In the outbuildings of an old croft house in the north west of Skye theres a daily activity that harks back to the island traditions of the 1800’s and beyond. The sound you’ll hear isn’t the bellowing of a Victorian mill or factory, but one of whirring bicycle cogs and chains, and the repetitive to and fro of a flying shuttle – a modern twist on the old ways.
It’s an enchanting, fascinating place filled with re-cycled and re-invented machinery, ingeniously put together to create a mini weaving production unit that makes gorgeous scarves, blankets, wraps and tweed fabric – used to create homewares and other wearable garments.
Welcome to the magic of Skye Weavers, run by Roger and Andrea who in February 2012 swapped their Isle of Mull home to set up a weaving and sewing business on the island. The inspiration for Skye Weavers came from living and working at Ardalanish – an organic farm and weaving mill on Mull. Roger worked as the farm manager there and Andrea was involved in designing and sewing clothes.
Scotland has a proud history of high quality textile-making, but sadly much production has now moved overseas. Andrea and Roger are extremely passionate about the need to preserve the knowledge and quality associated with Scottish tweeds and garments, and their enthusiasm is infectious as you chat to them about their work and plans for weaving on Skye.
Make sure you take a good look around the place. The warping mill and pedal powered loom are fascinating to children and adults alike, especially the engineering-minded ones(!) – if you are lucky and there is a suitable weave on the loom, there are occasions when there is the opportunity to have a go and pedal a piece of tweed yourself.
Provenance and quality are their guiding principles and in the shop you’ll find beautiful holiday gifts for yourself and loved ones that will undoubtedly be treasured for a long time to come.
So, if you love beautiful, handmade things and want to experience a little of our islands heritage with a modern day twist then visit the Skye Weavers – it’s a treat for all the family!
Skye Weavers are based in Fasach, Glendale in the North West of Skye. Visit their website for more details.