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Highlights of 2018 in the Scottish Textile Industry

18-Jan-2019 1:27 PM | Kimberley White

Our first full year under our new brand name Textiles Scotland was jam-packed with activity.

One of our greatest achievements this year was helping to secure the Textiles Connector funding for the industry, with Scottish Enterprise.

In the Spring we held Trends Masterclasses with Fiona Chautard in Glasgow and in Shetland. Fiona also wrote some thought-provoking blog posts for us. In Shetland we got a chance to travel around the island and meet many inspiring textiles creators.

We continued to organise and operate the Textiles Industry Leadership Group.

In May we partnered with the Advanced Forming Research Centre to discuss how manufacturing technologies can inspire the textiles industry.

Summer saw us host the closing party at XPo North, after taking part in some interesting panel discussions.

We assisted in design development by providing access to WGSN for the industry.

By Autumn we were busy assisting UKFT in the development of a bespoke tailoring qualification for Scotland.

We bid a happy retirement to our CEO, David Breckenridge. Another Trends Masterclass was held in November, this time with Joanne Yeadon.

And of course, we continued to promote our members through our Member of the Moment feature, industry news, Instagram takeovers, Facebook, Twitter, and our much-loved newsletter .

At the end of the year we confirmed a management takeover of Textiles Scotland by UKFT, so 2019 is set to be full of new and interesting experiences!

Textiles Scotland would like to thank our members and supporters for a wonderful year full of creativity, passion, and bright ideas. We wish you all a prosperous and productive 2019!

Here are some 2018 highlights from our members…


2018 has been the biggest year to date for Araminta Campbell. After moving into a new handweaving studio and showroom just off the Shore in Leith, they grew with two new staff members to a team of five.

Araminta Campbell's bespoke tweed and tartan service has continued to expand, with a number of large commissions in 2018. The Fife Arms Hotel tweed and tartan was released to much critical acclaim, and installed across its interiors, furnishings, uniforms and retail products.

Soon to open Fingal, Edinburgh's floating 5 star hotel received their bespoke throws and cushions which have been used in the ship's luxurious cabins.

In the autumn Araminta Campbell released a new Handwoven Signature collection, and topped off a great year by winning £30k at the Scottish EDGE awards in December.

Johnston's of elgin

Johnston's of Elgin made their debut at London Fashion Week in February, and returned for a second season in September. 

In late 2018, the brand announced they would be opening a flagship store in Edinburgh, in spring 2019. Located on Multrees Walk, Edinburgh’s luxury shopping quarter, the new space will be over two floors and will house womenswear, menswear and homeware collections. Set over 2,000 square feet, the store will open showcasing the Spring Summer 2019 collection.


2018 was a busy and thoroughly enjoyable year at Laura Spring HQ. In February Laura discovered she had been awarded the British Council x HIAP Helsinki designer in residence for 2018. The theme for the residency was ‘Arranging Practice: Proximity, Distance, Instance’ and involved two separate residency periods in the Finnish capital Helsinki during May, August and September where she researched contemporary design practice and our relationship to making, and the objects produced through on-going research into the Finnish weaving technique täkänä.

The culmination of the residency was held during Helsinki Design Week in September where Laura exhibited work produced along with the Finnish designer in residence, Elina Läitinen, at The Design Museum in Helsinki.

July saw the launch of an exciting project working with the Tate to produce a set of exclusive designs that were transformed into a range of accessories for their gift shops.

The award winning Inver restaurant invited us to produce cushions and quilts for their newly opened bothies on the shore of Loch Fyne and we were also invited to produce an exclusive set of A6 notebooks for The British Council Scotland to be given away as gifts to international visitors.

In November, we received our copy of ‘Print/Maker’ the latest book in a series called ‘The Encyclopaedia of Inspiration’ featuring 48 printmakers from around the world including our small studio in Glasgow.

Just in time for Christmas we launched a small collection of new products including an ethical alternative to Christmas wrapping paper – a range of screen-printed knot wraps inspired by the Japanese art of Furoshiki – as well as some popular new fabric storage pots.


Prickly Thistle successfully crowdfunded to #BuildTheMill - a project to bring back tartan manufacturing to the Scottish Highlands, and are now going into Season 2 of the project.

Furthermore, Prickly Thistle have created seven jobs in the textiles industry in the Highland region, and launched a new website at the end of 2018.


Sekers celebrated their 80th Anniversary in 2018. The leading furnishing fabric wholesaler launched their new look website, with new and improved features including E-Binder, image download, quick sample and responsive design.

Wemyss, having celebrated 70 years of trading in 2017, also launched their new website featuring responsive design, improved search function, wonderful imagery and upgraded account area.

Additionally, Sekers Fabrics and Wemyss Weavecraft underwent a management buyout by the current Managing Directors. Ian Tatnell and Ian Worf, the respective MD’s for Sekers & Wemyss, will be equal shareholders in the new company Worell Ltd. Malcolm Moir, who is the majority shareholder of the previous owners Gourdie Ltd, will be retained as Group Non-Executive Chairman to oversee the smooth transition of the deal.


April 2018 saw the launch of the new Alchemy Collection by Bute Fabrics. This had been in the making for 18 months as they wanted to produce something new and exciting with a nod to the history of Bute Fabrics and the renowned signature of colour, texture and performance.

Many customers were invited to offer feedback on fabric swatches throughout the development process, encouraging the Bute Design team with rave reviews from the early stages which was a great boost – this was the first collection to be launched by Bute in 7 years so they wanted to be sure the market loved it from the outset.

The vibrant, colourful range is complemented by an elegant palette of neutral options to cater to every interior environment and is now Bute's top selling fabric alongside their ever popular Tweed.


MYB Textiles have been working on an exciting innovation project for the past 2.5 years with Sara Robertson from the Royal College of Art, Sarah Taylor from Edinburgh Napier University and Mike Stoane Lighting - ‘LIT LACE’ light emitting woven textiles. They have developed fibre optic fabric that can be illuminated after weaving.

Lit Lace had a soft launch at the Light & Building exhibition in Frankfurt in March. It is aimed at Contract and Hospitality customers who are interested in technical textiles that can be used in bars, restaurants and hotels,and also the theatre industry. This is first light-emitting fabric to be woven at the heritage mill and puts Scotland at the forefront of textile innovation.

MYB’s new Collection, JAMIESON, was launched at Heimtextil, Germany in January. A fresh direction for the brand, creating a co-ordinating range of delicate and bold stripes, textural chenille and wool, and matt/shine contrasts in luxuriant colours and weights. Jamieson is a cleaner, crisper modern collection achieved by weaving on a bright white mercerised cotton base.

MYB fabrics featured in many films and TV shows in 2018, including Downtown Abbey, Lincoln, Peaky Blinders, Budapest Hotel, Broadway Empire, Maleficent, Outlander, and Mr Selfridge.

One of MYB’s acclaimed modern lace designs, ‘Fractal’, was featured on the cover of a new book published to celebrate Scottish Design and opening of the new V&A Dundee museum in September. They were also delighted to be highlighted within one of the books chapters, ‘Reinventing Traditions: Textile Heritage and Design Innovation’ and to have fabric on show as part of their permanent design exhibition.


MacNaughton Holdings, Scottish manufacturing company since 1783, has had a year of expansive product development.

The Isle Mill brand launched a new throw collection at the Scottish Interior Show. In May, at the Proposte Exhibition in Como, they expanded their signature wool sateen to 75 colours available ex-stock. At Decorex in London, MacNaughtons launched wider colour ranges to our Orkney boucle, and Crammond Melton range, whilst also launching Islabank, a contemporary collection of Donegals in plains, stripes and neutrals, which is suitable for the contract furnishing market. In January 2019, we will launch our new website.

The House of Edgar brand launched the Hebridean collection at The Scottish Trade Show in January and added new colours to the Clunie and Crail kilt jackets. In April, The House of Edgar also attended The Celtic Showcase in Secausus, New Jersey. The brand have had several notable projects this year, including producing a tartan for The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018, weaving Celtic F.C.’s new club tartan and creating a tartan for The Ministry of Defence.

Mairi Helena

Mairi Helena launched her new fabric and wallpaper collection ‘Homelands’ at the Scottish Interior Showcase and has enjoyed establishing her designs within the commercial interior sector in particular.

Project highlights include involvement of her wallpapers in a local renovation of a high profile restaurant with rooms in Gullane, as well as the Edinburgh City Chambers Wedding Suite.

In September Mairi exhibited at the very first ‘London Interiors Show’ at Chelsea Harbour Hotel during London Design Week; as well as taking part in Design Central in Cheshire and April Interiors in Cheltenham. She also participated in a first 'Luxe Home Pop Up' in Glasgow together with Scottish brands Gilly Nicholson, Bed Linen and GoldHart.

2019 will see the launch of a new collection of wallpapers, new product as well as an exciting collaboration.

Joanne Yeadon

Joanne Yeadon presented her Home Interiors trend predictions and storyboards to the team at Trend Bible for their AW20/21 Home Interiors publication.

Later in the year, in partnership with Textiles Scotland, Joanne hosted her first Trends Masterclass on AW19 Fashion and Interior Textile Trends.


From moving into new premises, set in Royal Deeside, to attending amazing British fairs in Japan - it’s been an fantastic year for Cari & Co.

The start of this journey began in February when a Tokyo based, Japanese buyer and two colleagues visited their riverside studios. They loved the new scarf designs (incorporating hand embroidered buttons) so much that they placed a substantial order. From there they were chosen to attend two British fairs in Japan, specifically to demonstrate the art of embroidery. The fair was a sell out for their products.

Almost simultaneously, Kinloch Anderson approached Cari & Co. to work on a collaboration using their scarf designs with Kinloch Anderson fabrics - coincidentally, both products were being shown at the same Japanese fairs, in Fucuoka and Osaka.

In 2019, they are aiming for more export orders. The Scottish Development Agency are helping to introduce their products into the Nordic and Scandinavian markets, and will be attending trade fairs gaining priority introductions to potential buyers.


In 2018 Malcolm the Weaver published the 3rd in the trilogy of books, The Tide That Stayed Out and The Wind That Never blew. The books are used in primary schools in teaching 4 to 8 year old children about the art of colour, the skill of craft, nature, the environment and sustainability.

Malcolm Campbell also presented the project at The International Society for Sustainable Fashion in London, and The International Rotary Conference in Scarborough.

During 2018, wonderful endorsements for the project have been received from Sir David Attenborough, The LGBT Foundation, and The Dolly Parton Foundation.

The books are currently in 8,000 schools in the UK, thanks to generous sponsorship from sponsors such as Johnstons of Elgin.


Riachi Studio is a contemporary heritage knitwear label dedicated to designing sustainable contemporary luxury cashmere knitwear. Riachi Studio mixes contemporary fashion sensibilities with heritage-quality construction, materials and the savoir-faire of Scottish artisans. The brand has worked with some of the most skilled factories in the Scottish Borders, with whom they have developed a fashion forward capsule cashmere collection.

Riachi Studio proudly presented their first capsule cashmere collection in Paris at the International trade fair Tranoï Womens. In Winter 2018 they launched a cashmere shop live online. 

alex begg

Luxury weavers Alex Begg received a factory visit from Prime Minister Theresa May in April, as part of a day-long tour to hear the views of businesses and families across the breadth of the UK on the one year mark countdown to Brexit. 

The tour of the Alex Begg factory came as the UK government announced it would formally begin talks with local partners for a new Growth Deal for Ayrshire. The deal is expected o significantly bolster the region’s economy, create jobs and boost productivity.

Read the highlights from 2017 here.

We are interested to see what 2019 will hold for our innovative and inspiring members, and wish them all the best of luck.

Words by Kimberley White

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