Renowned for her intricate designs and unwavering commitment to sustainability, Araminta Campbell seamlessly fuses contemporary designs with centuries of Scottish tradition. 

Araminta's artistic voyage began with a degree in Embroidery, laying the groundwork for her illustrious career. Drawing inspiration from the remarkable designs found in nature, she finds awe in the patterns carved by swiftly flowing rivers and the vibrant hues that grace the landscapes and skies. These elements of the natural world form the very essence of her signature collections, infusing her designs with a touch of organic splendor. Join us as we find out more about this incredible partnership ahead of the opening of 100 Princes Street.

Collection of woven scarves

© Araminta Campbell

Our Interview with Araminta Campbell

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you became interested in textile design and weaving?

I started my creative career with a degree in Embroidery, this was in essence a fine art textile degree so I was never focused on creating textiles with a view to commerciality but rather as art, this is still the foundation for everything my brand stands for. At first, I was working as an artist, I have no formal training in weave, but am self-taught and over the first few years honed my skills both in weave design and hand-weaving. Over time this developed into the foundations of the brand you see now, my signature collection and custom design service and I've never looked back.

What is your creative process like when developing a new design or collection?

This does vary depending on if I am creating an own brand collection or whether it is a custom design for a client. For my own collections, these usually come about from time spent outdoors, and marvelling at some of the designs created by nature such as the patterns fast flowing water makes in a river. My signature collection designs are all inspired by the natural world and then the colours of the landscape and the skies above are my inspiration for my heritage collection. For a custom design, I love working closely with my clients to draw out their brief and weave their stories into cloth, each project is so individual. From first concept, I then move onto a weave design program which enables me to work out the complex intricacies of the weave from colour combinations to weave structure. Some designs work quite quickly but others can take weeks to evolve and others simply don’t work, so there is a lot of back and forth.

Woman Weaving

© Araminta Campbell

Can you share some insights into the techniques and materials you use in your weaving, and how you approach each new project?

I think the main thing here is that everything we do is completely bespoke, from the creating and weaving of a client’s design in one of our wonderful Scottish mills (we work with many), to the yarn we use in our own handwoven products. We feel very lucky to showcase both sides of the woven textile industry in Scotland. In our signature and heritage collections, even the yarn is bespoke as it is made from British Alpaca and spun as individual fleeces. This year we are excited to say that we even know the name of the individual alpaca that the fleece comes from. In our own brand tartans, I dye the original colours with natural plant dyes before they are then meticulously colour matched using commercial dyes so the colours are exclusive to us too. Part of what I love about having my own business is the creativity of using different techniques but then also working with the other skilled people in the industry from the spinners and dyers to the weavers and finishers.

Your designs are known for their contemporary take on traditional Scottish textiles. How do you balance traditional techniques with modern design aesthetics?

This is an interesting question as I am not quite sure what the answer is! I think I have always loved Scotland and its history so I start my designs from a strong heritage base and then add my contemporary twist. Design to me comes very naturally and I base everything I do on creating a timeless aesthetic and making something that will last. Maybe my work is different as I don’t look at trends and what is going to be ‘in’ next but rather focus on creating design with a story. I think this is clear in our brand collection but then equally I love being pushed to create a design that fits my client’s aesthetic and brief.

Your company emphasizes sustainability and environmental responsibility. How do you incorporate these values into your production processes and design choices?

With the natural world as my greatest inspiration, I have always believed in the need to look after the environment for future generations. The brand was built on sustainable foundations, set up with these values from the outset. The team and the brand are committed to upholding high ethical standards in the production of all pieces, and seeking ways to reduce the environmental impact, we are signatories of the Walpole sustainability charter and part of their working groups in luxury fashion and interiors.

weaving room

© Araminta Campbell

You have won several awards for your designs and entrepreneurship. Can you tell us about a particularly meaningful accomplishment in your career so far?

In 2020 Araminta Campbell was named Walpole’s Brand of Tomorrow, this was an incredible accolade and I feel really shone the spotlight on the brand as far as the luxury market goes in both the UK and Internationally and gave me a chance to champion the amazing artisans in Scotland.

You have worked with a range of clients, from fashion designers to luxury hotels. Is there a particular type of project that you enjoy working on most?

I couldn’t single out one project as the reason I love working with a broad variety of clients is the challenge that comes with it, I am always kept on my toes and have a constant drive to continue creating and exceeding my clients expectations. My business has four different arms, all of which seem quite varied but they fulfil the different areas of my creativity through pattern and texture and then colour and structure.

Woman Weaving

© Araminta Campbell

You are based in Edinburgh, Scotland. How do you find inspiration from the local culture and surroundings?

Home for me personally is Aberdeenshire, but the home of the brand is our wonderful, new castle-like Atelier, Duddingston. Scotland’s impressive landscape is my inspiration and I am passionate about supporting the incredible textile industry that is so core to our heritage. I feel that Scotland is known and recognised for its quality of design and production, however there is sometimes a misconception that it is only about tartan and tweed. This is of course is key, but Araminta Campbell aim to show that there exists a broader scope when it comes to Scottish textiles.

What are some of your hobbies or interests outside of textile design, and how do they influence your work?

I love being outside more than anything, it is an instant tonic so anytime I can I will be outside, whether that it trying to get my out of control garden back in hand, growing flowers for picking and dying or going for a walk with my dogs. Between work and my family life with my husband and two young boys, there is not always much time but I am lucky that my work is my passion!

Finally, can you tell us something unexpected or surprising about yourself that most people might not know?

Araminta is an unusual name that was made up for a play in the 1600s and is also the name given to a character in Harry Potter which was written in Edinburgh.