Case studies of Scottish knitwear and spinning companies will be compiled and used to investigate how the industry adapted to economic challenges; provided employment for local communities; developed and distributed knitted products; invested in technology; sourced raw materials; and established a worldwide reputation for the quality and style of Scottish knitwear.
Scotland’s knitting industry was regional. Landscape, infrastructure, and labour supply influenced the main sites of knitwear production but differentials in income, technology, population, and trade routes also impacted regional operation. The project has divided the country into 6 regions – South East; South West; Central; North East; Highlands and Western Isles; Northern Isles – and will examine and compare regional variations in knitwear production over two centuries.
Inspiration and Production
The varied geography of Scotland plays an important role in the country’s history of knitted textiles. Sheep farming is integral to the culture and economy of Scotland, but the project will also explore how landscape determined sites of production, inspired specific garment styles, and, not least, provided sources of design inspiration.