To celebrate its 225 year history and Campaign for Wool Week, one of Scotland’s oldest luxury brands, Johnstons of Elgin, has partnered with local Scottish farming families to produce a limited-edition Farmers Blanket.
The Campaign for Wool is a global endeavour initiated by its Patron, His Majesty King Charles III, when he was Prince of Wales. Forming an international community of woolgrowers and artisans, the organisation raises awareness about the unique, natural and renewable benefits offered by wool fibre.
Experts in woven textile and design, the luxury cashmere brand is supporting local farmers in the North East of Scotland, who specialise in breeding Bluefaced Leicester sheep. Using methods that have been practised for over two centuries, this project has given value to a fibre that in recent years, has earned local farmers very little.
Throughout the project, Johnstons of Elgin worked closely with local farmer and artist, Carolyn Milne, who created a series of six oil paintings depicting sheep farming and the process of acquiring the wool from her flock. The paintings have been a source of inspiration for the colour palette and design of the Farmers Blanket, which reflects the textures and brush strokes of Carolyn’s work.
The fleece of 60 sheep from 5 local farms has been used in this project to create 200 of the jacquard woven Farmers Blankets, made with 100% Scottish wool.
Jenny Urquhart, Johnstons of Elgin Chairman said, “Fine wool products and interest in British Wool is on the rise. It’s our time to shine, and as the largest UK textile manufacturer, we believe it is our responsibility to shine a spotlight on British Wool. Our Campaign for Wool collaboration in 2020, really inspired us to look for other projects.
“With our milestone 225th birthday on the horizon, we were thrilled to work with Carolyn and other local farmers. They have been involved at every step of producing this beautifully crafted British wool blanket. Working with British wool has always been at the heart of our business and sourcing wools from local farmers is how our company was established.”
Sir Nicholas Coleridge, Campaign for Wool Chairman commented, “Johnstons of Elgin is one of the truly great British manufacturers. I regard them as nothing less than National Treasures, producing work of the highest quality and taste, and always innovating in a creative way. They have been key supporters of HM King Charles III’s Campaign for Wool from its inception”.