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Scottish Textile News

  • 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

  • 02-Nov-2015 3:09 PM | Kimberley White

    CRAFT runs once a year and is located alongside Home and Top Drawer at Olympia, London in January. The three shows cover a range of product sectors, including Gift, Stationery and Greetings, Fashion, Wellbeing and Children’s.

    Housed in its own specially designed space, CRAFT showcases handmade products and is home to 100 carefully selected contemporary makers. CRAFT ran for the first time in 2014, however, Top Drawer has run since 1984, has 800 exhibitors and 14,000 visitors. It hopes to attract an audience of international retailers, galleries, museums, professional buyers and collectors.

    This opportunity is suitable for makers who are considering taking part in CRAFT, Top Drawer or Home in the future. The trip should provide those successful with an insight into the show, whether it is right for their business and how they might need to develop their product/s for this trade audience. It is ideal for any maker looking to break into and/or expand their trade business in UK markets in particular.

    To apply, you must not have attended CRAFT as an exhibitor or on a Go & See trip before, you must live and work in Scotland, and you must have a live, up-to-date public maker profile on the Craft Scotland website. Your application should demonstrate your understanding of the opportunity and how it can benefit you and your business, how this trip fits with your current business plan, and how you plan to maximise the opportunity of attending.

    Selected makers will be asked to pay a participation fee of £50 upon acceptance, will receive a travel and accommodation bursary of £250, entrance tickets to CRAFT, Top Drawer and Home, and be invited to a networking dinner.

    The deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm on Monday 23 November 2015.

    Please note that that this opportunity is subject to board approval.

    For the full details of how to apply for this opportunity please visit the Craft Scotland website.

  • 02-Nov-2015 3:08 PM | Kimberley White

    NY NOW (formerly the New York Gift fair) runs twice annually and is the leading trade event for home and lifestyle products. NY NOW features three collections—HOME, LIFESTYLE and HANDMADE. The show has 2,800 exhibitors and around 35,000 visitors from over 80 countries. It’s the premier market for all that’s new and on trend in specialty retail and has an area dedicated to handmade products (approximately 500 makers).

    Provided UKTI funding is agreed, Craft Scotland plans to take a group stand at NY Now within HANDMADE in August 2016 and January 2017. If successful in securing this funding Craft Scotland will be inviting applications for this show early next year. This Go & See trip will give interested parties the opportunity to see the show in advance of later participation.

    This opportunity is suitable for makers who are considering taking part in NY Now in the future and in particular 2016/17. The trip should provide those successful with an insight into the show, whether it is right for their business and how they might need to develop their product/s for a US trade audience. It is ideal for any maker looking to expand their trade business and/or break into US markets and in particular New York.

    Please note that this opportunity is subject to board approval.

    To apply, you must not have attended NY Now as an exhibitor or on a Go & See trip before, you must live and work in Scotland, and you must have a live, up-to-date public maker profile on the Craft Scotland website. Your application should demonstrate your understanding of the opportunity and how it can benefit you and your business, how this trip fits with your current business plan, and how you plan to maximise the opportunity of attending.

    For makers living in the Highlands and Islands, Emergents will sponsor up to three of the available places for H&I-based makers to take part in this opportunity. There will be additional funding of £200 available for island businesses, and £100 for mainland H&I businesses.

    The deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm, Monday 23 November 2015.

    For the full details please visit the Craft Scotland website.

  • 02-Nov-2015 2:47 PM | Kimberley White

    In 2016 and 2017 the Crafts Council will expand its successful International showcase programme to promote luxury British craft in Europe and the United States. Applications are now being invited from makers of all disciplines who have ambitions to export and showcase internationally.

    “The programme is designed to showcase craft skills and materials that typify the diversity of making in Britain in a contemporary way, both through the design and styling of the stand and also through the work itself, marrying innovation with tradition.” states Paul Adlam, Crafts Council’s Head of Enterprise.

    Crafts Council are looking for makers of all disciplines to apply. Primarily this opportunity is suitable for makers producing high-quality interiors-focused work, as the fair is primarily attended by collectors and professional buyers commissioning works for interiors. In particular, work that has a focus on craft processes and materials from the UK or integrates UK-influenced traditions with processes and materials from other cultures is requested. Makers should have existing work they can exhibit in Basel, Switzerland and Miami, USA in 2016, and should be available to travel to Basel from approximately Monday 13 to Sunday 19 June 2016 and in Miami from Tuesday 29 November to Sunday 4 December 2016.

    You must have British citizenship or unlimited leave to remain in the UK, and must meet the UKTI Definition of a ‘New Exporter’ (details on the Crafts Council guidance document for this opportunity) to apply.

    The deadline for applications has now been extended to midnight on Tuesday 10 November 2015.

    For more information and details of how to apply, please visit the Craft Scotland website.

  • 02-Nov-2015 2:38 PM | Kimberley White

    One of the few remaining textile factories in Scotland has stood in the same spot for over a century, and now provides textiles for Hollywood productions.

    Morton Young and Borland (MYB) textiles sits at the end of a long street in Ayrshire, surrounded by desolate factories that were once occupied by a thriving manufacturing industry and filled with a productive workforce.

    In 2015, it’s the last lace and madras producer in the area and the only producer in the world manufacturing patterned lace with original Nottingham Lace Looms. Coming straight from its factory in Newmilns, MYB products have appeared everywhere from Hollywood film sets, tourist attractions and soon-to-be world famous catwalks.

    Having invested heavily in developing and modernising their production techniques and continuing to keep up with the latest emerging trends (while maintaining their traditions and techniques from the past), Morton Young and Borland remains one of the last textile factories standing.

    A small workforce of 59 are responsible for designing and producing all MYB textiles in-house. Despite the use of Nottingham lace looms being time consuming, it enables a high level of quality control. In order to keep up with demand, many of the them have been networked to CAD computers which allow design ideas to be communicated to the looms for maximum efficiency.

    “We’ve managed to survive the industry decline by diversifying our product offerings and venturing into new markets”, design and business development manager, Kashka Lennon explains. “By evolving our business we’ve managed to avoid the fate of our old competitors, combining our time honoured skills and heritage with an ability to adapt to modern consumer demands.”

    The firm are looking to increase their annual turnover of £2.8m through sales of its range of lace fabrics currently popular in womenswear like Pavane’s. Additionally, MYB Textiles are now taking steps to conquer the hotel trade. Managing director Scott Davidson will be taking the brand as far afield as Dubai and Korea in order to expand their market and continue the Scottish company’s legacy overseas.

    See original article here.

  • 30-Oct-2015 3:14 PM | Kimberley White

    This week Kimberley from the STLA had the chance to sit down with the uber-talented Victoria from We Are Rushworth.

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

    My name is Victoria Rushworth, and I studied at The Scottish College of Textiles, Heriot Watt University, Galashiels for a BSc (hons) in Textiles & Clothing. On graduating I worked for various high street retailers and suppliers as a technologist/product developer. This involved working with factories around the world, trouble shooting production problems as well as ensuring quality and ethical production.  After a career break watching my 3 children evolve while living in Paris for 4 years I was inspired to create a clothing label for “Triers and Doers”.  We Are Rushworth was born in 2012, it is an innovative, evolving clothing label, rooted in Scotland.  The brand has a variety of unique ranges from artist designed t-shirts to locally produced knitted hats, scarves, headbands, tank tops and blankets. These are manufactured using luxurious pure lambswool, merino and cashmere fibres.

    WAR Vic

    What made you want to get into the industry?

    My father worked around the globe in the textile industry, mainly for the UN on development projects. He would bring us some textile-related gift home from every country (Afghan waistcoats were pretty exotic in the 1970’s). Therefore from childhood, I was surrounded by textiles and the experiences we gained from living overseas instilled a fascination with clothing and textiles which contributes to what inspires me today.

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

    My father and grandfather both worked with textiles and their attention to detail as well as appreciation for good quality products has stayed with me.  More recently, the designs being created using wool by International Woolmark winners Christian Wijnants and Marcia Patmos are a great inspiration.

    What exciting projects do We Are Rushworth have in the pipeline for the near future?

    We are working with our local manufacturer on merino cycling tops which will have everything we love, great design and look but importantly showcasing the qualities of natural fibres.

    WAR 1

    What is your favourite thing about your job?

    I am passionate about the qualities of natural fibres and manufacturing quality garments here in the UK. The design process is rewarding however nothing beats seeing the finished products arrive.

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

    Focus on quality and being retail ready: it is a competitive world with large retailers able to manufacture in bulk at competitive prices. So find an innovative idea, pursue it; but be aware that this is a business. Retailers have strict product specifications to ensure a garment is fit for purpose and safe under the consumer protection act. Buyers want to avoid returns and quality issues so the quality assurance and the factory audit are crucial. Know your manufacturer and understand your responsibilities to your consumer. But above all, enjoy it, be authentic and your enthusiasm will spread.

    What are you looking for from the textile industry currently? 

    The greatest challenge for startups is the sourcing of sample garments, and good quality manufacturers who are able to support small runs. Also, it would be useful to get some impartial advice on website designers and photography.

    For more on We Are Rushworth:

    Visit the website

    Tweet them

    Send an enquiry

  • 26-Oct-2015 3:18 PM | Kimberley White

    Creative Carbon Scotland in association with Gayfield Creative Spaces and Zero Waste Scotland is offering the chance for an Edinburgh-based designer to lead a new design project exploring the theme of the circular economy.

    Call for Lead Designer

    This is an exciting opportunity for a designer interested in exploring the themes of the circular economy and environmental sustainability in their work and it engages with a specific problem confronting Scotland’s sustainability agenda.

    Were you aware that mattresses represent a major challenge to governments worldwide in relation to land fill and waste management? Experiments in responding to this problem are varied but may not be well recognised or coordinated. Read more here.

    ArtCOP Scotland

    To Sleep Lightly is part of a wider initiative facilitated by Creative Carbon Scotland called ArtCOP Scotland, engaging with what some are calling the most important event of this century – COP21 UN climate change negotiations in Paris (30th November – 11th December). During the period of COP21 CCS will be supporting a Scotland wide art and design response to the negotiations and exploring what roles art and creativity can play in addressing climate change and building more sustainable societies.

    Project Timeline

    The project timeline is reasonably flexible with the selected applicant being invited to exhibit preliminary research findings as part of the Gayfield Creative Spaces ArtCOP Hub (Monday 30th November – Friday 4th December).

    In agreement with project partners, the selected applicant will propose a project outline which will allow for the exhibition of some work during ArtCOP Scotland but could also be extended beyond this time, with the possibility of an additional exhibition following the completion of the design research, subject to funding.

    Project Brief

    The designer should have an understanding of and imaginative approach to the links between the circular economy, environmental sustainability and creative practice to apply their design practice to the challenges surrounding mattress production and disposal.

    The successful applicant will bring knowledge, skills and expertise to bear in the following outline application brief:

    • Identify the components of the most commonly purchased mattress types in Scotland
    • Apply design thinking to re-use of component parts
    • Exhibit initial research findings during ArtCOP Edinburgh at Gayfield
    • Offer a design discussion for students of design during ArtCOP Edinburgh at Gayfield
    • Define the challenges for the design of a more sustainable mattress

    Designer Specification

    • Strong understanding of and imaginative approach to the links between the circular economy, environmental sustainability and creative practices.
    • The ability to communicate and creatively explore these links with audiences.
    • High quality of design practice.
    • Evidence of how these links have already been explored to a high standard of work within their own practice.
    • Ability to install artworks in public spaces.

    Designer Fee

    The designer will be paid a fee of £1800 for 8.5 days work, based on the Scottish Artist Union daily rate for an artist with 3 years’ post art-school experience. For more information on the SAU: http://www.sau.org.uk/rights/pay/

    A £200 materials budget will also be provided as well as additional materials and support in installation of resulting work.

    This fee will include:

    • Attendance of x2 meetings with CCS and GCS and launch and panel discussion focused on circular economy/exhibited work
    • x7 day’s work on the design commission
    • x1 day installation of work produced


    Deadline for registration of interest is 10am, Friday 30th October at the latest.

    Please download the form below to apply:

    To Sleep Lightly – Designer Application Form

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