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Scottish Textile News

  • 14-May-2018 4:09 PM | Kimberley White

    Are you a Scottish textile company committed to adapting and evolving your business? Are you looking to embed innovation across your people, products and processes? If so, Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland have introduced a new ‘Textiles Connector’ service, following extensive consultation with the Scottish Textile Industry Leadership Group.

    Companies who have ambitious growth plans can submit an online enquiry and the Textile Connector will assist them to find the most appropriate business, innovation, and skills support available in Scotland. The service will encourage businesses to be become more innovative, to seek to develop their workforce and to ensure that the Scottish textile sector is able to take advantage of future global market opportunities.

    For businesses based in the Scottish Enterprise region, please visit SE textiles connector and for businesses based in the Highlands & Islands region, please visit HIE textile connector for further information.

  • 26-Apr-2018 3:46 PM | Kimberley White

    Murray Hogarth, like many others, are bursting at the seams with excitement in the lead up to the royal wedding. 

    To mark the occasion they are pleased to announce the design of their very own Hogarth British royal wedding scarf in royal navy blue.

    The special design has been hand drawn in-house by the talented Hogarth design team here in the UK and has been designed exclusively to celebrate the much-anticipated wedding of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. 

    It has been woven in a cotton and silk blend so as to be lightweight and perfect for those bright summer days and celebrations in the sun. Available for a limited time only, they are expected to be snapped up quick as the nation gear up for the occasion of year.

    The print combines iconic British landmarks with classic USA stars and stripes, with a royal splash of red, white and blue to nod to the start of our British summer time. 

    Pick up your own exclusive scarf here and mark the occasion together with Hogarth.


  • 19-Apr-2018 3:28 PM | Kimberley White

    Laura Spring has been selected as the British Council Helsinki Design Resident for 2018.

    Laura has recently been researching an ancient Finnish weaving technique known as täkänä. She first discovered täkänä by accident back in 2015 whilst on a residency in Finland. Instantly drawn to the graphic aesthetics of the designs she saw in the old catalogues she discovered at a flea market, Laura was excited to find further parallels with her own work once she began further research into the technique. Thanks to Creative Scotland funding received last year, Laura was able to return to Finland and carry out a thorough period of research into the technique by visiting archives and meeting various experts in this field.

    Laura has been interested in Helsinki for many years due to a huge interest and love for Finnish textiles and design. Her täkänä research took her back to Finland several times in the past three years, but visits to Helsinki were always brief. Laura is excited to finally be able to spend a period of time based in Helsinki and build on the connections and conversations she began in those previous visits. 

    The Design Residency appealed to Laura as the theme of this year’s call (‘Arranging practice: Proximity, distance, instance’) resonated with her thinking as a designer. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to allow her the necessary time and space to further develop her täkänä based work reflecting on its cultural context as well as considering the balance and working methods within her own creative practice.

    Laura hopes to spend time researching successful contemporary design practices in Helsinki, asking questions regarding the importance of location, collaboration and how they define their practice. This will enable her to reflect and consider her own approaches to creating work, to consider the balance between hand-made and batch-produced and the importance of a collaborative approach to design. Laura also intends to further her research into täkänä to allow for exciting new outcomes for her work.

    Laura will take up her residency in Helsinki from 14 - 27 May and 13 August - 18 September 2018.

    This year, for the first time, British Council have also selected a Finnish designer in residence; Laura will be working alongside Elina Laitinen.

    Textiles Scotland look forward to hearing about how their respective research projects evolve.

    You can read Laura Spring's Member of the Moment interview here.

    Original article here

  • 17-Apr-2018 12:17 PM | Kimberley White

    The Fashion Revolution Scotland team are delighted to finally be able to forward all the details of 1138, a unique festival of events over 1138 minutes in celebration of Fashion Revolution Week - which will include an exclusive Edinburgh Film Screening of River Blue, Sustainable Fashion Fair, Swap Shop, Lunchtime Lectures and Workshops, Poetry Slam and a Club Night - taking place between 23rd-25th April.

    The festival of events is called 1138 and will be a reminder of the 1138 garment workers in died in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013. The whole project is run by volunteers who are passionate about fighting for a more ethical fashion future.

    The 1138 Festival, in celebration of Fashion Revolution Week, is being promoted through partnerships with Edinburgh University, The Edinburgh ReMakery and The Grassmarket Community Centre, as well as features in publications such as The Daily Record, but we need more help both locally and nationally to spread the word about this feel-good initiative.

    You can follow the event through the following social media links:




    #1138edinburgh #fashionrevolution #whomademyclothes

    Here is the full programme of events:


    7pm-9pm Riverblue

    Award winning documentary screening followed by Q+A with Niki Taylor and Vivienne Low, Sue Thomas and Aurelie Fontan.

    24th April - THE WEE RED BAR

    9:00- 10:00 Memory Breakfast

    The Memory Breakfast aims to spark a conversation about the issues of fast fashion. This is a great starting point for the second day of 1138 day allowing everybody a safe space to ask questions and explore the core goals of the Fashion Revolution!

    10:00-11:00 #whomademyclothes

    Show your label, take a selfie, tag the brand and ask #whomademyclothes and share on IG / FB / twitter. Out and about on the streets of Edinburgh!

    11:00-13:00 Sustainable Futures Lunchtime Lectures

    Various talks about issues regarding sustainability. Featuring Jason Love, who links scientific recycling with the art world through his work exploring the extraction of precious metals from waste electronic materials.

    13:30-16:00 Swap Shop

    Got some unwanted clothes? Swap them for some fresh new threads and help support change within the fashion industry at the 1138 Swap Shop. Rock up with your clean, good condition items. Want VIP entry before the hoards? Drop off between 10-11am and get access at 1pm.

    16:30-17:30 How To Shop with Colour Elements

    What comes first – identity or clothes? Can we learn how to shop for clothes or is it something that should come natural to us? With Karen Finlayson from Colour Elements.

    18:00-20:00 Fashion Fair and Pop Up Fashion Shoot

    Come and shop local at the 1138 Fashion Fair: meet some amazing Scottish brands that embrace quality and environmentally conscious design. Meet people from Fashion Revolution Scotland, Colour Elements and ASCUS Lab and ECA Fashion students sustainable design project.

    20:30-22:00 Poetry Slam

    Poetry, Rap and Spoken Word, taking on the issues of consumption, capitalism, environment, identity and fashion. Featuring both established and emerging poets this event will be an entertaining and challenging take on sustainability and ethics using spoken word and performance as a vehicle for discussion and change.

    22:00-03:00 Revival Club Night

    Dress code: second hand, vintage or maybe you'll come sporting one of your new swaps from the 1138 Swap Shop. With drinks promos and a line-up of disco, funk and soul REVIVAL promises to be a great night for everyone.


    Join us at the Edinburgh Remakery for this special one-off workshop in clothing and textile care with seamstress Gillian. It’s estimated that this Spring 235 million items of clothing will end up in landfill in the UK. So come and learn some some fun new skills that could not only save you money but also save your favourite dress, jumper or trousers from ending up in the bin! Please note that this workshop is limited to 10 people and spaces must be reserved on the Edinburgh Remakery website.


    Here is some more information about the organisation:

    Fashion Revolution is a global movement that works for a more sustainable fashion industry, campaigning for systemic reform of the industry with a special focus on the need for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. Fashion Revolution is a non-profit organisation with a presence in over 100 countries around the world.

    April 2018 will mark the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse and the launch of Fashion Revolution. During that time, millions of people all over the world have joined Fashion Revolution to demand a fairer, more transparent industry. It is clear that brands are listening and we are holding them to account.

    To ensure they continue to listen and create the far reaching, permanent change needed to ensure we never see a tragedy like Rana Plaza again, we need everyone to join Fashion Revolution and keep asking one simple question: Who Made My Clothes?

    Orsola de Castro, Fashion Revolution Founder said:

    "Fashion is a reflection of the culture we live in, so together we must change the culture that surrounds it into one that demands positive leadership, transparency, accountability, and better lives all round. The fashion industry should lead on ethics and sustainability.”

    For further information and other ideas on how to get involved, including free downloads of images and graphics, visit www.fashionrevolution.org

  • 16-Apr-2018 8:48 PM | Kimberley White

    Angus-based textile specialist The Wilkie Group, has announced it has posted a 35% increase in turnover with net profits more than doubling, in its recently released annual accounts, during a Scotland Is Now Showcase in Beijing.

    A number of contracts from China, Europe as well as the USA have added to significant domestic wins for the company, reinforcing how international business can boost Scottish company growth.

    The globally recognised Wilkie Group has been at the forefront of innovation in the technical textile sector for 150 years and has a global footprint that includes manufacturing facilities in Scotland, China and India. The Wilkie Group has been operating in China since 2007, and in 2015 they opened a new £5m purpose built factory in Jiaxing near Shanghai.

    Following Jack Ellis Body Protection’s (a trading division of the Wilkie Group) recent win of a significant contract to supply protective vests to the Hong Kong Police and Customs authority, valued at £1.6m, the Wilkie Group invested in state of the art automatic cutting machinery. This enabled it to leverage its Advanced Textile Technology by increasing turn-around speed and offering high volume production of technically advanced protective vests to its domestic and international customers. This in combination with the high levels of service and technical expertise in body armour, makes the Wilkie Group’s trading division, Jack Ellis Body Protection, one of the leading UK companies in the body armour market.

    Scottish Development International (SDI), has worked with the Wilkie Group for many years, recently moving the company into its high growth scaling portfolio.

    Speaking at the Showcase, Julian Taylor, Executive Director for Asia Pacific at SDI, welcomed the announcement: “I am delighted to see the significant growth of this innovative Scottish company. The Wilkie Group developed its market leading Advanced Textile Technology product to stay relevant in an industry whose origins date back hundreds of years, winning new customers. They are delivering significant global growth in terms of both turnover and profits. Their business has world leading manufacturing in both China and Scotland, demonstrating both innovation and collaboration.”

    Jean-Christophe Granier, Managing Director, J&D Wilkie said: “I believe our recent win of the Hong Kong Police Force tender is a watershed moment for Jack Ellis Body Protection and the Wilkie Group – it recognises we have the right people, working hard in the right direction, to release the undeniable potential of our Advanced Textile Technology in our global market.

    “On behalf of Jack Ellis Body Protection and the Wilkie Group I would like to thank Scottish Enterprise and SDI for their assistance in making international trade and expansion easier with less barriers, whilst promoting Scotland’s image and skills overseas.”

    Original article here.

  • 12-Apr-2018 10:37 AM | Kimberley White

    As many of you know, the 23rd - 29th April is Fashion Revolution Week. Fashion Revolution Week is a #whomademyclothes campaign which falls on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1138 people and injured many more on 24th April 2013.

    During this week, brands and producers are encouraged to communicate with the hashtag #imadeyourclothes to demonstrate transparency in their supply chain.

    This is an excellent opportunity for the Scottish fashion industry to communicate with a global audience and let them know #WhoMadeYourClothes.

    Textiles Scotland will be running a week-long social media campaign to celebrate Fashion Revolution Week and the wealth of Scottish fashion design talent on our shores.

    Calling all fashion designers

    If you are a Scottish fashion brand and want to benefit from this free promotional opportunity please send the following to kimberley@textilescotland.com:

    • High-res headshot of yourself - this must be a clear photograph.
    • A short bio in first person on who YOU are covering your name, your location, what you make, your inspiration for fashion design, and an interesting fact about yourself.
    • Links to your website and social media.
    • Details on any upcoming activity you would like us to promote.

    Please submit by Wednesday 18th April to be included in the campaign.

    We look forward to hearing from you!

  • 09-Apr-2018 12:14 PM | Kimberley White

    Bridge of Weir Leather have won Scottish Exporter of the Year at the Scottish Export Awards, sponsored by HSBC in association with Scottish Enterprise.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “These Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the international success of some of our most ambitious businesses. They have all successfully identified and seized new export opportunities around the world.

    “They represent a great example of what we want to see: globally successful Scottish companies producing cutting edge, high quality goods and services. In doing so, they are expanding their businesses, boosting Scotland’s economy and enhancing our international reputation.”

    Winning the overall award after securing the Large Exporter of the Year category, and with more than seventy years of export experience to thirty countries, the Bridge of Weir Leather Company is export focussed, and has always been looking for the best potential markets for its products.

    Karen Marshall, managing director of Bridge of Weir Leather, said: “For me it’s a privilege to be recognised, but it’s not about me, it’s about the more than 500 people who work for us. We are a manufacturing company and this success is in some part down to every single person who works for us day in day out from the people selling the leather to the people doing the manufacturing, so it’s a privilege to have this recognition for the hard work that they do.”

    Now focused on supplying leather to the automotive sector, they had previously been engaged in supplying the overseas furniture industry.

    Historically Bridge of Weir's roots can be traced back to 1758, seven generations of family involvement in leather manufacture.

    Bridge of Weir is the UK's only leather manufacturer of leather for the automotive industry and as part of the parent company Scottish Leather Group operates one of the largest tanning groups in Europe. Their customers include Volvo, Mercedes, and McLaren.

    Last year’s winner, John McGavigan, was recognised for the third consecutive year, this time as Scale-Up Exporter of the Year, whilst last year’s Ecommerce Exporter of the Year, Trtl, walked away with the Small Exporter prize for 2018. Food and drink firm Pure Malt Products were also double award winners on the night.

    BQ’s account director David Townsley opened the awards, commending the exporter of Scotland for their commitment to developing and deepening their international trade activity. He said: “To have had so many business enter the awards, and so many with amazing stories to tell, is really encouraging. Each year we hear brand new stories of businesses who are creating jobs as they increase their export markets.”

    Alison McGregor, the CEO of HSBC Scotland, said: “The Scottish Export Awards 2018 are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our exporters in Scotland. Congratulations to Bridge of Weir Leather for being named Scottish Exporter of the Year and to all the companies who have won awards for their success in exporting their products and services around the world.”

  • 06-Apr-2018 12:55 PM | Kimberley White

    Britain’s world-leading creative industries are set to consolidate the country’s position as a global creative powerhouse, following a groundbreaking new Industrial Strategy deal agreed between government and the Creative Industries Council (CIC) on behalf of the sector.

    As part of a Creative Industries Sector Deal, more than £150 million is being jointly invested by government and industry to help cultural and creative businesses across Britain thrive.

    Improving the nations skills is at the heart of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy and to ensure the industry has the skilled workers it needs to deliver this, up to £2 million will be made available to kickstart an industry-led skills package, including a creative careers programme which will reach at least 2,000 schools and 600,000 pupils in 2 years.

    Textiles Scotland welcomes the Creative Industries Sector Deal and looks forward to highlighting the role that textile design and manufacturing plays for the country.

    For full press release see here.

  • 05-Apr-2018 12:24 PM | Kimberley White

    New Lanark, an 18th century cotton-spinning Mill Village and one of Scotland’s 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is delighted to announce the return of the Great Tapestry of Scotland with a brand new exhibition open this spring & summer, 'MAKING OF THE GREAT TAPESTRY OF SCOTLAND' from 18th May – 1st July 2018.

    After first exhibiting the tapestry in 2014, to a record 13,000 visitors, New Lanark are delighted to be welcoming the tapestry back as never seen before. The new ‘making of’ exhibition, curated internally by New Lanark’s Exhibitions Officer Evelyn Whitelaw, will allow visitors to discover the story of the tapestry’s creation through original sketches, photography, memorabilia and memories from those closest to the project.

    For the first time ever, panels from ‘The Great Tapestry of Scotland’ will be exhibited alongside fascinating insights from Dorie Wilkie, Lead Stitcher and her team of 1000+ stitchers who worked on the project across Scotland. The exhibition will also include original sketches and personal works by Andrew Crummy, the man behind the tapestry’s beautiful illustrative designs depicting key moments in Scotland’s history.

    New Lanark will also be providing the opportunity for Exhibition Steward Volunteers to assist with the delivery of this fascinating new exhibition. The volunteers will play a key role in the day to day running of the Exhibition Gallery and in ensuring that New Lanark’s Exhibition Gallery is a welcoming and friendly environment.

    The Great Tapestry of Scotland was the brainchild of one of the world’s best-loved writers, Alexander McCall Smith. The 44 Scotland Street author, together with historian Alistair Moffat, and with the artistic talents of Andrew Crummy, (not to mention more than 1000 stitchers from all areas of Scotland) formed a team set to produce the world’s longest tapestries through one of the biggest community arts projects ever to take place in Scotland.

    Taking 65,000 hours of stitching and using over 300 miles of wool (enough to lay the entire length of Scotland), illustrating 420 million years of Scottish history in 160 panels, this beautiful tapestry depicts the entire history of Scotland.

    Textile production and innovation has been the continuous thread throughout New Lanark’s history, from the village’s early years as the one-time largest cotton manufacturer in Scotland, to now producing over 60 shades of high-quality woollen yarn using historic textile machinery and launching the world’s first Organic Tartan in 2015. Through this exciting partnership with the Tapestry makers, New Lanark offers the perfect backdrop for this wonderful exhibition which will be on show until the beginning of July 2018.

    To find out more and purchase tickets visit newlanark.org.

  • 01-Apr-2018 3:19 PM | Kimberley White

    The Prime Minister met staff at Alex Begg textile factory in Ayr at the end of March as part of a day-long tour to hear the views of businesses and families across the breadth of the UK as we mark one year to our European Union exit.

    The PM has been using her visits to listen to the priorities of different sectors and communities, as well as set out her resolve to strengthening the bonds that unite our four nations as we leave the EU and in the years ahead.

    Her tour of 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 to significantly bolster the region’s economy, create jobs and boost productivity.

    Prime Minister Theresa May said:

    "It is my mission to deliver a Brexit deal that works for Scotland and the whole of the UK, and today I’ve been speaking to workers here in Ayr about what our departure from the EU means to them.

    I am determined that the Brexit we pursue is one that strengthens the bonds that unite us - because I believe ours is the world’s most successful union. Scotland - with its diverse sectors ranging from wool, salmon and whisky production, to world-leading universities, tech hubs and cultural institutions - is such a significant contributor to our United Kingdom. I want to see it prosper as we forge a new role for ourselves in the world.

    That’s why we’re continuing to back Scotland and I am pleased today to announce we are opening talks over a new Ayrshire Growth Deal that should significantly boost the local economy and opportunities for people here."

    Growth Deals are part of the UK Government’s long-standing commitment to directly invest in Scotland’s future.

    They give communities the financial backing to promote economic growth, while proposals come from local partners themselves, allowing them to develop projects that place Scotland at the forefront of innovation, technology and connectivity.

    To date, the UK Government has committed over £1 billion in City Region Deals in Scotland, with negotiations underway on deals with Stirling and Clackmannanshire and Tay Cities, as well as the innovative cross border Borderlands Growth Deal.

    On the Ayrshire deal, discussions with the three local authorities involved - North, East and South Ayrshire – to develop proposals, as well as with the Scottish Government and other partners, will soon begin.

    The textile manufacturer Alex Begg has been established in Scotland since 1866 and creates quality woven scarves and throws for sale across the world, including key markets in Japan and the USA.

    Ian Laird Managing Director for Alex Begg, said:

    "We are delighted that the Prime Minister has taken the time to visit our business which has 150 years of heritage of designing and manufacturing luxury scarves and throws in the West coast of Scotland. Much of our recent sales growth and corresponding increase in employment has been achieved in export markets and we welcomed discussing the importance of trading terms both within the EU and beyond."

    Original article here.

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