Tapestry project welcomes donation of Harris Tweed

Newly appointed stitch coordinator, Kirstie Campbell.

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A generous donation of Harris Tweed to the team behind a tapestry that will capture the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands has been welcomed.

Some of the donated fabric from Harris Tweed Hebrides.

The tapestry is being created as part of the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project, a partnership between The Highland Council, High Life Highland and VisitScotland.

Newly-appointed stitch co-ordinator Kirstie Campbell contacted the team at Harris Tweed Hebrides who were more than happy to contribute.

Kirstie said: ‘The Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands team has been developing plans to include various materials in the design of panels including natural yarn and tweeds to give this tapestry a distinct look and feel.

‘We’re absolutely delighted to receive this donation and for the chance to work with such rich colours and fabric.’

Harris Tweed Hebrides was founded in 2007 and, after taking over a derelict mill at Shawbost, it now employs around 250 millworkers and weavers in Lewis and Harris.

Harris Tweed Hebrides chief executive Ian Angus Mackenzie said: ‘It is gratifying to know our contribution was so genuinely appreciated and that Harris Tweed will feature in the tapestry.

‘As a vibrant 21st century industry, steeped in tradition and close to our natural environment, we believe Harris Tweed embodies much that is best in the spirit of the Highlands and Islands.’

The tapestry team recently issued a call for volunteer stitchers and were overwhelmed with the response with more than 500 people looking to take part.

Andrew Crummy, designer of The Prestonpans Tapestry, The Great Tapestry of Scotland, The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry and many others, will design the tapestry while historian Alistair Moffat will curate the content.

Each panel will be allocated to a voluntary stitching group and will be stitched in homes and cultural hubs across the Highlands and Islands.

Stitching is expected to start shortly with sewing complete by early 2023, at which point a team will prepare them for exhibition within the newly-transformed Inverness Castle and at venues across the Highlands and Islands.