I have one of these beautiful bags in the Autumn Reflections tweed (the beige, orange and blue variation) which is not your standard Harris Tweed, but actually Araminta Campbell’s own bespoke tweed design, so it feels really special. I’ve been styling it with neutral colour pallettes and subtle accessories. Its so versatile for either day or night, with a handy little pocket and secure zip with Scottish leather tab, and also it fits my mini macbook air perfectly with enough room for its charger and some paperwork too, so I also use it for work and uni within a larger handbag.
The other colourway is also really easy to style; the River Dee tweed, with its beautiful blues, teals and greens, would work really well with red hair and monochrome outfits. What I love about the tweeds is that each one tells a story. The colour pallettes are pulled directly from nature, reminiscent of the rolling hills, rich greenery and dramatic landscapes of Scotland.
I really enjoyed my visit to the Araminta Campbell studio which is a huge space ettled within the creative throws of The Biscuit Factory in Leith, Edinburgh, complete with friendly faces Kelsey from Eribe Knitwear and Michelle from Michelle Brown PR, and a great selection of tea and biscuits, over which we chatted about the importance of remembering the strong heritage of the Scottish Textile industry, while keeping it contemporary, relevant and bringing it into 2017.
For me, designer and maker Araminta Campbell personifies these values, while simultaneously taking sustainability and ethics into account thorughout the process. She is one of the only craftspeople in Scotland who retains the very traditional weaving process and uses only high quality British Alpaca, which is a super soft alternative to wool. In her studio alongside apprentices and interns, many from my uni, Heriot Watt School of Textiles and Design, and her two adorable dogs (who doesn’t love a four legged friend in the office?), Araminta creates stunning acessories and homewares from this luxurious fibre using incredible old weaving looms. Her products are anything but mass-produced; love and soul are poured into each unique creation, producing a truly quality piece.
“I have always loved beautiful things but not material items, it is often a moment in time, a view, the sunlight through leaves or the hidden textures in the Scottish landscape. I am driven by my wish to create something so beautiful that someone else would like to own and treasure it. I am an artist and I express myself through the creation of luxurious handmade textile artworks.”
“The quality and story behind a hand crafted item is something that cannot be rivalled. In this world of mechanical development, I feel that the appreciation for handmade items is growing. My passion for hand weaving has developed through my work and experience. Being self taught in weaving, having graduated with a degree in embroidery, I am able to approach the structured nature of weave organically. I love the complex and mathematical design required and I try to push the boundaries of my knowledge by creating new designs and challenging the limits that can often be very restricting in weaving.”
“The luxury is in the detail, from the beautifully finished selvedge and edging of a hand woven item to the use of the softest leather. I know that each and every thing I produce meets the absolute quality my customers expect, I am able to achieve this by being involved in every aspect of my products from the design to attaching of the label.”
It was easy to see the passion behind Araminta’s work, from her picking out the finest quality undeyed alpaca fibre, to telling me the story of each different type of yarn, to displaying delightful pattern samples and deisgning and making the luxurious finished product. Artisinal craft is experiencing a well-deserved comeback, particularly in Scotland, and brands like Araminta Campbell are helping reinvigorate outdate perception of craft by creating high end products for the luxury market that poeple actually want and desire.
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing a little more of the story behind the label, and understand why these products are so special. Find out more at http://www.aramintacampbell.co.uk/
Good luck with your entry into the giveaway!
Ruth @ Urbanity xxx