Skye Fabric

When starting work on a project for a new company, Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby like to visit them, meet the people, and understand what they are capable of as an organisation or manufacturer. This takes them far and wide to companies in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, USA and Japan. So when invited by Bute to design a range of new fabrics, it meant an intriguing visit to the small Isle of Bute in Scotland’s Firth of Clyde, a 30-minute crossing from Wemyss Bay.

  • Year / 2007
  • Manufacturer / Bute Fabrics

Scotland's isles are renowned for their textiles industries. In the case of Bute, the company was established after the Second World War by the Fifth Marquis to provide jobs for returning servicemen. Since then, it has become a leading producer of high quality fabric to the upholstery industry. 

Barber & Osgerby spent a good deal of time in the textile archives at Bute with the guidance of Catherine Murray, the Design Director, and so developed an understanding of the structure and composition of the fabrics. Deciding to use a traditional cord structure gave the fabric a three-dimensional quality. Two contrasting colours ran next to each other in a finely striped cord so that the colours would mix into a third colour when viewed from a distance.