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Scottish Textile News

  • 07-Aug-2017 3:06 PM | Kimberley White

    Welcome to the first installment in a series of interviews focusing on the Scottish interiors brands we have selected to exhibit at Scottish Interiors: LDN. We spoke to Bill Wheelan to get to know The Isle Mill a little better...

    Who are you, what do you do, and what do you sell?

    As a manufacturer of high quality fabrics, The Isle Mill brand is recognised and synonymous across the industry for both quality and design. Producing fabrics for over 230 years, we believe we manufacture what the market wants and requires, supplying everything from very fine sheers through to Boucles and Melton to both the domestic and the contract sides of the industry. With the use of wool as our most prominent fibre, we are able to produce fabrics that are robust, inherently fire retardant and also bio-degradable.

    What do you hope to achieve at Scottish Interiors: LDN? 

    Our aim is to continue to promote our brand, meet and impress new customers with the quality of both product and service we have to offer. We would also like to use the event to increase our sales network by meeting potential new agents and distributors.

    Who are your dream stockists for your brand?

    We already deal with a large number of high end customers on a global scale, but one of our targets would be to re-establish contact and work towards a partnership with John Lewis.

    What tools and resources or mentors did you use to create your International Strategy?

    We have several ways we approach in the creation of our international strategy; ranging from one to one customer visits, engaging independent Agencies/Distributors to represent us, exhibiting at trade shows and exhibitions across Europe and the USA, to inviting customers to visit us in Scotland to showcase what we have to offer. We do on occasions use Scottish Enterprise resources for information when looking at potential new markets or indeed how we can improve in some of our existing ones.

    What do you think the most important part in the creation of an International Strategy?

    In my opinion, the most important part in the creation of an international strategy is to understand the particular markets you are targeting and what that market is looking for. This requires intelligence gathering, before commitment.

    What are three milestones in your business trajectory that have gotten you to this point?

    1. Establishing ourselves with the top US wholesalers.

    2. Our entry into the Russian and Eastern bloc market.

    3.  Our most recent entry into the Far Eastern market resulting in The Isle Mill now having an established showroom based in Shanghai.

    What is the USP of the Isle Mill that you will pitch to buyers?

    Our USP is based around the reliability of our service; wholesaling and keeping the business model B2B; cut length and piece service; servicing both brand and private labels; offering a flexible approach to business; private label exclusivity; our provenance of 230 years trading; the quality of our product; our proven track record; and our understanding of how to deal with the nuances of global trade including the delivery and distribution process.

    What are you going to do to prepare for Scottish Interiors LDN?

    Our preparation will have several approaches to it, including: researching each company, inviting direct contact with the customer pre-show, and preparing the goods to be exhibited and discussed. 

    Visit islemill.com and book a buyer appointment via the Isle Mill exhibitor profile.


  • 28-Jul-2017 1:33 PM | Kimberley White

    We would like to announce the following companies who we have carefully selected to take to London to exhibit at Scottish Interiors:LDN: an interiors and textiles buyer event for global interior designers and influencers.

    Over two days in September, these 26 exclusive Scottish interior companies will meet prestigious buyers at Scotland House in London, in a series of personalised 'speed-dating' appointments.

    Please visit the dedicated event website for Scottish Interiors: LDN where exhibitors can be viewed in greater detail, and buyer appointments can be made.

    Andrew Muirhead & Son, part of the successful Scottish Leather Group Limited, are internationally-recognised, award-winning, manufacturers of high performance, low carbon leathers for a diverse number of seating and interiors applications. 

    Araminta Campbell is a weaving company specialising in luxury woven textiles. With a focus on design and provenance, they pair the best of Scottish craftmanship with a refined luxury aesthetic.

    Begg & Co have a reputation as one of the best weaving and cashmere companies in the world. This reputation is grounded on using only the finest raw materials, the very best and exclusively-produced Scottish & Italian yarns and the mastery of their weavers and craftspeople.

    Bespoke Atelier is a surface and textile design studio based in Glasgow. They create patterns and illustrations on specialised materials for interior design, architecture and public realm projects. 

    Bute Fabrics are renowned worldwide for quality, durable fabrics in a wide range of colour and textures. They are forward thinking, innovative and currently in a very exciting period of change, development and creativity.

    Charlotte James Furniture are Scotland's premier bespoke upholstered and cabinet furniture manufacturer. They are trade only; dealing with both UK and international interior designers, specifiers and major hotel groups. They have completed major contracts for Gleneagles Hotel, Waldorf Caledonian Hotel, Cromlix House Hotel, Hilton Group and Eden Rock Hotel in St Barths. 

    Eribé Knitwear has a history selling bespoke soft furnishings and lifestyle products to select British interior retailers such as Liberty, Heals and Habitat. Eribé create design-led products that put a contemporary twist on traditional Scottish textiles resulting in unexpected and innovative design solutions not widely found in the market place.

    Green Grove Weavers are designers with a passion for creating original contemporary design based on the rich traditions of Scottish craftsmanship. Our collection consists of beautiful, timeless throws and cushions in subtle, natural British Jacob wools, rich and colourful merino lambswools and luxurious mohairs inspired by the landscape of the hills and glens. As well as producing our wholesale collection we work with designers, retailers and specifiers to create unique bespoke products. Our collection in manufactured and hand finished in Scotland by skilled craftsman.

    Harris Tweed Hebrides interiors collection is a new and unique selection of hand-woven 100% wool fabric suitable for domestic or contract interiors. The collection brings together modern design, alongside the provenance of Scotland's most famous textile brand - Harris Tweed. The collection includes a stock supported range; exclusive designs can also be hand-woven to individual requirements. The fabric is branded with the famous Orb certification mark, to independently verify that the fabric has been hand-woven, using pure new wool, which has been fibre-dyed, blended, carded, spun, and then finished in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

    Laura Spring transforms bold graphic prints combined with bright colours into beautifully crafted products. Her passion for colour, print, pattern and process feeds our work that references patterns in nature or draws on experiences and techniques learnt whilst travelling and researching. 

    Lovat Mill is a specialist weaver based in Hawick, Scottish Borders. They are predominantly luxury cloth weavers for interiors and apparel, combining state of the art technology with traditional craftsmanship and specialist finishes, working directly with a relatively small group of exclusive customers worldwide. 

    MYB Textiles are renowned textile artisans and have been exclusively weaving Scottish lace and madras sheers since 1900. MYB are defined by time honoured heritage, expert technique and a passion for continuing lace and madras production. 

    Natasha Marshall creates fabrics and wallpapers with a distinct handwriting. The colours and patterns are beautiful used in home or contract interiors due to their graphic simplicity. All our fabrics and wallpapers are printed in the UK and sell at a commercial price point - middle to higher end of the market. All the collections are well stocked in Glasgow for quick easily delivery.

    Isle Mill fabrics are predominantly woven from natural fibres, with wool as a core fibre. Using timeless designs from classic Paisley's, Plaids and Tweeds, to contemporary textured plains, damasks and the finest sheers; they manufacture a range of fabrics suitable for both the contract and domestic interiors market. 

    Turnberry Rugworks manufacture hand tufted rugs in all natural carpet yarns, and the customer can specify any colour, shape, design and size. They handle both commercial and residential projects and recently have completed jobs for Gleneagles hotel, Joseph fashion shops in Japan and flagship stores for Aquascutum. 

    ANTA Scotland has established a strong foundation as one of Scotland's leading ceramic and textiles companies. The longstanding commitment to sustainability is evident, with all products handmade at the company headquarters in Fearn. The unique play on traditional tartan designs has positioned ANTA as a contemporary offering favoured by customers and international visitors alike.

    Decoupage is a well established design company which has been manufacturing high-end, hand painted wallpaper and interior accessories since 1990. All products are hand made in Scotland and are environmentally friendly. This family businessproviding a reliable and flexible service which includes custom colouring and bespoke designs for both commercial and residential interiors. 

    Inchyra Designs have created a range of timeless fabrics and accessories that take their inspiration from vintage finds and the textures of their home in the foothills of the Scottish Highlands. Working with pure natural fabrics such as linen and wool, the company has become known for the highly specialised finish developed for their Aged Linens. 

    Iona Crawford are an innovative, forward-thinking design practice. Their pioneering collections are positioned at the forefront of contemporary design. Working with exemplary manufacturing partners in Scotland, England and Wales to ensure manufacturing excellence, luxury standards and modest lead times, they are perfectly equipped to work with partners and on projects of varying scale both nationally and internationally. 

    Jilli Blackwood is an internationally renowned artist and designer, working in the mediums of textiles and fibres to create embroidered and woven paintings. Her contemporary embroidery style has brought her work to the attention of numerous global blue-chip clients and earned her an international reputation. Her work is held in notable museum, public, corporate and private collections across the world.

    Shearer Candles are the UK's longest established lifestyle candle company. Today their customers include leading retailers, hotels and designers, not to mention the candle lovers of all persuasions – who can’t help but fall for their beautifully crafted candle collections.

    Studio Roam are a dynamic and innovative design-led company, creating and manufacturing unique and distinctive cashmere and fine woollen knitted blankets in the Scottish Borders for over 10 years. They boast highly flexible production, offering short runs and made to order options. 

    Tensarc is a design and manufacturing company that specialises in tensile fabric architecture and premium quality solar control solutions.

    The Plan Design and Manufacture are designers and producers of exclusive and bespoke contemporary furnishing textiles, upholstered seating and surface pattern working with some of the most prestigious organisations in the UK. Operating across sectors of architecture, interior design, corporate, hotel, residential and retail, they are versatile and adaptable to ensure that both design and manufacture exceed customer desire.

    Transcal design, engineer and manufacture bespoke products from initial concept through to final production. Transcal have invested heavily in design and development within the commercial furniture sector, as a direct result of success within automotive, aviation and rail interiors. They also offer luxury detailing such as embroidery, hand stitching, laser etching and digital printing.

    Wendy Morrison is an established, well respected rug designer best known for her exclusive work under the Wendy Morrison for John Lewis brand as part of the John Lewis Design Collective. She offers, for direct purchase or resale, a constantly evolving collection of design led hand-tufted rugs, luxury wool and silk hand-knotted rugs and highly unique hand-picked woven treasures, curated whilst on her travels.

    Leigh Bagley brings a new fresh dynamic design aesthetic to a longstanding interior furnishing tradition. The design studio blends traditional design methodologies with digital technology to create surface patterns that are rich with geometric motifs, forms and colour. A strong sense of contemporary graphic aesthetics underpins the studio's artistic direction injecting modern decorative design into the Scottish design scene.


  • 05-Jul-2017 12:14 PM | Kimberley White

    In December 2016 Textiles Scotland gathered key players to discuss the international strategy for the Scottish textiles industry, in a consultation held at Norton House, Ingliston.

    Guest speakers were Susan Beattie of Scottish Development International, Jacqui Gale of successful global company Arran Aromatics, and Textiles Scotland CEO David Breckenridge.

    Fashion and interiors were the focus points of the breakout working groups; and attendees discussed challenges and opportunities spanning Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

    The operating plan for 2017/2018 as discussed by industry, covering the priorities and sub-markets for Scottish exporting can be found in our Knowledge Hub under Exporting. It is only accessible to Textiles Scotland members.

  • 21-Jun-2017 3:44 PM | Kimberley White

    Araminta CampbellCongratulations are in order for Textiles Scotland member Araminta Campbell who has successfully secured funding through the Young EDGE award.

    Araminta Campbell is a creative textiles company focused on quality Scottish production. Uniquely using British alpaca in hand-woven wearable art pieces and the newly launched MINTA interior range; the international market is targeted whilst promoting the story of the Scottish product. Araminta also offers a bespoke tweed design service. 

    After much deliberation, the judging panel reached its decision and it is with great pleasure that we are today able to announce Araminta's success as a Round Ten Young EDGE winner. This thriving young textiles business will now receive grant funding of up to £10,000, and a comprehensive non-financial business support package, which is provided by Scottish EDGE’s various partner organisations.

    See more information on Young EDGE here and visit Araminta Campbell online.

  • 16-Jun-2017 4:32 PM | Kimberley White

    Fashion Foundry Director Alan Dibble helps creatives consider the value and expenses of their work.

    Pricing strategy

    The pricing strategy of your brand is vital for commercial success. It all starts with identifying your customer and market position. To create a commercially successful product, designers need to know who their customer is and understand their needs in order to deliver a relevant product and unique benefits:

    Research who your customer is, look in depth at competitor brands in terms of retail costs, profile, where the product is made

    Market position - Are you going to be volume based and operate with lower margins or high end/luxury and operate with lower volumes, higher margins?

    Route to consumer - Is your product going to sell into specialist boutiques, high end department stores,  galleries or only sell online via ecommerce or your own websites? Knowing where your product will sell will help you put together your pricing model

    Retailers expect a higher margin as they have to cover the cost of rent, staff and marketing. Online retailers or selling directly can mean you can sell for less or realise more margin.

    Price your product too low and you won’t make profit. Price it too high without justification of quality or uniqueness and you risk pricing your brand out of the market.

    Pricing models

    There are generally two ways to approach pricing your product. Both methods have merit but it is generally accepted that the Value Based Approach is best for a sustainable business model. However, it is a useful exercise to approach costing and pricing with both methods.

    1. Value based approach

    Identify your target customer and research ‘competitor’ brands to determine what the right price point, at retail, your product should be. Then, work backwards, so that the product cost can be determined. This will allow you to identify what your target product cost is. If you can’t make it for that then it is likely your business will not be sustainable.


    RRP / Recommended Retail Price  = £90

    Wholesale cost = divide RRP by 2.4 to 3.2* = £30

    *retail mark-up is typically between 2.4 to 3.2

    Target cost price = divide wholesale by 2 = £15 i.e. if your product cost £15 to make then you should price your product for retail at approximately £90

    2. Cost based approach

    Many new designer brands take the cost-based approach to pricing. Product costs are calculated by adding the cost of materials, trims and labour, adding in a proportion to cover overheads such as rent, marketing costs and salaries then applying the desired margin.


    Cost price = £10  (Total cost of materials, trim, labour and proportion of overhead) i.e. If your product costs £10 to make then you should retail for between £48 and £64

    Wholesale cost = cost price x 2 = £20

    RRP / Recommended Retail Price = wholesale cost x 2.4 to 3.2* = £48 to £64

    *retail mark-up is typically between 2.4 to 3.2

    Download this guide to learn more.

    This resource originally appeared on the Cultural Enterprise Office website.

  • 14-Jun-2017 12:01 PM | Kimberley White

    The Scottish Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the achievements of outstanding apprentices and employers around Scotland. Nominations are now being accepted for these prestigious awards, taking place this year at a ceremony on Thursday 16 November, at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.

    There are 10 categories including: Apprentice Ambassador of the Year, Apprentice of the Year at Foundation, Level 2, 3 and Level 4 and above, awards for micro, SME, large and public sector employers, plus those who are committed to diversity in the workplace.

    Full details of the awards including how to apply are on apprenticeships.scot/awards

    The deadline for receipt of nominations is noon on Wednesday 28 June.

  • 12-Jun-2017 10:30 PM | Kimberley White

    PaisleyMake is offering a contemporary Makers’ Market, showcasing a variety of exceptional and innovative Scottish designers and makers. Featuring clothing, jewellery and interior design, you will be sure to discover something unique for summer.

    PaisleyMake are currently accepting applications from businesses who want to exhibit their wares at PaisleyMake’s Makers’ Market alongside InCube* businesses. Whether you’re a fashion designer, a ceramist, an illustrator or a jeweller, they want to hear from you!

    The Makers’ Market is free to participate in and will take place within Paisley Abbey from 1pm – 5pm on Saturday 1 July.

    PaisleyMake first launched back in 2016 at Paisley Abbey, with a festival of design centred around the Paisley Pattern and discovering the collections at Paisley Museum and Art Galleries. PaisleyMake has since ventured to London Craft Week, sharing the inspiring untold story of Paisley and breathing new life into a community famed around the world for innovation in weaving, crafting and exporting luxury goods.

    *InCube is based at 27 High Street, Paisley and is a brand new business concept designed to help new and early stage creative designers to start and grow their businesses in Renfrewshire. InCube offers a package of support including accommodation, masterclasses, workshops, mentoring, e-commerce and marketing expertise to individuals and fledgling businesses. As part of the same project InCube Shop in nearby Gilmour Street acts as a retail skills academy which allows the designers to test trade, get valuable customer feedback and sell their products with no commission costs. Part of Invest in Renfrewshire’s growth programme, InCube promotes and celebrates the towns creative and crafts heritage and aims to establish Renfrewshire as a springboard and hub for creative businesses.

    Applications through this Google Form only. Limited Spaces Available.

    Please email info@paisleymake.com if you have any queries.

  • 09-Jun-2017 11:08 AM | Kimberley White

    Textiles Scotland, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, are hosting a two-day buyer event on 18th and 19th September at brand new venue Scotland House in London. This event is the perfect opportunity for Scottish interior brands looking with an ambition to grow their international sales, and to expand their contacts in London, Europe, and the USA.

    Our friends at Creative Scotland wish to support one emerging design business, creating work of high quality and looking to develop international markets, but with limited international experience. They are offering up to *£1,000 inc VAT for travel and accommodation to the successful applicant.

    Further details can be found here, and please note that the deadline for applications is Friday 16th June. The successful applicant will be notified by Creative Scotland on 22nd June.


    • 75% payable upon contract agreement
    • Must submit an end of project monitoring report
    • 25% payable upon submission of report
    • Must attend a pre-event workshop at Scottish Enterprise in Edinburgh on 22nd August
    • Must share learning with sector

    If you have limited international experience, high quality produce, and a keen desire to develop, make sure to apply for this one-off opportunity provided by Creative Scotland. Further your contacts in London and beyond at Scottish Interiors: LDN.
  • 02-Jun-2017 12:32 PM | Kimberley White

    Image result for i-on breakthrough awards

    The i-on Breakthrough Awards celebrate the next generation of emerging talent from the best businesses in Central Belt Scotland.

    Textiles Scotland members have been highlighted as excelling in their respective fields. Nu Blvck have been nominated for the Online Influencer Award, and Mairi Helena has made the Design Award shortlist.

    Nu Blvck produce exclusive collections of fashion accessories created by emerging designers. Their transparent and innovative business model means demand before supply, allowing for more ethical trade. They strive to bring their artisan creators close to their customers by creating interesting conversations around inspirations and creative stories. Visit the Nu Blvck website and remember to vote for them to make the finals of the Online Influencer Award. 

    Image result for nu blvck

    Image c/o Nu Blvck

    Mairi Helena is an Edinburgh based designer producing high-end luxury home accessories for interiors and fashion. Her novel designs are created using influences from her photographic portfolio of Scotland, producing abstract surface pattern designs with a unique fine art feel. Think vibrant colours and a strong influence from local landscapes and wildlife. Check out Mairi's website here, and cast your vote to help her to reach the Design Award finals.

    Image result for mairi helena

    Image c/o Mairi Helena

    Winners will be announced at the i-on Breakthrough Awards winners’ party at Mansfield Traquair, Edinburgh, on Wednesday 13 September 2017 and will appear in the October issue of the magazine and online.

    There will be winners chosen for each category and they will each receive a marketing campaign in i-on, worth £2,000. There will also be one overall winner (from the category winners) who will receive a £15,000 marketing campaign with i-on to be used in 2018.

    Find the voting form here to vote for your favourites.

  • 30-May-2017 3:25 PM | Kimberley White

    In Lanarkshire Elizabeth Martin crafts elegantly modern womenswear from Hebridean Harris tweed and Ayrshire lace.

    Last week, Textiles Scotland member Elizabeth gathered with hundreds more at Meet the Manufacturer, now the key sourcing event for information on British producers and brands.

    The creation of former Burberry and M&S designer and buyer Kate Hills, Meet The Manufacturer was established in 2014 after realising how mass outsourcing overseas would lead to a permanent skills loss at home.

    This year’s MTM features 200 exhibitors with special showcases for British wool, creative brands and brainstorming sessions on the critical issue of how to develop future generations of manufacturers.

    “Use it or lose it” is Hills’ essential message.

    “Making in the UK is cost-effective and sustainable,” she explains. “By buying authentic British goods you are keeping the skills alive. Everything was becoming so fragmented, it could so easily have all disappeared. But now makers, designers and buyers have a central point bringing them together. This event has grown four-fold and we plan to hold more smaller ones and roll them out nationwide.”

    Elizabeth Martin, a descendant of single parent seamstresses who had to make do and mend so “always valued fabric”, switched from soft furnishings to fashion two years ago.

    “My vision was to build a British brand and I’ve used my £70,000 savings to do it,” she says of her business Elizabeth Martin Tweed.

    Sourcing, designing and making in Scotland both in her home studio and with a local factory, Martin draws on heritage textiles such as the hand-woven, fabulously rainbow-coloured Harris tweed.

    Prices for her 25-piece, day-to-night, versatile range are mid-market and “for women who want individuality, sensuality and comfort. Our fabrics have provenance they appreciate that,” says Martin who acknowledges both the guidance she first had from retailer Liberty and the government support she has received to attend Far East trade missions and develop her website.

    Overseas orders from north America and Europe are increasing with her Fiona swing coat (£379) and Florrie lace top with a pastel tweed trim (£125) emerging the bestsellers.

    Turnover is now heading for £21,000 and she employs two with another five indirectly.

    “MTM is the chance to connect with buyers and where I will start on my next goal, finding wholesalers for joint venture partnerships,” she adds.

    The recession was definitely a catalyst for Martin, but others have been the referendum and Brexit. “So now’s the moment,” she says, “for British makers to shout from the rooftops.”

    Please see original article via The Express here.

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