Hard at work on a section of the Great Tapestry of Scotland
Hard at work on a section of the Great Tapestry of Scotland

Learn the secrets of Scotland’s great tapestry

Visitors to New Lanark will find themselves stitched up in the coming weeks – in a good way!

The 18th century cotton-spinning mill village and one of Scotland’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, will host the return of the Great Tapestry of Scotland with a brand new exhibition open this spring and summer, from 18 May-1 July.

After first exhibiting the tapestry in 2014, to a record 13,000 visitors, New Lanark are delighted to be welcoming the tapestry back as never seen before.

The new ‘making of’ exhibition, curated internally by New Lanark’s exhibitions officer Evelyn Whitelaw, will allow visitors to discover the story of the tapestry’s creation through original sketches, photography, memorabilia and memories from those closest to the project.

For the first time ever, panels from the Great Tapestry of Scotland will be exhibited alongside fascinating insights from Dorie Wilkie, Lead Stitcher and her team of 1000+ stitchers who worked on the project across Scotland.

Hard at work on a section of the Great Tapestry of Scotland

The exhibition will also include original sketches and personal works by Andrew Crummy, the man behind the tapestry’s beautiful illustrative designs depicting key moments in Scotland’s history.

New Lanark will also be providing the opportunity for exhibition steward volunteers to assist with the delivery of this fascinating new exhibition. The volunteers will play a key role in the day to day running of the exhibition gallery and in ensuring that New Lanark’s exhibition gallery is a welcoming and friendly environment.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland was the brainchild of one of the world’s best-loved writers, Alexander McCall Smith.

The 44 Scotland Street author, together with historian Alistair Moffat, and with the artistic talents of Andrew Crummy, and more than 1000 stitchers from all areas of Scotland, formed a team set to produce the world’s longest tapestries through one of the biggest community arts projects ever to take place in Scotland.

Crewel Chicks Stitching Group with the panel of James Hutton at Siccar Point in Berwickshire (Photo: Alex Hewitt)

Taking 65,000 hours of stitching and using over 300 miles of wool (enough to lay the entire length of Scotland), illustrating 420 million years of Scottish history in 160 panels, this beautiful tapestry depicts the entire history of Scotland.

Textile production and innovation has been the continuous thread throughout New Lanark’s history, from the village’s early years as the one-time largest cotton manufacturer in Scotland, to now producing over 60 shades of high-quality woollen yarn using historic textile machinery and launching the world’s first Organic Tartan in 2015.

Through this exciting partnership with the tapestry makers, New Lanark offers the perfect backdrop for this wonderful exhibition which will be on show until the beginning of July.

Visitors can also spend the rest of their day exploring New Lanark, learning about its fascinating history, or head out for a woodland walk in the falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve where they can admire the views before heading to the Mill Café for a bite to eat and a browse round the Mill Shop.

To find out more and purchase tickets HERE.