There’s no need to be soft-spoken about Scotland’s softest goods.
Its textiles originate in time-honored craftsmanship, but are now wired to contemporary design and uses. Best known for wools, Scotland has expanded its portfolio to include leather, silk, and lace.
The soul begins in the purest of forms at Harris Tweeds. There, master weavers, some of them trained five decades back, physically pedal—that’s right, pedal—looms that transform single yarns into color-saturated yardage.
Glasgow’s Timorous Beasties goes thoroughly modern. The maker rocks daring patterns that are not intended for the timid—think edgy moths on Missoni-like zigzags and racy toile that depicts Manhattan. Holland & Sherry wraps the world’s sophisticates in luxury. The brand supplies its fine cashmeres, silks, and other wools to prestigious retailers around the globe for both apparel and decorative uses.
You may not realize that throws and scarves pristinely folded on store shelves bearing logos from prominent names such as Burberry, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton are manufactured at Begg of Scotland and Johnstons of Elgin, both masters of cashmere. There are plenty of traditional tartan mills, of course, and Macnaughton Holdings does it beautifully … and colorfully. Chances are, if your family surname boasts a tartan, you'll find it here. This mill houses thousands of tartans—and paisleys, too—from the expected green and red to fashion-forward pink, aqua, and teal. The Scottish Leather Group provides materials for interiors and small leather goods, but is also responsible for the finishing touches of traveling vessels, including automotive, aviation, and marine applications.
Here, nine pieces of extraordrinary furniture coverd in Scottish woolens photographed around St. Andrews.
1. Honey tones of Taillardat’s “Chevigny” chair frame complement blue “Featherweight” tweed from Carloway Mill.
2. Taillardat’s “Bergère Saverne” doubles up on pattern in “Tarbert Mineral” stripes and “Kintore Heather” damask, both from Johnstons of Elgin.
3. “Sorbonne” wing chair from Jacques Garcia’s collection for Baker wears a subtle strié in “Islay Twill Citrus” and is topped with a pillow in “Taransay Olive” plaid, both from The Isle Mill.
4. Baker’s “Castel” chair by Jacques Garcia is graphically striking in ivory “Stornoway” tweed from Johnstons of Elgin; the pillow is made from The Isle Mill’s “Shiel Magenta” wool.
5. The Isle Mill’s “Taransay Blue” on the “Talmont” bench from Taillardat. Cashmere throws from Begg of Scotland, pillow from Johnstons of Elgin.
6. A “Cambacères” X-base bench from Taillardat sports The Isle Mill’s “Seil Blue” check
7. Well-suited in magenta “Featherweight” tweed from Carloway Mill, the “Velvets” bench from Mulberry through GP & J Baker is chic.
8. Baker’s “Avenue” chair and ottoman mix Johnstons of Elgin’s “Nairn Russet” solid with (9.) “Attadale Biscuit” tartan.
Photography: Dominic Blackmore
Prodcued by Krissa Rossbund & Mick Schnepf