ITS: Inlays – how they’re made

In The Studio – Inlays

Feather & Hay textiles are a mix of traditional weaving patterns with hand blended inlays (additional yarns and fibres added as I weave the cloth). The colours and textures reflect the wild details of Scottish landscapes.

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Hand Blending the Inlays

The inlays are created on a blending board. I use a mix of Shetland and Merino wool with plant based fibres such as Rose and Nettle fibres. I like the way these fibres work together. They create a texture and smoothness as well as gorgeous natural tweedy colour combinations.

I work with at least 5 colours for each hand blended yarn I make. This creates inlays with character, giving the finished cloth life and interest. The finished piece will look beautiful from afar but is a textile that will give more detail and ‘story’ as you look closer.

Hand Spun

I use a bottom weighted whorl spindle to create the finished ‘thick & thin’ yarn that becomes the inlays. As a slow and gentle spinner I create very small batches at a time. This works well with making unique designs, the particular blend of fibres, colours, the texture and weight of the yarn will be new every time.

Adding to the cloth as I weave

I work intuitively when adding the inlays. Weaving traditional cloth is a precise art, involving mathematics and planning. I enjoy creating the wild element as I work with these additionally placed yarns.

The cloth is hand woven by the treadling of peddles and the movement of a shuttle from side to side. At points throughout the weaving I will set down the shuttle and add, by hand, the hand blended and hand spun yarn. Working by eye and feel for the finished piece.

Want to know more about the making of Feather & Hay’s hand woven textiles?

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