Project Orchil


Arran Textiles was set up to promote traditional textile skills on the Isle of Arran. Several learning programmes grew out of this including Project Orchil which is described in the link above.

Project Orchil developed in two directions -

* using the latest IT methods to teach traditional skills
* taking part in European exchange programmes to share
best practice in promoting and preserving traditional
skills and use them to boost rural and island economies.

Connecting Threads

The purpose of Connecting Threads was to record traditional textile skills to pass them on to future generations. A learning pack was produced with a story of two cousins who meet every summer on their grandmother’s farm in the Western Isles of Scotland.

PW0015 Mairi & Calum with their Handwoven Blankets
PW0015 Mairi & Calum with their Handwoven Blankets
PW0015 Mairi & Calum with their Handwoven Blankets
PW0015 Mairi & Calum with their Handwoven Blankets

Project Charlotte

Project Charlotte was a hands on learning programme introducing traditional textile skills into the school curriculum.

Project Orchil – All of our work came together under Project Orchil, a three-year programme funded by the National Lottery Charities Board (now the Community Fund). During Project Orchil we set up new training systems for craftspeople, especially in rural communities. We also investigated ways of setting up the community business which is the focus of our new marketing programme.

Marketing Development Project – The purpose of thia project was to promote the products and services which were identified as marketable in project work.

Craft Development Workshops – The Craft Development Workshops were a joint venture with Arran Textiles and the Scottish Agricultural College at Auchencruive. They were funded by the European Social Fund Objective 3.


Arran Textiles took part in a three-year transnational programme which started in December 2000. The programme was funded by the European Union through the LEONARDO DA VINCI training initiative. Together with partners in Iceland, Ireland and Estonia we wrote materials for learning groups in rural communities who were supported in their work by trained mentors. The material was then field tested in the various countries.