BE PART OF A HIGHLAND TARTAN UPRISING - BUILD THE MILL
We want to build what will be the only tartan weaving mill in the Highlands of Scotland. Disrupt history, and be part of the story!
We are a Scottish Highland born and based tartan design studio that specialises in bespoke cloth and product design.
On our journey of discovery over the last two years we have researched every thread of the Scottish tartan textiles industry, built a new client base and found an opportunity to disrupt history - an opportunity that we are inviting you to be part of.
We intend leading the next Highland uprising. The last one, some 250 years ago, saw our traditional tartan clothing banned in the Highlands - a ban that wasn't lifted until 1782.
During the 36 years of the ban, tartan weaving disappeared from the Highland area of Scotland. Today we want you to join us in being at the forefront of bringing this ancient craft home to the Highlands for good by building a tartan weaving mill - a mill that has been missing for a quarter of a millennium. The time is now.
The Black House Mill will be the only tartan weaving mill in the Highlands of Scotland. Based on our extensive research and deep understanding of how the industry is still affected by history, we have battled to meet an ever growing demand for our services and products. We've found that existing provision has difficulty in meeting the demand we've created and having travelled the length and breadth of Scotland to find like-minded disruptors to inject a new wave of creative innovation into Scotland's iconic cloth, it became clear that there was only one solution - to build a tartan weaving mill in the Highlands.
Located just a few miles away from the site of the infamous Battle of Culloden that led to the tartan ban in 1746, you will find the traditional industrial steading building that has been acquired for the project. Now awaiting full restoration into a building with historic purpose, the steading and land rights can be dated back to 1787, complete with a Royal assignation. Of quintessentially Highland design, and located deep in the Highland countryside of the Black Isle, it proudly faces North West across the glassy waters of the Cromarty Firth towards the mountains of the West Highlands.
But this will be an uprising like never before, where creative disruption and innovation will be part of a 'build the mill' project that weaves our five threads of purpose into a lasting legacy.
You will help build the home for the Black House Mill, and with your support we can ensure tartan is restored to the Highlands. We will also be bringing new technology to an ancient tradition and by virtue of this you will also help create employment for at least six full time members of staff through 2018. Building year on year, you will be creating job roles that do not currently exist in the region.
Having been on the journey for two years already, we have customers waiting. We have also obtained the necessary pre-planning approval for the restoration and conversion of the existing building into a fully operational textiles mill.
Above is our artists impression of the renovated mill, which will feature dedicated space for design, weaving and product finishing.
With your support we can achieve the following milestones with the funds raised from this campaign.
Should you wish to know more about our five year plan then please request this here.
To celebrate our shared success with you our mill founders, we will be holding a founders mill opening event in October 2018 on the Black Isle. You will all be invited for a private tour and meet the team at Prickly Thistle at that time.
In return for your support we wanted to make sure you were rewarded with limited edition one off luxury gifts and keepsakes that exude the ethos of the Highland brand we are creating. Gifts exclusively designed by Prickly Thistle, these are created from local raw materials and brought to life through highly skilled craftsmanship - all based in the Scottish Highlands.
As well as your reward, all of our build the mill founders will be entered into the Highland Register. This is a founding record of everyone far and wide that believed in the purpose of this project, and the special nature of our Highland location. It will be proudly displayed at the mill when complete.
THE HIGHLAND REGISTER - DIGITAL COPY OF CERTIFICATE - £15
THE HIGHLAND REGISTER - DIGITAL AND PARCHMENT COPY - £25
Be part of the fabric of this story and secure your entry in to our Highland Register. You will receive a digital copy of your personal certificate via e-mail. With your entry featuring in the displayed register at the mill. We also offer the same reward with a parchment copy of your certificate presented in its own gift box. A sample of the certificate is shown below.
THE BLACK HOUSE PENNY - £55
A limited edition penny made from authentic Highland black slate has been designed by us, for this project, for you. The penny is based on an old Scots Penny, the currency in circulation at the time the steading was first built - the annual rent for the land was One Penny Scots, hence our limited edition offer to you. The penny is engraved with the Prickly Thistle emblem and on the reverse each penny has its unique edition number. Each penny is cut to 38mm in diameter and 5mm thick.
The penny is mounted so that is can be worn as a jewellery accessory, as a key ring or simply treasured in its gift box. You will also be included in our Highland Register, and receive a digital copy of your certificate via e-mail.
THE BLACK HOUSE MILL TARTAN - FABRIC BY THE METRE
This will only ever be available as fabric by the metre for this campaign. Our exclusive design has been created to celebrate the Tartan Uprising in the Highlands of Scotland. Woven in a highly durable 100% pure wool quality, this cloth will be perfect for the inner artisan in us all. Ideal for fashion and interior projects, each metre will come with a limited edition label.
THE BLACK HOUSE PIN - £90
Never seen before, this is our bespoke and hand crafted pin made in the Highlands from authentic Highland black slate. Styled as the official Prickly Thistle Black House Pin it incorporates our logo in a subtle manner, presented in its own presentation box. Each pin is 82mm long and 6mm deep.
This can be worn with kilts, scarves, overcoats, in fact anything you desire to style with something authentically unique and bespoke. You will also be included in our Highland Register, and receive a digital copy of your certificate via e-mail.
THE SHUTTLE WALL - £245
Your name will be engraved onto two stunning solid Scottish oak weaving boat shuttles, one of which will feature within our mill, the Shuttle Wall. The second boat shuttle will be gift boxed and posted to you as a keepsake and reminder of being part of the fabric of our mill.
A boat shuttle is the tool designed to carry the yarns during the weft weaving process on traditional looms. Shuttles are thrown or passed back and forth through the shed by the loom, and with each passing the full tartan design comes to life as a finished cloth. We hope this reward will truly bring part of our mill to your world.
Each boat shuttle is hand turned on the Black Isle just a few fields away from the mill, and has a finished size of 450mm in length. The width and depth are both 48mm. They also feature our Prickly Thistle emblem, which is also engraved just above your name. With this reward, you will be included in our Highland Register, and receive a digital copy of your certificate via e-mail.
THE BLACK HOUSE TARTAN FASHION SCARF - £245
Clare has always loved a scarf of a seriously oversized style. We have created for this campaign an exclusive opportunity to purchase a scarf in the Black House Mill tartan. This must have fashion item will be made from 100% pure merino wool, and comes in a mighty 3m length by 0.75m wide.
Clare wants you to have fun with the infinite ways of styling this garment!
THE HIGHLAND 14 TARTAN COLLECTION - £500
Be part of the mill founding tartan collection, which is limited to 14 designs only. Each of the 14 designs will be inspired by you and for this pledge your date of birth and a colour of choice will be incorporated into an officially registered in Scotland tartan.
You will be presented with a copy of the official registration certificate and will receive a limited edition scarf woven with the finest merino yarns. Your scarf will be cut from one of the first cloths to be woven in the new mill. You will also be included in our Highland Register, and receive a digital copy of your certificate via e-mail.
THE BLACK HOUSE MILL AT HOME - £695
Made with 100% pure merino wool, this limited edition label collection comprises of;
- 1 x throw/blanket (2.5m x 1.5m),
- 1 x 24" square feather filled cushion
- 1 x 18" square feather filled cushion
- 1 x The Shuttle Wall reward
A little secret, the boat shuttle also acts as the perfect tablet stand, for those cosy days or nights in. One shuttle for the Mill wall and one for your home.
THE BLACK HOUSE MILL BUNDLE - £1,000
For a limited number of founders we have our Black House Bundle, which includes;
- Entry into the Highland Register, digital and parchment copy of certificate issued
- The Black House Penny
- The Black House Pin
- A place on the Shuttle Wall
- Included within the Highland 14 Tartan Collection with gift scarf In addition to the above you will be given a matching soft merino blanket, woven in the tartan design that you feature in.
This bundle is limited to 41 individuals, where the bundle items will have a distinguishing silver mark engraved or limited edition label. The Black House Penny, Black House Pin and Boat Shuttle will feature silver Prickly Thistle emblem's on the reverse. Your merino scarf and blanket will be finished with a silver embroidered label detailing the Prickly Thistle emblem and the mill founding year, 2017.
THE HIGHLAND 14 - £8,000
There will only ever be one issue of The Highland 14. You will note many references to this number, which represents the day of the campaign starting, closing and that there are 14 corners to the mill building. Your pledge for this reward will ensure you become one of the 14 main pillars of support.
This is a personal invitation from Clare to join her on the complete bespoke experience that Prickly Thistle offers. Your experience will include;
- A personal tartan design consultation with Clare to create your bespoke tartan and its official registration
- Your official registration certificate presented in a stunning handmade Highland Slate frame with oak stand
- Two 10m bales of your tartan cloth woven at the mill, options include worsted, lambswool and merino qualities. Your tartan will be one of the first to be made back in the Highlands of Scotland
- Personalised coffee table book of your design experience, curated images of behind the scenes moments from design to finished cloth
- A place on the Shuttle Wall
- One of the 14 mill pillars will be named after you, with your name engraved on a slate plaque and positioned with pride
- Private tour of the closed door mill for 4 including lunch with Clare.
- You will be contacted to arrange the details of the full experience when the campaign ends.
THE BLACK HOUSE REWARDS VOUCHER - From £200
This reward allows our backers to reserve multiple items. Starting from £200, you can order a rewards voucher up to the value of the items you wish to reserve. For example, if you wish to reserve 3 Black House Pennies and 3 Black House Pins, the total value of this pledge would be;
3 x £55 = £165
3 x £90 = £270
Total = £435
You will also be included in our Highland Register, and receive a digital copy of your certificate via e-mail.
Here is our timeline for the next 12 months. Sadly due to the fairly harsh Highland winters the building of the mill can only commence in early spring. However, the nature of our rewards will ensure that all pledges should be fulfilled early in 2018, with the exception of cloth related items. These very first bolts of tartan cloth will be available from August 2018.
Throughout the build period we will be sharing with all of those who pledge to support us, behind the scenes images and film of life at the Black House Mill.
At the moment we have a small core team, all Highland based, working with a supply chain throughout Scotland. The mill will allow us to have more passionate staff available in-house thus helping bring back tartan to its home. Our team by their very nature all strive to do things differently from everyone else.
Through our journey of the past two years, our small but mighty team have devised a solution to the need we have identified - disrupt history, build a tartan mill in the Highlands and be part of a new Highland uprising that re-writes the rules!
Clare is commercially creative or creatively commercial. This is derived from her professional training as a Chartered Accountant and her obsession with tartan design and product design, not a likely combination.
However this combination provides assurance at a corporate level but also the ability to take design risks.
We believe that the restoring of weaving tartan to the Highlands is a moment in Scottish history that many around the world will wish to be part of.
Today, it will be a celebration of returning the ancient industry of tartan weaving to its home of origin and for tomorrow, we are providing a new sector of employment for our future generations to grow in the centuries to come.
While there is a market for authentic made in the Highlands tartan, we have discovered that there is not sufficient mill capacity in Scotland to meet the demands that the Prickly Thistle brand has uncovered over the past two years. This is why we're inviting you to be part of the journey where we build the mill that can help fulfil that demand.
In return for everyone's support many creative hours have been spent ensuring that we could provide the founders of this mill with something unique. A series of gifts that champion our Made in the Highlands commitment.
If you would like to find out more about our journey then please follow us on the below social platforms, and do not forget to click follow.....
Risks and challenges
The team at Prickly Thistle has spent the last two years understanding what goes into tartan design, cloth manufacturing and product finishing.
We have developed a portfolio of projects during that time and immersed ourselves in partnerships with all of the remaining tartan textile partners in Scotland.
We are fortunate to also have secured commitment from an award winning construction company to assist with the Mill redevelopment, and equally commitment from specialist equipment procurement partners who have sourced the perfect looms for us!
It is anticipated that the mill will take 6-9 months to develop to an operational stage, and this work will commence in the first quarter of 2018. During that time training facilities have been secured for new personnel, ensuring that as soon as our looms are switched on we start making tartan history in the Highlands once again.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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