The directors of embroidery thread supplier Madeira have informed the industry about the passing of Ian MacPherson at the age of 85, and of his wife Sara, aged 79, who died of an unrelated illness just weeks later.

Ian played a critical role in the Madeira group history, founding Madeira UK in 1983.

As the managing director of Madeira UK, working alongside Sara, who was company secretary until their retirement in 2001, Ian firmly established the Madeira brand in the consumer and industry arenas in this region.

Ulrich and Michael Schmidt, directors of Madeira group, and Karen Burrows, managing director of Madeira UK, released the sad news today.

In their statement, they added: “They [Ian and Sara] were well known and respected, making many contacts and lifelong friends. Our thoughts are with all the family at this extremely difficult time.”