British product designer David Irwin created his first range of textiles in collaboration with Bute Fabrics. The Identity and Strata collections are inspired by the island and intricately celebrate the company’s heritage, its location, and its people.
Both collections are firmly rooted in the elements on which the company are founded: craftsmanship, the island landscape, and the local community. This collaboration celebrates the impact of the human touch within machine production, the makers mark and the mastery of the unique processes inherent in fashion and textiles manufacture.
The Strata collection takes its cue from the isle of Bute’s underlying geology, referencing the colours of stone found on the island from its bedrock to its pebbled beaches and rocky shores.
A prime example of this sandstone in use is that of Mount Stuart, the Gothic Revival Mansion which is the seat of the Stuarts of Bute. The blocks from which the building is constructed were hand dressed by stone masons whose individual chisel marks are still visible today.
The resulting ‘Mason’ design is a bold, large scale striped pattern possessing the textures of natural stone whilst retaining the inherent character of hand craft.
Mineral is designed to create visual impact - the graphic structure preserves a feeling of stone whilst the abstract array of fragments leaves the pattern open to interpretation. For ‘Mason’, earthy, rugged hues derived from the sandstone and pebbles collected on the island, helped to inform the final palette. Referencing minerals and precious stones, the colourway for ‘Mineral’ offers a fresh, youthful palette containing a mix of dusty pastels and elemental shades.
The first of two fabrics within the identity collection, ‘Kin’, celebrates the impact of human touch within machine production: the makers mark and the mastery of the unique processes inherent in textile manufacture.
Fingerprints from each member of staff, provided the graphical source material with a direct link back to the people who create the end product. Fluid and dynamic, the resulting arrangement has the appearance of motion in unison, a collective mass swirling in an almost hypnotic display.
The second of the two fabrics within the Identity collection, ‘Clan’ celebrates the unique origin of the company and it’s founding by the 5th Marques of Bute. The idea of lineage and celebrating connection with our ancestors became a key element when creating a pattern for Clan, a pattern which began with the checked motif contained within the ‘Stuart of Bute’ heraldry.