Scots have been growing Flax for centuries and were once central to the world’s Linen trade. The flax fields of Fife alone employed thousands, this industry preceding those more celebrated of cotton, paisley and jute.
Our Linen Stories tours to sites of significance throughout the country platforming contemporary Scottish designers and highlighting links between art, design, trade and industry.
‘Irish’ and ‘Linen’: two words that run together to create a brand in themselves. Through a traditional craft base, migrant skill, Acts of Union, and hard work, industrialisation brought wealth and an international reputation to the country’s northern counties. Our Linen Stories explores the sometimes rivalrous Scots Irish linen links and exhibits contemporary design talent from N.Ireland.
The Low Countries
Exciting developments in material innovation and a commitment to product development continue to set Holland apart as a true Design Nation; ‘twas ever thus, the country giving name to a type of linen and a machine to pulp textile.
In former times, The Netherlands were crucial to Scotland’s foreign trade efforts and the eastern ports like Leith and Kirkcaldy were once vital hubs. Later imports of seed and flax from Northern France, Belgium and The Netherlands for linen production and finishing provided essential revenue. Our Linen Stories reflect on these former European Unions.