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Scottish Textile News

  • 10-Feb-2016 1:35 PM | Kimberley White

    Learn about sustainable textile design from an industry expert in the second in a series of full day Masterclasses for the textile industry run by Zero Waste Scotland.

    Taking place on 15 February at 09:30 – 17:00 at Edinburgh College of Art at The University of Edinburgh, the Masterclass will be delivered by textile business guru Mark Shayler.

    Mark will look at what circular economy really means; whether it has any application in the fashion industry; and what industry leaders are doing.

    What business opportunities are presented by a circular economy?

    Mark will introduce the main circular economy design strategies and will look at how they do (or don’t) fit the textile industry. He will also look at manufacturing strategies and explore whether these help or hinder the design of products for a circular economy. He will give a fresh perspective on the future of retail and broad consumer trends, and delegates will be encouraged to participate throughout.

    Facilitator Mark Shayler has been disrupting businesses for 25 years. He has worked with clothing and fashion companies including Hiut, Howies, Trakke and po-zu. He has increased sales by as much as 6000% and saved over £120 million!

    Spaces at the Masterclass are limited and individuals with an interest in attending are required to fill in a short form to demonstrate the value they would gain through attendance. The form is available on the right of the page.

    The Masterclass will be held at: Design Informatics T Room Studio (room 1.09), University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art, 78 Westport (Evolution House), Edinburgh EH1 2LE

    Mark will also be delivering a public lecture about sustainable textile design in the evening of 15 February at 18:30. You can register for this free evening seminar here.

    This course is approved by The Textile Institute.

  • 09-Feb-2016 1:46 PM | Kimberley White

    Harris Tweed’s orb trademark has been officially recognised as a coat of arms.

    For years, the mark has identified tweed made from cloth woven by hand in the Western Isles with wool yarn from island sheep.

    The Lord Lyon, King of Arms, has granted that the orb be the industry’s coat of arms.

    The Harris Tweed Authority said the recognition would provide a further layer of protection from imitations.

    The orb will be incorporated into a shield to become the coat of arms.

    Norman Macdonald, chairman of the Harris Tweed Authority, said: “Being awarded a Grant of Arms is a historic milestone for Harris Tweed which has fought for decades to protect the sanctuary of the Harris Tweed cloth.

    “It’s the ultimate protection for our products which are known for throughout the world for consistently high standards of quality and authenticity.

    “It’s an honour to receive the Grant of Arms from Lord Lyon himself and we are grateful to be able to ensure the security of our cloth and its heritage for generations to come.”

  • 03-Feb-2016 1:50 PM | Kimberley White

    Following on from the success of our first ‘challenge call’ the Textiles Future Forum (TFF) is running its second Innovation Challenge Competition to increase opportunities for business and academia to participate and bid for funding from the TFF Challenge Fund.

    Successful projects will be awarded up to £50,000 grant to stimulate innovation, for example:

    • Adoption of new technologies and/or processes
    • Entry into new markets
    • Introducing new efficiencies.

    The closing date for applications is Thursday 14 April 2016

    For more information and for application process see here.

  • 16-Dec-2015 1:51 PM | Kimberley White

    Skyeskyns, Isle of Skye manufacturers and suppliers of finest quality sheepskins, throws and accessories, have teamed up with fellow islander brand, Skye Weavers, to create a show-stopping new interior accessory range.  The two companies share core values of high-quality textile production and a passion for preserving traditional craftsmanship as so much industry moves overseas.

    On their pedal-powered loom in a stone byre, Skye Weavers have produced a stunning bespoke tweed cloth which Skyeskyns have matched with Hebridean brown and Blackface white sheepskin fleeces, creating luxurious, dual-material cushions.

    Andrea Holden of Skye Weavers said:

    “The Isle of Skye is a place which has been a source of inspiration for artists and crafts people for many centuries. We especially enjoyed collaborating with Skyeskyns on this project as we share a love of a great natural product – wool. The tweed we designed is made up of natural shades of sheep’s wool with over-checks of heather purple and green. These have been plant-dyed by the Shilasdair Yarn Co, another Skye business renowned for its wool.”

    Jess Hartwell, second-generation director of Skyeskyns said:

    “Working creatively with another like-minded company has been a pleasure and we are delighted to be bringing together tweed and sheepskin to show how the most traditional of materials can result in a contemporary accessory to complement any interior.”

    Now available online here.

  • 14-Dec-2015 2:04 PM | Kimberley White

    A celebration of Harris Tweed, a Renaissance fashion show in the Great Hall of Stirling Castle, a festival of light in the historic heart of Aberdeen city centre and an Expo at Edinburgh Airport will be part of Scotland’s first ever year of architecture and design.

    A night-time art event to mark the rebirth of one of the country’s forgotten architectural masterpieces, the creation of flocks of origami-style birds for different parts of the country and a project which will see Scotland’s national orchestra help create a new sound and light installation for one of Edinburgh’s finest Georgian squares are all in the 12-month-programme.

    More than 420 events are to be held the length and breadth of the country for the Scottish Government-backed Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, which follows celebrations of food and drink, the country’s wild landscapes and the cultural scene.

    The three-month Clo Mor Festival of Harris Tweed, to be held across the Outer Hebrides, will feature showcases of designers and producers, demonstrations and talks, film screenings and guided tours of the rugged landscape.

    Read the Scotsman full article here.

  • 20-Nov-2015 2:28 PM | Kimberley White

    Five designers have been selected to take part in Scotland’s first ever textile and fashion showcase in Hong Kong.

    The five fully funded designers were chosen by a panel of expert judges including Director of Graduate Fashion Week, Martyn Roberts, David Watts, Fashion Business Advisor and former Business Support Manager at the British Fashion Council, SWG3 founder Andrew Fleming-Brown and Chris Hunt, founder of Scotland Re:Designed. The designers will promote Scottish fashion and design to Hong Kong consumers, media and industry at a series of pop up shops and exhibitions.

    The successful five designers include luxury knitwear brand Cats BrothersElizabeth Martin Tweed, menswear designer Kestin Hare, textile designers MYB Textiles and printed silk specialist Silken Favours.

    Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:“Scotland is home to a thriving textiles industry with an annual turnover of £756 million which supports 9,500 jobs. Scotland Re:Designed is a fantastic opportunity to promote Scottish fashion in Hong Kong and I congratulate each of the five designers who were successful in securing a place at this prestigious event.”

    Chris Hunt, founder of Scotland Re:Designed, said:“We are delighted to be able to support five Scottish businesses in developing their brands further in the Far East through sponsorship from the Scottish Government. This showcase in Hong Kong will provide an unparalleled experience for the designers and will give them the chance to connect with invaluable contacts in the Hong Kong fashion, design and manufacturing industries.”

    The SRD Hong Kong Showcase was first announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon following her visit to Hong Kong in July.

  • 18-Nov-2015 2:30 PM | Kimberley White

    Grey Wolf Studios Christmas Sale is back again, featuring an exciting line up of some of Scotland’s finest designers, makers, artists, musicians and bakers.

    It promises to be an outstanding shopping and social event with plenty of exclusive offers available to entice consumers to shop local this Christmas and support independent makers and creators. In addition the fabulous Bear Sign will be taking over the Grey Wolf kitchen for the evening in order to provide a mouth watering selection of sweet treats.

    The event is free to attend and will be open as follows:

    THURSDAY 10th DECEMBER: 3pm – 9pm

    131 Craighall Road, Glasgow, G4 9TN

    For further information about the event, please contact:

    Laura Spring


    +44 (0)7855 056851


  • 17-Nov-2015 2:31 PM | Kimberley White

    This week Kimberley had the pleasure of catching up with weaving extraordinaire Heather Shields.

    First up, can you tell us your name and a wee bit about yourself and your business?

    My name is Heather Shields and I am a textile designer and weaver; specialising in vibrant, contemporary fabric and homeware. I work between home studios in both Argyll and Glasgow, designing my cloth using both traditional and electronic looms; hand-weaving samples in striking patterns using carefully selected yarns in punchy colour palettes.

    Quality, attention to detail, and working with other UK manufacturers and suppliers is very much at the heart of what I do. The cloth for my latest collection was woven at Bute Fabrics, washed and pressed at Schofield’s finishers in Galashiels then returned to my studio to be handmade into a variety of products. Each item is finished to the highest quality and fully inspected before being packaged and sent to it’s new home.

    I started my business in June 2014 after participating in a pilot business programme called Nightriders, run by service design agency Snook. In December 2014 I was selected to participate in the Craft Council’s Hothouse programme, a six month mentoring scheme for emerging makers. I also work part time as a weave technician at Glasgow School of Art.

    heather shields

    What made you want to get into the industry?

    My family definitely encouraged my creative side from a young age, my mum being a keen dress maker and my dad often taking me to auctions with him; where I would rummage amongst the clutter of textiles, jewellery, odd objects, paintings, and furniture from bygone eras and different countries. It was like a treasure hunt! From this grew a love of pattern and colour, however it wasn’t until I went on to study textile design at Glasgow School of Art that I discovered weaving. The looms themselves fascinated me – huge and intimidating at first but beautiful works of craftsmanship in their own right. Weaving offered endless possibilities for experimentation with colour, fibre, yarn and structure; and the technical constraints challenged and satisfied me in equal measures. For me, nothing is more rewarding than making your own cloth.

    Who are the influential figures you look up to for inspiration?

    The Bauhaus weaver’s Gunta Stolzl and Anni Albers have always been a huge inspiration for me: not only for the colourful abstract tapestries they created, but also for their determination to succeed at a craft that was initially overlooked by their peers. Recently I attended the Futurescan3 conference at Glasgow School of Art where Reiko Sudo, co-founder and design director of Japanese textile company Nuno, spoke about her innovative use of materials and fine balance of traditional craft practices, new technology and industry. She is a true visionary!

    What exciting projects do you have in the pipeline for the near future?

    My latest collection of cushions and blankets is called ‘PLAY’ and is inspired by childhood puzzles and games. Woven in 100% lambswool using a traditional double cloth technique, the fabrics are twice as thick and the blankets fully reversible, with a soft and luxurious finish.

    heather shields 2

    For this collection I decided to work with local industry as I wanted to create large blankets and my loom was simply too small. I was determined that the quality and attention to detail of the fabric must remain the same, so Bute Fabrics were an obvious choice, given their reputation for luxury wool interior fabrics. Having previously woven everything by hand, this was a huge step for me, however it has been a great experience to work with such a dedicated and professional team who share the same values.

    The collection is currently featured in exhibitions at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle as part of Craft Scotland’s showcase and at Selected 2015 at Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh. It’s a real privilege to be featured alongside so many other amazing makers and designers.

    In January I will be taking the collection to Craft at Top Drawer in London Olympia alongside my fellow Hothouse makers from the Scottish cohort – Ruth Hollywood, Sian Patterson, Catherine MacGruer, Kelly Munro and Rhona McCallum.

    What is your favourite thing about your job?

    There are lots of perks! Seeing my ideas come to life on the loom, from collages in a sketchbook to pieces of cloth, to final products that people can enjoy for years to come. I learn new things everyday and set my own challenges, which is highly rewarding – with every mistake and wrong turn you gain a better understanding of not only your own practice, but also where it fits into the industry as a whole. Community is key, and I love exhibiting and working alongside many talented designers, makers, manufacturers and creative folks who are extremely supportive and inspirational.

    What advice would you give to up and coming designers/makers/manufacturers in your field?

    I still have a fair amount to learn myself, however I’d say stick to your gut instincts and don’t be afraid to make mistakes – sometimes it is essential for moving forward.

    What are you looking for from the textile industry currently?

    In general, more communication and collaboration, I firmly believe that as a collective we have a stronger voice. Better platforms and selling opportunities for small, high quality designer makers that attract the right customers and are inexpensive to participate in/don’t charge huge commission fees.

    If you would like to know more about Heather Shields and her work:

    Visit her website

    Tweet her

    Send her an enquiry.

  • 10-Nov-2015 2:33 PM | Kimberley White

    Malcolm the Weaver is on a tireless quest to educate 4-8 year old children in the art, the craft and the emotion of wool,colour, cloth, textiles, design, weaving and knitting.

    Malcolm is an apprentice trained weaver and textile designer, and works with The Society of Dyers and Colourists in promoting this project. He has 45 years experience in the weaving and knitting textile trade and in the field of colouration.

    In May 2014, Malcolm launched an educational book, Weaver of a Life in Colour, and in March 2015 the follow up book The Rainbow that mixed colour/ The Moon that shone dark, was published.

    His mission is to get his children’s colour and textiles education book in to every Primary School and Library in Scotland and England, then to do the same in Australia, New Zealand, USA, India, China, Japan, and Russia. Malcolm is working through sponsorship of the book in to Primary Schools, and so far various organisations have sponsored over 1000 copies of the books into schools.

    Malcolm is now looking for textile organisations to sponsor books for local primary schools in some regions of Scotland. He believes that the 4-8 year olds of today are the textile designers, colourists, knitters and artists, and the painters and weavers of 2030 and beyond; therefore teaching them about wool, hue, value, chroma, and the emotion of design, colour and textiles is a wonderful investment for the future.

    If you are interested in discussing the detail and the marketing opportunities of a sponsorship, please contact Malcolm directly on campbell.malcolm@yahoo.com. Visit the Malcolm the Weaver website here.

  • 06-Nov-2015 2:36 PM | Kimberley White

    Learn about sustainable textile design from an industry expert.

    ‘Design for Disassembly’ is the first in a series of Masterclasses for the textile industry by Zero Waste Scotland.

    Fashion designer Fioen van Balgooi will challenge participants with new perspectives on design, stretching them to their creative limits in the search for design fit for a circular economy, where nothing is wasted. Fioen van Balgooi has undertaken extensive research on eco-effective fashion design. She has six years experience in sustainable textiles and design for disassembly, and has helped many designers to incorporate sustainable design practices into their work.

    Design for Disassembly will be held on Wednesday 2 December between 09:30 – 17:30. The venue will be Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design Stitch Room – 309, Crawford Building, University of Dundee, DD1 4HT.

    The Masterclass is free to attend and open to individuals in the textile industry looking to learn more about sustainable textile design. Attendance is by application and selection. How can I register? Spaces for this event are limited. Please download the Application Form from the Zero Waste Scotland website and return it by 16 November.

    Public Lecture Fioen will also be carrying out an open lecture aimed at students on Thursday 3 December, from 18:30-20:00. Click here for more information or to register

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