Bringing world-renowned textile manufacturing back to Scotland

Scotland was once the epicentre of luxury textiles; from cashmere to tweed, lambswool to tartan, the very best manufacturing hubs were located up and down the country, creating thousands of jobs for truly skilled artisans.

Unfortunately, this is no longer the case since fashion and interiors brands have moved manufacturing off-shore where labour is cheaper, and quality takes a back seat.


Read More How the Scottish Fashion Industry is Evolving


Tartan brand Prickly Thistle launched a new crowdfunded project called #BuildTheMill aiming to bring back the rich Scottish textile heritage with bespoke manufacturing facilities in the heart of the highlands. Prickly Thistle secured nearly £150k of funding in 2017, showing that there is real demand and desire for supporting the Scottish fashion and textiles industry.

Prickly Thistle are a Scottish Highland born and based tartan design studio that specialises in bespoke cloth and product design. They intend to kick start the next Highland uprising. The last one, some 250 years ago, saw our traditional tartan clothing banned in the Highlands - a ban that wasn't lifted until 1782.

During the 36 years of the ban, tartan weaving disappeared from the Highland area of Scotland. Today, the brand is at the forefront of bringing this ancient craft home to the Highlands for good by building a new tartan weaving mill - a mill that has been missing for a quarter of a millennium.

The Black House Mill will be the only tartan weaving mill in the Highlands of Scotland. Located just a few miles away from the site of the infamous Battle of Culloden that led to the tartan ban in 1746, you will find the traditional industrial steading building that has been acquired for the project. Now awaiting full restoration into a building with historic purpose, the steading and land rights can be dated back to 1787, complete with a Royal assignation. Of quintessentially Highland design, and located deep in the Highland countryside of the Black Isle, it proudly faces North West across the glassy waters of the Cromarty Firth towards the mountains of the West Highlands.

With your support, the brand can ensure tartan is restored to the Highlands, bringing new technology to an ancient tradition and helping create employment for at least six skilled full time members of staff throughout 2018.

Find out more at https://pricklythistlescotland.com

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Ruth MacGilp is an Edinburgh based student and blogger. She's a activist for all things ethical in the fashion industry, as well as supporting the #shopsmall and #shoplocal movements through her work.
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