a two by three metre knitted British flag designed by Rowan Head Designer Marie Wallin using Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds yarns.

Rowan is a strong supporter of the Campaign for Wool and Love Wool UK. The Campaign for Wool is a global community of sheep farmers, retailers, designers and manufacturers, united by patron His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

The Campaign for Wool aims to educate as many people as possible about the benefits and versatility of using wool in fashion, furnishings and everyday life; supporting many small businesses and local farmers whose livelihoods depend on the wool industry.

Coats Land

It’s over a hundred years since the discovery of Coats Land was made in the Antarctic, funded primarily by Major Andrew Coats and his younger brother James Jnr. from the famous Paisley thread manufacturing family.  They provided over £30,000 of the £36,405 raised to finance the venture and were staunch supporters of the expedition, also providing a great number of Fair Isle jerseys, caps, gloves, scarves and stockings which added a splash of colour to the Antarctic scene long before they became fashion items.

Paul Forman, Group Chief Executive, Coats plc, said: ‘Coats Land was named in recognition of the generosity and dedication of the Coats family to Scotland’s polar expeditions.  The Rowan flag created to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year is a fitting tribute and showcases the timeless luxury of the Rowan brand and the best of British wool.’

To download a high resolution image of the Rowan British flag go to:

To find out more about Coats Land in Antarctica and the 1902 expedition go to:


For more information, please contact:

Kristina Blissett, Communications Manager,

T +44 208 210 5084, M +44 7714 539 887

Notes to Editors

The flag was created using Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds yarns: Chunky, DK and Bouclé.  These socially and ecologically responsible yarns aim to support the livelihoods of the British hill farmers.  The yarn is an annually renewable natural resource and has a low carbon footprint.

About Rowan

Rowan is an internationally renowned handknitting company, whose reputation for inspirational and creative handknit design is unsurpassed.  Rowan distributes its products throughout the world.  Yarns, magazines and dedicated yarn brochures are available from independent and national retailers as well as department stores.

In 1996 Rowan Yarns was acquired by Coats Crafts.

About Coats

With a rich heritage dating back to the 1750s, Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, at home in more than 70 countries, employing 20,000 people across six continents. Revenues in 2011 were US$1.7bn.

Our well-known brands and strong relationships with customers and consumers mean our products and services meet current and future needs. Our company-wide understanding of our business partners and consumers, coupled with the deep expertise of our people, builds trust and certainty.

Coats’ pioneering history and innovative culture ensure the company continues leading the way around the world: providing complementary and value added products and services to the apparel and footwear industries; extending the crafts offer into new markets and online; and applying innovative techniques to develop products in new areas such as tracer threads, aramids and fibre optics.

  • One in five garments on the planet is held together using Coats’ thread
  • 75 million car airbags are made using Coats’ thread every year
  • Coats produces enough yarn to knit 65 million scarves a year
  • In three and a half hours, Coats makes enough thread to go the moon and back
  • 300 million pairs of shoes are made every year using Coats’ thread
  • One million teabags using Coats’ thread are brewed every 10 minutes
  • Thousands of surgical operations take place every day using Coats’ thread
  • Coats produces enough thread to reach around the Equator every 11 minutes
  • Thomas Edison used Coats’ thread in 1879 to invent the light bulb
  • Coats is the second largest and fastest growing global zip manufacturer

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