By tweed designer, Araminta Campbell
My passion with tweed all started back at school when a new textile teacher arrived and got me hooked on textile design and I’ve never looked back. Having grown up on the Altries Estate near Aberdeen, I love the outdoors and designing tweed for estates is a particular passion of mine. Projects have included designing a completely new estate tweed, re-creating an existing tweed to bring it closer to its historic pattern, or a redesign to reflect a changing landscape or personal preference.
Recent work has included the creation of a lighter weight version of historic estate tweed for Blair Atholl Estate as well as redesigning the Glen Tanar Estate tweed after years of contemporary reproductions had caused the pattern to move further away from the original tweed. When I am creating an estate tweed, the first thing I look at is the landscape so that I can create a tweed pattern that blends in, both in terms of colour and texture.
Each Scottish estate owns its very own bespoke tweed reflecting the landscape of the ground in which it is worn. This practice supports the Scottish tweed industry and in a recent survey conducted across Scotland’s seven regional moorland groups, the estimated annual spend on estate tweed this year was in excess of a quarter of a million pounds at £268,924.
The tradition of estate tweed began in the early 1800s, when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert set a precedent by having a bespoke tweed designed for their staff at Balmoral. Tweed is a timeless British classic. It has its own narrative and is a huge part of Scotland’s textile heritage.
Tweed is also very much ‘in vogue’ amongst the fashion conscious and as such, the demand for bespoke tweed has resulted in a renaissance in the material being used in fashion designs. I design bespoke tweed for a range of clients including estates, hotel interiors, clothing and accessories, as well as consumer products and homeware.
Scottish tweed is supplied to Savile Row as well as bespoke tailors throughout Europe including Italian design houses and high-fashion designers including Balenciaga, Miu Miu, Victoria Beckham and Vivienne Westwood. Tweed not only looks great as a fashion item it is a performance fabric that has protected wearers from the elements for centuries.