Story Plaids: Why I make textiles with a woven story?

Why story plaids?

I have a love of traditional pattern.

A love of Traditional patterns

I have woven fabrics since 2014 but I have loved traditional patterns since a child. Twills, herringbone and houndstooth patterns were part of my childhood as a farmer’s daughter in Dorset. Since living in Scotland I have felt moved to hand weave the traditional plaid design – a pattern of criss-crossed colours. I love the traditional design, it has a classic simplicity and deep connection to Scotland’s history and culture.

Becoming a Wanderer

Feather & Hay’s story plaids are a mix tradition and a reflection of the stunning landscape here in Scotland. I am an outlander – an outsider: I only moved to Scotland in 2018. A love affair with the British landscape began long before adulthood. I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm and by the time I could walk I had grown a habit of ‘wandering’. It has left me with a desire to know the land by sole and by soul.

The story plaids are a connection with the landscape. The Scottish landscape: where I live. A beautiful, rugged place full of magic, history and wild beauty. A place that is easy to fall in love with. The designs are a blending of tradition with a wild beauty unique to Scotland. The hand embellished details are a reflection of those elements found within the landscape. The way the weather impacts the high hills and plateaus or how the plant life such as lichens, mosses and bracken change the overall colouring through the seasons. I wander the Glens and Highlands throughout the year. The process of gathering knowledge is slowly and carefully done.

How they are made

Each shawl and the story details are hand made. The runs are very small but still each design is a one-off. A story is told throughout the design with detailing such as hand spun inlays and hand stitched symbols. You may find a story that resonates with you. The designs are reminiscent of how people found ways to understand the landscape, sharing folklore and fairy tales that explained natural phenomena.

With British and Scottish Yarns

I have carefully selected natural British yarns, for their high quality, beautiful colours and good eco credentials. I am introducing more local fibres and yarns into Feather & Hay textiles. Look out for the 100% Scottish plaids: hand woven in Scotland with Scottish sourced fibres. I hand weave and hand finish each piece in the North East of Scotland to a very high standard. I have a very low carbon footprint as I do not need electricity to make my textiles and very minimal waste. As part of my artistry, I am aware of how my work impacts the planet and the cycle of needless consumerism. The pieces are meant to be loved for a lifetime and beyond.

The story plaids are new to Feather & Hay. It began with Gretchen’s stunning, bespoke made, story plaid (see these previous posts) and further story plaids will be hand woven during 2022.

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