Liam Henderson photography
Mary Macgregor promotes Shetland's famous Fair Isle textile heritage. The only way to preserve the heritage is to contemporarise it, to use it.
She achieves this by only using the oldest traditional patterns and natural colours. The designs have been inspired from the oldest garments in the collections of the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, and the Shetland Museum and the colours replicate the natural dyes of the time. Only five colours are used throughout: natural white and Shetland black from the sheep, yellow from onion skins, rust from the madder plant and slightly later, blue from indigo. The oldest garments have only four colours.
Macgregor has sourced a silky-soft 100% superfine merino yarn, which provides warmth, comfort and convenience. The combination creates a truly 21st Century luxury contemporary heritage product.
The design technique is two-fold. First the motifs are laid out to make the pattern. When Macgregor is happy with the overall design, she adds the colour layer. The required result slowly emerges, a swatch is knitted, then both the design and the colour bands are tweaked until the final pattern appears. Only then are full garments produced.
Macgregor produces under the name BAKKA.
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