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Talents on show

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Talents on show

WORK by craftswomen from Dumfries and Galloway is featuring in the prestigious 2018 National Exhibition of the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.

Pieces include Fiona Moir’s hand dyed and woven tunic and tapestry items by Rita Corbett, as well as a beret in suffragette colours made locally.

They are among scores of crafts on show at the event, which opened at Strathclyde University last Friday. South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine attended the opening along with exhibition organiser Margaret Vaughan, from Heck, who is president of the Dumfries and Galloway Guild.

The pair were also pleased to see wool from the Castlemilk Moorit, a rare breed of sheep created by Sir Jock Buchanan Jardine on his Annandale estate more than a century ago. It featured as knitted bunting from breeds across the UK.

Ms McAlpine has championed the textile industry in the region and said: “It was a pleasure to accompany Margaret to the exhibition this evening – she has done a lot for the arts and crafts community in Dumfries and Galloway as president of the branch of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild – as well as running one of the regions’ most successful small businesses ‘By Heck! Preserves’.

“The talent on show was extremely impressive. Weaving, spinning and dyeing are an important part of our cultural heritage in Scotland and in Dumfries and Galloway – where many towns have a history of producing yarn and fabric. Langholm is of course known globally for its textiles, and the Sanquhar pattern is an instantly recognisable piece of our heritage. The whole of the South of Scotland was well represented.

“There is renewed interest in “making” and traditional skills among the young. Such crafts take patience and skill but are extremely sustainable. The guild offers workshops and support and a chance to help each other and make friends. I would encourage anyone with an interest to become involved with the Guild locally.”