Since its foundation in 1978 among the hills of the Scottish Borders, Glenevan Mill Ltd has been producing exclusive handmade Cashmere knitwear. A third family generation label, it is one of the last remaining manufacturers in Scotland of hand Intarsia – a very sophisticated handcraft skill of decoration – making their pieces the ultimate slow-fashion staple.
Glenevan Mill founder Alessandra Marchini-Gunn was born in Italy in 1918. During the early 60’s Alessandra and her Scottish husband Donald focused their working life on the Scotch whiskey industry – but it was Alessandra’s passion for nature-inspired designs that led to more frequent travels to Scotland.
Here, she found skilled workers that could bring her designs to life – in the form of unique, ultra-soft knitwear. After her son established the mill that put the cogs in motion, their styles were soon shipped around the world and considered unique pieces of art by both American and Japanese customers, which led to bespoke garments. Now under the management of Alessandra’s niece, the designs see history-rich techniques updated with modern hues.
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Glenevan Mill has been awarded the Butterfly Mark for their measurable impact and company-wide commitments to sustainability.
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So how do you make such a hand-crafted piece? The word in-tarsi-a derives from the Arabic word tarsi, a technique which dates back to more than 1000 years ago. Their designers’ concepts are transferred to charts which the Intarsia knitter reads as he skilfully feeds a multitude of coloured yarns through his Intarsia knitting frame and eventually creates a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. The result is a sumptuously light, comfortable garment.
The Glenevan mill has provided a livelihood in Tweeddale for many generations of local people. Employing the most skilled of knitters who pursue their craft using the purest quality cashmere yarns, the garments are only allowed to leave the factory once they have been thoroughly checked by their skilled knitters in different light conditions.
The skills they use are unique to the Scottish Borders. For this reason, all their garments are fully knitted and finished in Scotland, for pieces that are heritage-rich and thoughtfully produced.