Textile crafts have a rich history. From weaving by early humans, the production of ancient cloths, the trade of fabrics along the silk road, the use of tapestries as status symbols, to the culturally significant Scottish tartans, the evocative past of textile crafts show how diverse the discipline is.
Mention Scottish textiles and many people immediately think of tartan and kilts, Harris Tweed, and Fair Isle knits. While these are vibrant and creative parts of the Scottish craft industry, there is more to Scottish texiles than our most famous exports.
Our textile makers transform wonderful handmade and hand dyed fabric into clothes, accessories, hats, jewellery, furnishings, decorative hangings, and toys.
They weave on traditional looms, make handspun fleece, knit and crochet, work wool into felt, layer different fabrics together with embroidery; they dye, print, plait, knot, pleat, and twist, and recycle vintage lace and tweed.
The textile art of weaving involves interlacing two sets of threads or yarns: the warp (lengthways threads) and the weft (widthways threads). The warp threads are held tightly in place on a loom or in frames, allowing the weave to be threaded through and formed into the chosen design.
While the industrial revolution changed the textiles industry through the invention of mechanical weaving, the ancient craft of hand weaving continues to be practiced today.
The famous Scottish tartans used in Kilts are made of coloured threads, woven as both the warp and weft at right angles to each other. Find out more about tartan.
In Tapestry, the weft threads hide the warp completely. Portions of the cloth are used as pattern areas rather than taking the weave from one edge of the warp to the other, allowing for pictures and designs to form.
Craft Scotland represents more than 400 craft makers working in Textile crafts, from weavers and designers to felt makers and knitters – and of course many makers who work with Scottish tartan, tweed, and wool.
You can search for Scottish textile makers on the Craft Scotland website and browse our database of talented makers.
A quilt donated to The Yard in Edinburgh, a purpose-built indoor and outdoor adventure playground for children and young people with disabilities, has finally reached its destination after making a detour to Austin, Texas.
Watch our short film introducing Textile Designer Fiona McIntosh, who produces a range of fashion accessories which are hand-dyed and screen-printed.
Georgia Crook is an artist/maker who lives and has a workshop overlooking Loch Tay in Highland Perthshire. She has over 20 years' experience in arts/crafts making and tailored workshop provision, for a wide range of client groups. Her own work is mainly inspired by cultural and natural heritage, combining basketry, paper and textile techniques.
Strathearn Fleece & Fibre is the place where all things woolly happen. Fleece produced on the farm and locally sourced is hand-dyed and then transformed into fibre and yarns for spinners, felters and knitters. At the studio visitors can browse the fantastic range of yarns and fibres, learn about different sheep breeds, the uses of the fibres and take home a woolly piece of Perthshire.
Sunday 22 March will see six accomplished makers demonstrate their work at Cambo Estate in Fife. Each maker will showcase their talents and offer visitors the chance to try their hand at a wide variety of craft, including weaving, silk painting, jewellery, ceramics and feltmaking.
Gillian Cooper offers a range of specialist surface design and stitch courses, talks and demonstrations tailor-made to suit small groups and individuals from her home studio in Balfron, rural Stirlingshire. These courses can be tailored to suit all from complete beginners to the more experienced.
Twilling Tweeds is a cross-cultural initiative set up by Scottish Pakistani designer Adil Iqbal, connecting the weavers of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, with female embroiderers of Chitral, Pakistan.
Holmwood House will host a Meet Your Maker event on Sunday 23 November 2014. The event offers an exclusive pre-Christmas shopping event with a difference: a chance to peek behind the scenes at the work of textile artist Gillian Cooper.
The National Museum of Scotland will host the first in a series of two Meet Your Maker events on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 November 2014. Meet Your Maker is part of Craft Scotland's flagship campaign to bring makers at work to the public, and we are bringing the project to its birthplace in this event with the National Museum of Scotland.
Sally-Ann Provan is a designer and milliner who runs The Edinburgh Hat studio in central Edinburgh. She designs and makes hats and headpieces for clients across the world to wear to weddings, Ascot, Royal garden parties and for all occasions.
Over the weekend of Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 October, Bonhoga Gallery in Shetland will host textile artist Jen Deschenes for the Gallery's second Meet Your Maker event of 2014.
Morag Macpherson, one of the two makers awarded a Craft Scotland sponsored place on the Crafts Council's Injection programme for established makers, tells us about her experiences of the programme so far.
Can't make it to Edinburgh this August? Fear not, we have added a selection of Summer Show picks to our online collection on CultureLabel.com.
The Scottish Fashion Awards announced the nominees for their ninth annual celebration of fashion. A number of Scottish craft making businesses have been nominated for the prestigious awards, including milliner William Chambers, accessories designer Karen Mabon and jeweller Jane Gowans.
After a full year of careful consideration of proposals from across the country, a site in the Scottish Borders has been confirmed as the preferred option for a permanent home for The Great Tapestry of Scotland.
Dalmally Railway Station is a rather unique setting for a studio. The beautiful Victorian sandstone building is steeped in history and felt maker Liz Gaffney and her husband Graham have been restoring this beautiful building over the last two years.
In the first of our blog series to introduce our Summer Show makers we hear from Ursula Hunter who creates a range of bespoke hand-made products for the home. Her work is inspired by endangered animals and their natural habitats in Scotland.
Our new collection is now available on CultureLabel.com. Many pieces are available through the Own Art scheme, making it more affordable than ever to start or build on your own unique collection of craft.
Last weekend Craft Scotland partnered with Sarah Corbett of the Craftivist Collective to host a 3 day residential Craftivism Bootcamp in the beautiful surroundings at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath.
Our featured maker this month is Karen Suzuki, who makes urban animal forms with the aim to reflect their fragile and complex lives through exploring combined and reworked fabrics.
Twelve exhibitors have been selected by a panel of industry experts to show their work in the Scotland Re:Designed (SRD) showcase, taking place from 07 to 11 November 2013 in Edinburgh.
As autumn is in full swing, Laura Spring has launched a new colourful weather-inspired collection through her new website and online shop.
Yarn Bomb Bute is a project created by resident textile artist Angharad McLaren designed to decorate the Rothesay town centre with textiles.
Number six in our conference blog series is written by Laura Spring, a textile designer/artist based in Glasgow. Laura will be taking part in the ‘Parallel Lines’ discussion series, and has written an introduction to her practice and its growth.
On 07 and 08 September, visitors to Touched By Scotland can meet jewellery maker Gabrielle Reith and textile maker Sam Goates as they go behind the scenes of their craft for Meet Your Maker.