That I love fabrics is no secret. I adore the stuff and I love to learn more about the processOne of the things that is near Inverness is Johnstons of Elgin. Now if you take seriously luxury and fabric in combination this brand comes up. They make the softest nicest and most expensive cashmere I know of and it is all made in Scotland. They have two factories, the on in Elgin does the milling.
It is about an hours drive to Elgin and it is a nice drive. SO of course came along, he knows that these sorts of things are important to me and happily indulges me to go to one f these things. It was not what he expected and better than I expected.
We arrived and asked for the mill tour. These are complimentary and one started at midday. we had just enough time to have a coffee and a home-baked carrotcake in the cafe. Well that cafe was just wonderful. We loved it. It was light modern with a touch of luxury but still a cafe. Worth a visit on its own. To get to the cafe you have to go through the store with all their wonderful sweaters and stuff, a feast for the the touchy feely fabric lovers like me. SO too was impressed.
The mill tour shows all steps from wool to weaving. It is only a short dive into what is a science in itself and is carried out since 1797 here on the same spot. Sure things have changed, but many things haven’t. The teasing is still done on the same machines they have been using since the early 19th century. In the teasing process the wool almost becomes transparent it is wonderful to watch it happening. The weaving is noisy, but the essence is the same as it has been for hundreds of years with still a lot of handwork.
Oh I could have easily spent days, weeks, months there, alas only 45 minutes were permitted. In the end I bought a needle holder made from cashmere and wool. They are upcycled scraps so not too expensive. SO bought himself a lambswool throw (the cashmere one was too much) and we bought ourselves our customary mug. This time painted with a tartan/tweed design.
We had lunch there and then. we were off again. to a different B&B again. That is something I will tell about in the add on later.