Elegantly emphasizing traditional hand-crafted techniques, Araminta Campbell weaves soft alpaca on traditional looms for chic, understated luxury.
Scottish textile designer Araminta Campbell (b. 1988) graduated with a BA in Embroidery from the Manchester School of Art in 2011, having specialized in fine art textiles. It was during the last few months of her degree that she developed a fascination for handweaving and natural materials, teaching herself the weaving process while completing her final portfolio. After graduating, she set up her weaving workshop in her native Aberdeenshire, before moving to Edinburgh to officially form Araminta Campbell Ltd in 2014. The company has been based in a few different locations around the city, but in 2018 moved to a ground floor studio in Leith, now home to their showroom, offices, and an authentic hand-weaving workshop, as well as a creative in-house team of weavers and designers. Embracing traditional craftsmanship, historical processes, and timeless design, they produce exceptional textiles that express Scotland’s beautiful landscape and fine weaving heritage. Naturally inspired and sustainably sourced, their textiles are made of soft British alpaca from small farms around the UK.
In defiance of our heavily mechanized age, much of Araminta Campbell’s output constitutes a celebration of the physical labor and intellectual rigor of the hand-weaving process. The designer relishes “the complex and mathematical design” required by this type of work, and enjoys “challenging the limits that can often be very restricting in weaving.” The studio prides itself in its possession of two hand-made 1960s dobby looms by master craftsman George Wood, which are used to render the delicate natural forms evident in the work. Campbell is artistically inspired by fleeting moments of beauty – in particular, those granted by the light and vegetation of the Scottish countryside – and incorporates this admiration for the surrounding environment into her work. The Minta cushions and throws are produced in naturally muted whites and greys. Woven in the studio’s partner mill in the Scottish Borders, they are formed of patterns inspired by ferns on a forest floor, calmly progressing in a diagonal direction, or, in a more lively variant, crisscrossing in a herringbone fashion. Along with alpaca scarves, wraps, and shawls, the studio produces bespoke tweed and tartan commissions; for these purposes, Campbell revives the faded narrative traditions of textile design, often taking direction in color or form from an estate’s natural surroundings. In addition, the studio produces a Signature collection, which consists of one-off artworks or “hand-woven paintings,” individually woven on handlooms in the studio, using fine craft techniques that have been largely forgotten in the twenty-first century. The soft, undyed natural fibers ensure a calming, sophisticated palette; while the simple ratios of the designs provide comforting, practical means by which the studio’s craftsmanship is articulated.
In 2013, Araminta Campbell represented the UK at the International Triennial of Tapestry in Łódź, Poland, and in 2015 was awarded a scholarship from the Incorporation of Weavers of Glasgow. As well as designing their own lines, the studio works on bespoke commissions, and is currently completing a significant project for the reopening of the Fife Arms Hotel in Braemar, which is owned by renowned art collectors Iwan and Manuela Wirth, of international commercial gallery Hauser & Wirth.