The team behind the Inverness Castle project is looking for volunteer tapestry seamstresses to capture the spirit of the Highlands and Islands


Highland Tapestry Project.

Volunteer seamstresses from the Highlands and Islands are being sought to create bespoke community signs.

Sophie Gartshore, Project Officer at Inverness Castle, said: “We need people’s help to create a network of embroiderers who reside in the Highlands and Islands.

“Together, these embroiderers will work with the tapestry team, pick up a needle and thread, and add to the wonderful themes that are being developed.

“Previous sewing/textile experience is beneficial, but not essential.

“If necessary, we will endeavor to connect inexperienced embroiderers with others who have experience and can help advise and guide the process.

“We encourage as many people as possible to get involved.”

Project Coordinator for the Tapestry Team, Anna Marshall, said: “We are looking for seamstresses from Highland and Island communities to help embellish the images created by our team using crewel wool and a variety sewing techniques to enliven and adorn the base fabric.

“There are also opportunities for those who don’t feel like sewing – the project will need logistical and hands-on support with equipment and outreach activities, so the team are also keen to hear any someone who might be interested in offering their skills in carpentry, textile production or delivering performances and workshops.

The tapestry will be designed by artist Andrew Crummy – designer of The Prestonpans Tapestry, The Great Tapestry of Scotland, The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry and many more.

Historian Alistair Moffat will curate the content, drawing on stories submitted by local communities and using his vast knowledge of Scottish history and culture.

Alistair will develop a plan – which reflects community stories exploring the connection between people and landscape in the Highlands and Islands – and will then work with Andrew Crummy to design an array of stunning images that embody the spirit of the Highlands and Islands .

Reflecting the theme of the spirit of the Highlands and Islands, the project will encourage people to visit all parts of the Highlands and Islands in a sustainable way.

Each panel will be assigned to a volunteer sewing group. These groups can vary in size from a few people to a dozen or more.

Volunteers are welcome to apply as individuals or as part of an existing group that wishes to stick together. Those who apply as individuals will be introduced to other embroiderers in their area to form new groups.

Signs will be sewn into homes and cultural centers across the Highlands and Islands. Sewing is expected to begin in early summer with all stitching to be completed by early 2023 when a team will prepare them for exhibition. Some panels will be designed to be displayed at the Château, others will be designed to be displayed in the territories.

The tapestry is created as part of the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project which will be carried out in partnership with VisitScotland and aims to generate benefits for local communities, helping to unlock economic potential and improve visitor experiences across the region by engaging people with our rich natural and cultural heritage.

It is supported by a grant from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF) piloted by NatureScot and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The Inverness Castle project will benefit from an investment of £30 million to support its redevelopment from the Scottish and UK Governments, Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and various other partners.

The Inverness Castle project is part of the Inverness and Highland City Region agreement, which is a joint initiative backed by an investment of up to £315 million from the UK and Scottish Governments, Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.

Volunteer applications can be made online at www.spiritofthehighlands.com/spirit-journey-tapestry-registration/

You can also request a registration pack by emailing [email protected]

Or write to: Anna Marshall, Spirit of the Highlands Tapestry, 5 West Stanhope Place, Edinburgh, EH12 5HQ


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