design for 

Internationally acclaimed textile designer Donna Wilson is working on a new Aberdeenshire tartan influced by local school pupils.

The textile designer has joined forces with Aberdeenshire Council’s creative placemaking programme Be Part of the Picture.

Over the last ten years, Donna’s quirky textiles have taken the world by storm and are now selling in 30 countries around the globe.

Her designs and products are inspired by her childhood growing up in the Aberdeenshire countryside and the everyday oddities of life.

Commissioned by the Be Part of the Picture project, she will design a unique tartan, inspired by the rich palette of colours which make up Aberdeenshire’s diverse landscapes and communities.

Donna’s work will be influenced by local school pupils who will take part in workshops to focus on creating their “home colours”, identifying particular colours which best reflect the part of Aberdeenshire where they live.

The resulting tartan, which will be ready by January 2014, will be used to create a range of products that will help promote Aberdeenshire at a national and international level.

Donna will help to design and produce one of those items, which will either be made from the tartan or a knitted interpretation of the tartan design.

The design of the tartan, mixing of the colours and spinning of the yarn will all happen in Aberdeenshire, while the weaving is likely to happen elsewhere in Scotland.

Donna hopes to make a lasting symbol. She said: “I’m really excited to be working on this - designing a tartan for Aberdeenshire is a huge honour for any Scottish designer.

“Tartan is such an important part of our tradition and heritage, and we should never lose that. I hope to be able to make a difference to the manufacturers who will be weaving it and create something that will be a lasting symbol of Aberdeenshire.”

Chair of the council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, Councillor Isobel Davidson, said: “This is fantastic news that Donna Wilson is on board with the Be Part of the Picture programme.

“I am pleased to hear that the project will involve local schools, giving pupils an opportunity to work with a world-class designer and to think about Aberdeenshire and what they love best about where they live.”

Be Part of the Picture is about celebrating the strengths of Aberdeenshire and showcasing the region as a place of beauty, quality and innovation.