The gorgeous colours of our dramatic Scottish landscape have, for centuries, inspired the designs of cloth woven here. From the Scottish Borders to the far flung Shetland Isles, the ever changing light plays an important role in the creative processes of textiles design, inspiring colourful tweeds and tartans around the country. The above image is the looking towards the Eildon Hills in the Scottish Borders. The spot where the image is taken from is known as Scott's View, after Sir Walter Scott the novelist who lived locally and would regularly stop at this point to admire the view. The river Tweed flows just below and the city of Melrose nestles in the valley.
From soft sea blues to earthy browns the Scottish landscape is dramatic at any time of year and it's no wonder our talented craftspeople choose to reside in remote parts of the country. Step outside on a crisp, cold January day in Scotland and you will be rewarded with an intensity of colours and light.
One of our favourite destinations is the Isle of Harris and Lewis, the home of Harris Tweed cloth and synonymous with the phrase "From the Land Comes the Cloth'. The vibrant colours of the land and sea have inspired generations of weavers to produce beautiful Harris Tweed cloth of the highest quality. Unusually the wool is dyed before it is spun and this gives rise to the characteristic depth of colour which further enhances the beauty of the cloth.
Harris Tweed is protected by an Act of Parliament which states that it can only be made in the Western Isles of Harris and Lewis and woven in the homes of the weavers living there. This is a story in itself which we will cover in a separate article.