Call for young designers

One of Largoward knitwear designer Di Gilpen's pieces.

One of Largoward knitwear designer Di Gilpen's pieces.

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Largoward knitting guru Di Gilpin plans on making a rallying call to secondary school pupils to become the next generation in Scotland’s fashion and textile industry.

Di is taking part in a fashion and textile festival Stitch in Time at stately home Dumfries House, Ayrshire, next week alongside some of the biggest names in the industry, including world-renowned designer Christopher Kane, Patrick Grant from The Great British Sewing Bee and professionals linked to high-end fashion houses such as Prada, Chanel, and Vivienne Westwood.

Largoward knitwear designer Di Gilpin, of Largoward.

Largoward knitwear designer Di Gilpin, of Largoward.

“It’s normally the Borders that people talk about in terms of knitting and weaving, but I’m really keen to grow what’s happening with us here in Fife,” said Di, who employs a core staff of 10 across Fife.

“The skills we have passed on to a large number of people is pretty amazing.

“Young people coming into the industry bring a fresh eye and a huge amount of enthusiasm.”

Her designs sell under her name in the UK and under Bellweather in Japan, and she also produces designs and a range of hand-knitted accessories and garments for brands such as Wolsey and Nike.

It’s normally the Borders that people talk about in terms of knitting and weaving, but I’m really keen to grow what’s happening with us here in Fife.

Di Gilpen.

“I’m a huge advocate of artisan products handmade to the very highest level,” Di said. “Scotland is perfectly-placed for young people to be attracted into that industry, and we want to keep as much talent as we can in Scotland and encourage small makers and couture producers.

“It persuades top designers who are looking for those specialisms to come to Scotland.”

Kenneth Dunsmuir, administrative director of Dumfries House, said: “We will be delighted to welcome Di Gilpin along with more than 300 school pupils and some of the biggest names in the fashion and textile industry to Dumfries House.

“Stitch in Time represents an invaluable opportunity for young people who have a passion for traditional skills such as weaving, knitting, spinning, sewing, and design to meet some of the most influential people in the industry and to make that exciting first step towards a job in fashion and textiles.”

The event takes place on June 25 and is open to those of secondary school age providing they indicate in advance to leanne@catwalkproductions.com

For more information about the festival go to Fife Today