Friday, 5 October 2018

Araminta Campbell: Bespoke Tweeds

On my recent visit to Edinburgh I spent some time at Araminta Campbell's studio where she designs tweeds and other fabrics and weaves bespoke articles from luxury yarns. This young entrepreneur has already built up a following of estates requiring tweeds to be designed or revived and of clients wanting interiors fabrics and quality hand woven accessories.

Araminta designs limited edition accessories which are handwoven on two beautiful looms in her Leith studio. This, her Signature range, are works of art in themselves and are made from undyed British alpaca fleece (there are some 345,000 alpacas in the UK). Each takes several days to weave on one of the 60 year old dobby looms (see top image above) and the complex patterns are inspired, like much of Araminta's work, by the patterns of nature. In another range, Minta, she uses alpaca for interiors fabrics.

The above three images show the alpaca designs and the weaving process (images Grey Fox)

I was particularly interested in her Heritage tweed design service. Many Scottish estates have used bespoke tweed designs since the nineteenth century. Worn on the estate, they provide protection against the weather when working outside, whether farming, stalking or shooting. The colours reflect the landscape, giving camouflage as they blend with the rocks, trees and heather. 

In her Heritage service, Araminta has found a successful niche designing tweeds for individuals, estates and businesses. She told me, "Many of my clients have a landscape that is special to them, or a piece of family history they wish to commemorate. I love the challenge of capturing this in cloth – through the textures, shapes and colours – and creating a tweed with a story that really means something to them." 

She uses small Scottish mills for the weaving, working directly with yarn suppliers and finishers to ensure that colours are exactly right and that there is a high standard of quality in production and design. Such smaller mills are also flexible about minimums, so clients requiring smaller amounts of cloth can still have it made without having to pay the high costs incurred where mills require high minimum orders. This opens up exciting possibilities to those who wish to commission a bespoke cloth for family use, as a gift or for a small business.

Araminta has designed a few estate-type tweeds which are available to all (see above image). I'm the lucky owner of a few metres of the houndstooth tweed in the above image and will be having a coat made from that by tailor, Alice Burkitt. I'll report back on this here and on Instagram. The design is inspired by the colours of the River Tweed and is a gorgeous robust cloth which will make a perfect outdoor coat.

For more information about Araminta Campbell, see her website here.

Photo credits (unless otherwise stated above): Ciara Menzies Photography.

This feature is unsponsored. My visit to Edinburgh was a collaboration with several brands.

1 comment:

Myrmecia said...

Fantastic designs, colours, proportions and depth! I do hope she can establish a viable business. She certainly deserves to get customers - from across the world.

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