Made from the finest British alpaca, each of Araminta Campbell’s hand-crafted textiles tells its own tale of dedication and artistry
“One of the things I’d be most proud of is encouraging others to sustain an element of the hand-weaving industry,” says Araminta Campbell. And, while the traditional Scottish art may be on the decline elsewhere, at Araminta’s Edinburgh studio it is flourishing.
Araminta taught herself to hand weave after completing a degree in fine art embroidery. Attracted by the craft’s technical and creative challenges she began making wall-hangings, which led to commissions to design tweeds. But it was an idea for a Christmas present for her mother, who is allergic to wool but can wear alpaca, that sparked the real beginning of her business. Araminta sourced some British alpaca and made three scarves, all of which she ended up selling before Christmas even arrived.
While her mother did not receive her intended gift, Araminta’s Signature Collection was born. She now produces a range of scarves, shawls, wraps and other accessories that blend an elegant contemporary style with the quality that comes from traditional expertise. Every piece is unique and created from 100 per cent British alpaca, which is spun in the Scottish borders. No dyes are used – alpaca comes in 22 different shades, providing a broad spectrum to choose from. In some cases, Araminta and her team even know the name of the source animal. “There’s a specific chestnut brown that comes from an alpaca called Victoria,” she says.
This level of traceability is important to Araminta, as is the craftsmanship and skill that go into producing every item. These are also key selling points for her clients. “Our products are not stocked in shops, we only sell them direct because they need to have that story attached,” Araminta explains. Customers can book a private appointment at her studio, where they can tour the workshop and see how the items in the collection are woven.
Many of Araminta’s customers are Americans visiting Scotland on holiday, and she is looking to expand further into the global market. But there are certainly no plans to start producing on a mass scale. Araminta describes her work as “wearable art” and her passion will always be for creating beautiful, one-off pieces that speak of a devotion to traditional craftsmanship.