David Irwin Studio Photo Credit Mark Slater Photography
David Irwin Studio Photo Credit Mark Slater Photography

David Irwin

British product designer David Irwin, has created his first range of textiles in collaboration with Bute Fabrics. The collections, ‘Identity’ and ‘Strata’ have been inspired by the island and intricately celebrates the company’s heritage, its location and its people.

Both collections are firmly rooted in the elements on which the company are founded: craftsmanship, skill, the island landscape and the local community where 46 employees reside. This collaboration celebrates the impact of the human touch within machine production; the makers mark and the mastery of the unique processes inherent in manufacture.

David Irwin Studio Photo Credit Mark Slater Photography
David Irwin Studio Photo Credit Mark Slater Photography

The Strata Collection

The Strata collection takes its cue from the isle of Bute’s underlying geology, referencing the colours of stone found on the island from its bedrock to its pebbled beaches and rocky shores.

A prime example of this sandstone in use is that of Mount Stuart, the Gothic Revival Mansion which is the seat of the Stuarts of Bute. The blocks from which the building is constructed were hand dressed by stone masons who’s individual chisel marks are still visible today.

The tool marks left by the masons create an effect of shadow and contrast similar to that of the rocks found along the southern shore of the island as well the ridges of the eroded sandstone.

The resulting ‘Mason’ design is a bold, large scale striped pattern possessing the textures of natural stone whilst retaining the inherent character of hand craft.

David Irwin Studio Photo Credit Mark Slater Photography
David Irwin Studio Photo Credit Mark Slater Photography

A prime example of this sandstone in use is that of Mount Stuart, the Gothic Revival Mansion which is the seat of the Stuarts of Bute. The blocks from which the building is constructed were hand dressed by stone masons who’s individual chisel marks are still visible today.

The tool marks left by the masons create an effect of shadow and contrast similar to that of the rocks found along the southern shore of the island as well the ridges of the eroded sandstone. The resulting ‘Mason’ design is a bold, large scale striped pattern possessing the textures of natural stone whilst retaining the inherent character of hand craft.

Mineral is designed to create visual impact - the graphic structure preserves a feeling of stone whilst the abstract array of fragments leaves the pattern open to interpretation. For ‘Mason’, earthy, rugged hues derived from the sandstone and pebbles collected on the island, helped to inform the final palette. Referencing minerals and precious stones, the colourway for ‘Mineral’ offers a fresh, youthful palette containing a mix of dusty pastels and elemental shades.

Bute Fabrics_Mill at Work_Photo Credit Gordon Burniston
Bute Fabrics_Mill at Work_Photo Credit Gordon Burniston

The Identity Collection

The first of two fabrics within the identity collection, ‘Kin’, celebrates the impact of human touch within machine production; the makers mark and the mastery of the unique processes inherent in textile manufacture.


Fingerprints from each member of staff, provided the graphical source material with a direct link back to the people who create the end product. Fluid and dynamic, the resulting arrangement has the appearance of motion in unison, a collective mass swirling in an almost hypnotic display.

The second of the two fabrics within the Identity collection, ‘Clan’ celebrates the unique origin of the company and it’s founding by the 5th Marques of Bute. The idea of lineage and celebrating connection with our ancestors became a key element when creating a pattern for Clan, a pattern which began with the checked motif contained within the ‘Stuart of Bute’ heraldry.

Clan’s final composition brings together the basic check from the Stuart Crest and the sequenced auto-radiographs, resulting in a woven pattern of structured irregularity. A randomised, linear repeat, juxtaposed with the organic fluency of Kin.

The colour palette for both Kin and Clan take their cue from the heraldry and tartans of Scottish Clans offering a range of rich tones, versatile neutrals and bold primaries.

 

The Identity Collection brings together two synchronistic elements which celebrate the same origin, whilst producing contrasting forms of pattern: Kin is organic, flowing where Clan is geometric, linear. Identity focuses on graphical representations of identity, both shared and unique.

Photography by Gordon Burniston & Mark Slater

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Bute Fabrics Ltd
4 Barone Road
Rothesay, Isle of Bute
Scotland PA20 0DP

T  +44 (0)1700 503 734

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