A tartan weaving brand is over 75% of the way towards hitting its funding target – just days after launching.
A bespoke tartan design and manufacturing business Prickly Thistle has built an international clientele since opening its ‘pop up’ weaving mill in Evanton in April after running a successful crowdfunding campaign in early 2018.
The rewards-based crowdfund was built around the company’s Black House Mill collection which has been developed to generate the funds to build a permanent home for the company on the Black Isle.
As part of this collection, amongst other items, new rule fashion garments were created leading to international sales success.
The company have now just gone live with their season two episode of the Build The Mill campaign on the international Kickstarter platform. The collection will only ever be available until the Black House Mill is complete in early 2020, making this an iconic limited edition for tartan history.
They aim to raise £50,000 by December 28, but are already at £36,402, from 215 backers.
Clare Campbell, 40, the founder of Prickly Thistle, said: ‘The success of our products collection to date means that we’ll be expanding on our current range through two new exciting innovative raw materials projects that will be developed throughout 2019.
‘These will then be taken forward on to 2020 and into our “tartan lab” which will form the backbone of the company for years to come.’
The vision for the lab, along with associated weaving and finishing facilities will be incorporated into the Black House Mill, centred around the conversion of a 250-year-old farm steading that the company has recently acquired.
The mill will be the only permanent tartan weaving facility in the Scottish Highland region.
Clare continued: ‘As part of the mill development, and following our ethos for artisan manufacturing, we also managed to track down 100-year-old traditional weaving looms that had been languishing for years in a redundant part of a mill in the Scottish Borders.
‘We were slightly concerned that we might not be able to source the skills to operate and maintain these looms but was delighted to be introduced to a retired ex fashion line Hunters of Brora loom engineer who has joined us to pass on the skills needed to operate such machinery.’
The opening of the new mill has also brought employment opportunities to what was seen by many as a dying industry.
The company has employed two young, recently graduated textiles students, and three other employees with mixed industry experiences.
Having created a diverse team the businesses is ensuring that the traditions of the industry are being handed down through the generations in the Highland region once again.
Clare added: ‘This matching of these different age groups and diverse industry experience means that we’re doing our bit to ensure that these traditional skills are not lost for future generations.
‘But we are especially excited about the fusion of old and new textile skills along with those from sectors such as Oil & Gas engineering.
‘Forging a new vision, disrupting processes and creating never seen before products for a new future for one of Scotland’s iconic exports.’
This development has found support from the wider fashion community also, Gordon Millar, founder of Scot Street Style has been spreading word about the brand.
He said: In this land of enchantment, we are immensely proud of our history and heritage. It is vital we preserve our unique culture and craftsmanship, by channeling our collective rebel spirit, to rise above the tide of fast fashion.
‘We can all be cultural leaders, emboldened and empowered together, to ensure we safeguard and sustain our ancestral skills into the future.’
The company undertakes bespoke design work for individual and corporate clients and then ensures that through the development of the mill that it has complete control of the entire process from initial design concepts to finished product delivery.
Looking to the future, Clare concluded: ‘At Prickly Thistle, we are creating a brand of endurance for Scotland that has never been seen before.’
Click HERE to support the campaign.