Leading Scottish textiles designers and manufacturers showcased ‘real’ wool couture last month (Friday 22 June) at the Royal Highland Show.
Textiles Scotland’s ‘I love wool’ event, in conjunction with the National Sheep Association (NSA), celebrated the wool industry and its contribution to the local economy through fashion.
This glamorous showcase of ‘wool in action’ highlighted the wonders of this natural commodity and its superiority over synthetic fibres.
Scottish models, including former Miss Scotland Jennifer Reoch, strutted their stuff on the catwalk wearing couture garments from leading brands and designers: Angela Cassidy, Begg Scotland, Brooks Brothers, Di Gilpin, Eribé, Harris Tweed Hebrides, Hawick Knitwear, House of Cheviot, Iona Crawford, Jaggy Nettle, Jo Storie, Johnstons of Elgin, Joyce Paton, Judy R Clark, Kiltpin, Obscure Couture and Slanj Kilts. And some fashion-conscious sheep took the front row in their pens to see the action up close!
The show also welcomed a special catwalk model in the form of MEP, Alyn Smith who took to the runway in a Kiltpin outfit accompanied by Susie the Shetland Sheep.
Jigsaw, proud supporters of the Campaign for Wool gave a special catwalk presentation of their newly launched Autumn/Winter 12 collection during the show.
Textiles Scotland and Scottish Enterprise are working with the National Sheep Association (NSA), the Campaign for Wool and the British Wool Marketing Board to educate the public on the fibre’s journey from the farm to fashion.
With the value of Scottish wool clip approximately £40 million and around 2.95 million wool producing sheep in Scotland, with 2.66 million breeding ewes, the industry plays a key role in the Scottish economy. Britain has more than 60 different sheep breeds – more than any other country in the world.
Cathy Black, head of textiles at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland is world renowned for the production of premium quality wool products including garments and interiors.
“The wool industry has faced many challenges in recent years due to falling prices and the competition posed by man-made synthetic fabrics. In order to ensure Scotland continues be a strong force in the production of woollen textiles we need to support this fibre particularly when targetting overseas markets.
“We are delighted that this group of established and up-and-coming designers and manufacturers are showcasing their creations at the Royal Highland Show which will clearly remind the public about what a fashionable fibre wool is and its importance to Scotland.”
The NSA marquee brought a bit of clip-chic to the four-day agricultural extravaganza!
The NSA tent also hosted a special knitting masterclass by Eribé earlier in the day with experienced hand knitters passing on tips to visitors and giving out free knitting patterns from leading designers Jo Storie, Di Gilpin and themselves.
About Textiles Scotland
Textiles Scotland was established by the Scottish Textile Industry Association (STIA) to increase awareness of the scope and scale of businesses involved in the Scottish textiles and fashion industry. This brand has been created to represent Scottish interests at international events and provide a single point of contact for the industry.
Textiles Scotland holds regular forums on industry issues and opportunities that help to determine its future.
For more information on Textiles Scotland visit: www.textilescotland.com
The AW12 collection encompasses a reflection on modern trends and timelessness, featuring classic pieces with signature details and unexpected twists, spanning both functionality and elegance. Beautiful silhouettes take centre stage layered under shearling collared tweed coats, offering a nod to 1920s style. Teamed with ribbon adorned court shoes and decadent jewellery Jigsaw offer a Great Gatsby themed look. Prim cropped jackets are modernised with grosgrain ribbon edging, leather trims and metallic flecked tweed. City coats appear in powder pink with mushroom leather detail under the collar, perfectly complimented by a crisp white button up shirt and charcoal wool trousers for an unexpected workwear look.
For a more casual look Jigsaw offer preppy cashmere blend cardigans buttoned up over cropped lavender and fawn Prince of Wales check trousers. Beautifully fitted leather leggings are softened by chunky knits and silk pussy bow blouses whilst fine merino and delicate diaphanous chiffons offset the graphic boldness of stripes and checks. The colour palette reflects the relaxed opulence of the collection with tones of ink and plum highlighted by magenta and vivid fuchsia. Luscious shades of forest green and dark teal harmonise with warm gold tones and lively grass green.
Celebrated worldwide, Eribé is a Scottish Knitwear Design House and Manufacturer based in the Scottish Borders. For over 25 years they have been creating innovative design-led collections, giving traditional Scottish knitwear a contemporary edge. The knitwear is beautiful to wear in every possible way as their eco-conscious ethos is woven through every aspect of the business.
Born out of a love for knitwear and a desire for creative freedom, Rosemary Eribé set up Eribé Knitwear in 1986. Rosemary graduated with a first class degree in Textiles from the respected Scottish College of Textiles (now Heriot-Watt University) in Galashiels. Despite leaving college with miniscule funds and an untraditional business background she had a passion for breathing new life into the Scottish knitwear industry. Early on into starting her own business, it became apparent to Rosemary that the opportunities lay in exporting. By the middle of the early 1990’s, Eribé Knitwear had expanded into America, Japan and Germany because of the popularity of their cashmere and ecology ranges. Eribé Knitwear has continued to expand, it is now a nine-strong team and has retailers in over 17 countries. In the beginning the principal yarn was cashmere, as things have progressed it has diversified to include other luxury wools such as lambswool, camel hair and mohair.
Crafted from the finest yarns, Eribé’s products celebrate colour and pattern! The Autumn Winter ‘12 Collection focused on exploring the British Heritage with a whirlwind of pattern and textures; Fairisle, tweed, tartan and herringbone. Eribé has created a collection that is an enticing melting pot of traditional knitting techniques and contemporary styling.
Inspired by clean lines, architectural structure, interior spaces, light and shade, Angela’s knitwear possesses a graphic element with subtle changes in lustre and texture. With controlled simplicity in her methods and exploration of technique, geometric pieces become cleverly constructed to produce organic silhouettes; creating sophisticated, wearable garments.
Since 1869 Begg Scotland has been making luxurious woven accessories in the beautiful West Coast of Scotland. Today the tradition continues, Begg Scotland blends vintage and modern – time-honoured craft with contemporary design – to create a gorgeous collection of interior throws using only the purest natural fibres: the finest cashmere and sumptuous lambswool angora.
Founded in 1818, Brooks Brothers has a heritage deeply rooted in American history. As the country’s longest-established clothing retailer, Brooks Brothers has played a definitive role in shaping American Style for nearly two centuries. In addition, Brooks Brothers is passionate about the quality and value found in our “Own Make” products, and is proud to manufacture our ties in New York, shirts in North Carolina and suiting at Southwick in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
With 30 years’ experience in the design and knitting business you may be forgiven for wondering why Di is one of our ‘ones to watch’. Well, there is a very good reason – she is, quite simply, one of fashion’s hottest properties. From working with Meadham Kirchoff for their AW11/12 show which featured 40 pieces of hand-knit – which Di patterned, sourced and knitted with her team – to her current top-secret work on a hand-knit line for a well-known sportswear company in conjunction with the 2012 London Olympics, Di is now firmly established herself as a leading expert in couture knitwear. She a woman rightly in demand.
The award-winning company based at Shawbost on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis, now ac-counts for more than 90 per cent of Harris Tweed production. It exports to over 50 countries and customers over the past year have included Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein and Vivienne Westwood. Using a range of more than 100 yarns which can be made up into thousands of patterns by the highly skilled workforce, Harris Tweed Hebrides represents generations of experience in this craft industry. The company has taken the fabric into the front-line of 21st century fashion and design, bringing a new twist to an old yarn.
A knitwear company based in Hawick, Scotland, with a proud manufacturing history which can be traced back to 1874. Every piece leaving the factory meets stringent manufacturing requirements and customer service aspirations. Hawick Knitwear’s well-established men’s collection has been expanded significantly to include a rich variety of textures and patterns and they have launched a full ladies collection as well.
House of Cheviot
The House of Cheviot is situated in the historic town of Hawick in the Scottish Borders, an area famous for its knitwear. Its clientele ranges from royalty to gamekeepers, and military connections include the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The company is very proud of its association with the film industry, especially the Harry Potter films for which they created the Hogwarts socks, pullovers and scarves.
Iona is renowned for her innovative and intricate garment structure. Her original paintings, inspired by her native Scotland, form the basis of an avant-garde, yet wearable look epitomised by earthy and tonal fabrics including cashmere, wool, tweed and leather as well as hand-knitted pieces and most recently tartan. As an accomplished artist in her own right, Iona fuses her love of the outdoors with refined silhouette, bespoke self-designed prints, meticulous cloth selection and masculine tailoring influences to create an inimitable collection of ‘Timeless Elegance’.
This leftfield duo – Jason Lee and Emily Quinn – continue to push the boundaries of fashion. Producing collections for men and women, as well as a range of accessories, Jaggy Nettle has established a distinctive style which receiving worldwide acclaim. Underpinning their distinguished lines is a love for traditional Scottish textiles. Using classic, luxurious fabrics made in Scotland such as Harris Tweed, waxed linen and the finest cashmere they create contemporary aesthetic pieces using distinctive hand screen printing patterns and motifs. Their most recent endeavour has led to the opening of a new production facility resurrecting hand-made textiles skills in Fife, and marking a new era in Scottish textiles manufacturing.
Established by Alexander Johnston in Elgin, Scotland in 1797, Johnstons specialises in the manufacture of cashmere and luxury fibres. Today the company offers a wide ranges of mens and womens knitwear, accessories, home furnishings and fine fabrics to top designers, quality retailers and customers around the world. Over the years the independently run company has won a number of leading industry accolades including, ‘Scottish textile brand of the year 2008’.
Based in the Scottish Borders, the former knitwear designer and director for TSE Cashmere; Ballantyne Cashmere; J. Crew and Ann Taylor, has already established a global following. With many eager to get their hands on a Jo Storie original, the designer has recently taken the bold step to offer her patterns to discerning knitters.
Milliner Joyce Paton was recently named Accessories Designer of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards in association with Vogue.com, and works with luxe brands including Harris Tweed. Her work frequently features in major publications, and most recently in the latest Ultimo campaigns. If you are not sure what a Milliner is, you can read a definition.
This award-winning designer is famed for her exquisite pieces which comprise of Harris Tweed, vintage lace and sumptuous silks. Judy, who interned with Alexander McQueen was recently commissioned to design a dress out of car parts to celebrate motor giant Ford’s centennial year. A woman in high demand across the globe, her unique skill creates an unquestionable style which has an instantly recognisable panache. Every wardrobe deserves at least one Judy R Clark piece. Whether it is a Harris Tweed Frock Coat, a delectable couture gown or a piece from her new slick commercial line of womenswear you can feel the difference in every piece.
Whether you’re looking for a traditional highlandwear outfit or something that little bit different, Kiltpin continues to set the hire standard. Kiltpin delivers an award-winning combination of exceptional service and unrivalled attention to detail.
This exciting label was born from an inseparable friendship. Jenn and Lyndsay, the creative geniuses behind this boundary-less label met at University and the rest as they say is history (and what a collectively impressive one they both have). In two years the pair have built up a brand which breaks moulds and pieces them together again into something no-one could ever expect. With two seasons at London Fashion Week under their belt and an X Factor debut, we are very, very excited about what will come next from this Scottish fashion force.
World renowned for providing the finest kilts, kilt jackets, tartan, sporrans, sgian dhus, kilt pins and highlandwear accessories to buy. Slanj Kilts offers the widest possible variety of quality made-to-order kilts, a wide range of kilt jackets, kilt accessories and all types of traditional and contemporary Scottish highlandwear. Kilts can be bought online, or through its Glasgow or Edinburgh stores.