Culture By Jen Murphy for OTLRE Magazine

OLTRE: Araminta Campbell's bespoke family tartan with heritage alpaca in Edinburgh

Araminta Campbell

Araminta Birse-Stewart

Araminta Campbell

The flagship atelier in a restored 19th-century baronial castle, models wearing blankets from the Home Studio Collection

In an era of fast fashion, Scotland's centuries-old weaving tradition has struggled to survive, but at a new atelier on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Araminta Birse-Stewart preserves her country's craft through timeless textiles that celebrate both heritage and landscape.

Birse-Stewart launched her now-renowned brand, Araminta Campbell, in 2016. Specializing in custom designs, she weaves personalized stories into bespoke tartans and tweeds for clients ranging from Fortnum & Mason to luxury resorts. She's even installed Araminta Campbell fabrics inside custom Land Rovers.

Araminta Campbell

Custom alpaca threads

Araminta Campbell

An antique hand loom

In fall 2022, she debuted her flagship atelier in a restored 19th-century baronial castle, where by appointment guests can now shop a showroom curated with one-off designs and limited editions while sipping cocktails crafted with spirits from boutique Scottish distilleries like Nc'nean and Eight Lands. They can also watch her team of artisans bring their fabrics to life on vintage George Wood looms (considered by many to be the world's finest).

Birse-Stewart sources 100 percent British alpaca wool, and she can often name the alpaca a particular fleece came from. She calls on independent Scottish mills to dye and spin the yarn. Every commission is meticulously handwoven. A single scarf can take up to three weeks, depending on the complexity of the design.

Araminta Campbell

Antique shears

Araminta Campbell

Model wears the latest designs

The designer typically shows clients a range of tweeds and tartans to help them identify what they like. They discuss family history and passions before combining elements from a number of patterns to create something with meaning.

"It's the ultimate expression of heritage and connection to place," she says.

Bespoke tartan and tweeds start at $6,000; the Signature Collection from $1,500.
Heritage alpaca items start at $1,000.

This story originally appeared in the spring 2023 issue of OLTRE. If you don't already have a subscription, contact your travel advisor.

Photography by Madeleine Morlet