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Edinburgh craft show spot for Dale o Waas designer

Mary Macgregor with some of her collection. Photo: Liam Henderson
Knitwear designer Mary Macgregor with some of her garments.

DALE of Walls based knitwear company BAKKA has been chosen to be part of the Craft Scotland Summer Show at this year’s Edinburgh Festival for the second year running.

BAKKA’s Mary Macgregor is one of 37 creators chosen for the craft presentation, which is intended to be a “snapshot of where design-led Scottish craft is today”.

Named after Macgregor’s croft in the West Side, BAKKA’s textile pieces are created from 100 per cent superfine merino yarn and are inspired by garments from collections within the Shetland Museum and National Museum of Scotland. They will bring Shetland’s oldest traditional patterns and natural colours to the show.

The retail exhibition runs from 3 to 26 August in the second floor of the White Stuff Store in Edinburgh’s George Street.

Macgregor said that she was delighted to be participating for the second year in a row, but will not be there in person as she will be serving the cruise ship trade from her pop-up stall in Lerwick’s Harrison Square.

Macgregor said: “I am absolutely delighted that they have accepted my application for the second time and it is obviously great exposure for the company.

“They have also invited me to join their online market place and that will be coinciding with the start of the summer show.”

She also urged any Shetland based maker to join Craft Scotland or apply to be part of the show – which is not exclusively for Craft Scotland members, but applicants must be approved by a selection panel.

“Craft Scotland are such nice people to deal with and they are extremely professional,” she added.

Macgregor’s background is in mathematical economics but she took maternity leave that turned out to be a 20-year-long retirement from the field. She developed an interest in traditional knitwear patterns and has been collecting them since, moving from the south of France to Shetland in the process.

She added: “What I am trying to do is preserve the textile heritage and I am only using old patterns.

“I have been working on the idea for quite a long time. There has been an awful lot of work upstream, so to speak, before I opened doors. You have to have a selection for sale and you have to keep designing.”

According to Craft Scotland “the growing popularity of a new wave of contemporary craft in Scotland and the demand for unique pieces of jewellery, contemporary ceramics, vibrant textiles and home furnishings is at an all-time high with over 5,000 visitors expected.”

Craft Scotland director Fiona Logue said: ‘We’re thrilled to be able to showcase so many stunning items at this year’s show. The wealth of talent in Scotland is enormous so to be able to feature exquisite jewellery, beautiful limited edition items of clothing, sought after ceramics and imaginative homewares is testament to the growing global demand for Scottish contemporary craft.

“For visitors it’s the perfect opportunity to take home a genuine and unique made in Scotland quality souvenir. With makers from all across Scotland of different disciplines, processes and sources of inspiration there is no better way to get a whistle-stop tour of Scottish craft all under one roof.”