When dreaming up the designs for our dressy special occasion looks, we couldn’t help but think back to all of the lovely lace we set eyes on in Scotland. As it turns out, the Scots have mastered a lot in the way of the textile world – from their famous Fair Isle patterns to their iconic Harris Tweed – and lace is yet another craft they lay claim to their repertoire. Follow along to learn more about the inspiration behind our Scottish lace inspired designs!
On a desolate road in the Irvine Valley of Ayrshire, lined with old buildings, remnant of a once flourishing neighborhood of factories, the Morton Young and Borland (MYB Textiles) factory still stands relatively unchanged from when it was founded back in 1900. Only it’s come a long way since its humble beginnings. Today, Alexander Morton’s lace-making vision stands stronger than ever – the last remaining lace producer of its kind in the world, MYB Textiles is famously weaving Scottish lace and madras sheers for companies and clients around the world on traditional Nottingham looms.
Behind the factory doors, there’s a contagious buzz of machines hard at work and rolls upon rolls of exquisite lace stretching across every corner of the room.
Here, a Tea designer stands between floor-to-ceiling walls of pattern cards (perforated cards designed to tell the machine when to raise a thread), containing designs dating back decades.
Turn the corner, and you’ll come to another room where a group of women sit with needle and thread, meticulously hand-repairing long, flowing pieces of lace in their laps. A true labor of love!
There are two main types of lace weaves. Richly textured Madras is known for its exquisite appliqué design, in which 100-percent cotton scrim is woven and then passed over by the Madras loom to affix the overlaying pattern. Nottingham lace, a finer machine-woven lace produced on Nottingham looms, is known for its fine point sizes and jacquard-inspired patterns. While different in design and make, they’re both equally lovely.
Inspired by the intricate traditional manufacturing methods we saw firsthand at MYB, and the delicate patterns of antique Scottish laces we found at local flea markets, we couldn’t wait to incorporate these details into our Holiday collection.
What began as initial hand sketches, soon transformed into four gorgeous prototypes. And the results? Effortlessly gorgeous dress styles perfect for all your leading ladies!
Note: This intricate embroidered dress pays tribute to feather and fan, a Shetland lace stitch that creates the illusion of alternating waves.