Coats & Clark Sewing Thread Company

Spools of thread
Ryan McVay/Getty Images

J. & P. Coats and the Clark Thread Co. merged to become Coats & Clark Inc. in 1959. But the history of this company dates to the early 1800s.

How It All Began

In the 1750s, brothers James and Patrick Clark moved to Paisley, Scotland, to begin work in the weaving trade reproducing the silk Kashmir shawls of India at affordable prices. When Napoleon blockaded the coasts of the United Kingdom preventing silk from being imported, the brothers turned a necessity into an invention.

The Clarks created a way to twist cotton yarns together producing a thread as smooth and strong as silk that could be woven. They soon discovered it was a good replacement for linen and silk thread used in hand sewing.

In 1812, the brothers placed their first cotton sewing thread on the market and opened their first mill in 1817 and found a way to spool thread onto wooden reels.

Enter Mr. Coats

Not to be outdone by the Clarks, James Coats, another weaver located in Paisley, Scotland, started his own similar business in 1826.

In 1830, his sons, James and Peter, took over the business and it became known as J & P Coats initializing specializing in sewing and crochet threads.

Coats & Clark Is Born

While the J & P Coats and The Clark Thread Company remained independent companies, in 1931 a single president for both companies was elected in John B. Clark. Then in 1952, the companies merged into Coats & Clark Inc.

Coats & Clark Products

Coats & Clark products are not just sewing products. Coats & Clark manufactures products for knitting and crocheting, hand embroidery, quilting, machine embroidery, sewing accessories, and more. Browsing the Coats & Clark website product pages just might expose you to sewing notions that you never knew existed.

Buying Coats & Clark Products

While the Coats & Clark website doesn't feature an online store, most large online sewing stores carry their products and can be purchased through them.