Meet our Artisans: Macnaughton Mill

07 Jun 2024

Macnaughton in Keith: A Collaboration of Tradition and Innovation with Araminta Campbell

Nestled in the quaint town of Keith, Scotland is MacNaughton – one of our Artisan mill partners. Araminta Campbell’s partnership with Macnaughton in Keith is a celebration of tradition, craftsmanship, and innovation.  At Araminta Campbell, we are proud to partner with McNaughton, a company that shares our values of tradition and innovation. Together, blending time-honoured techniques with Araminta’s contemporary designs to create exquisite mill-woven textiles. Each piece is a fusion of history and modernity, weaving a story that celebrates Scotland’s rich textile heritage.

Together, we invite you to explore the story of Macnaughton and how our partnership with them goes deeper than creating beautiful textiles.

Designed with passion made with integrity

Macnaughton began over 240 years ago as a small spinning mill nestled by the banks of Loch Tay, Scotland. Macnaughton’s has woven a tale of resilience, adaptation, and triumph. Through the ebb and flow of history, this family enterprise has weathered storms, emerged stronger, and now stands tall as one of Scotland’s enduring textile treasures. In 2017, the founding family stepped back from management, and in 2022, the company was sold to new owners, signalling a fresh chapter in its legacy under the stewardship of Simon and Clare Cotton. Now with nearly 80 dedicated team members spread across three locations, Macnaughton’s isn’t just a business; it’s a living testament to the spirit of Scottish craftsmanship and innovation.

Kevin: A Testament to Tradition

Meet Kevin, the Mill Manager at Macnaughton’s in Keith, whose journey in the textile industry spans an impressive 45 years. Kevin’s passion for textiles began at a young age, influenced by his father, the former production director for the business. Growing up surrounded by the intricate workings of shuttle looms and the mechanical artistry of textile production, Kevin found his calling.

In the early days, Kevin worked with shuttle looms that wove kilt fabrics in a time-honoured process. His love for the mechanics of the looms led him to relish every moment spent with tools, cogwheels, and the essence of oil and spanners.

A Family’s Love for Textiles

For Kevin’s family, textiles were not just a profession but a way of life. His mother, too, was deeply involved in the industry, starting as a weaver and knotter before transitioning to cone winding. When Macnaughton’s relocated to Keith, a new chapter unfolded. The factory, complete with a shop selling seconds and kilt fabrics, became a familiar space for Kevin’s family.

Kevin’s Passion for Precision and Progress

When we asked Kevin, the dedicated Mill Manager at MacNaughton’s, about his favourite part of the textile process, he didn’t hesitate. For Kevin, it’s all about feeling on top of things and ensuring his team is trained to excel at every aspect within the mill. In the fast-paced world of textiles, this attention to detail is crucial for the smooth execution of client projects. Another one of Kevin’s greatest joys is fixing a machine and then witnessing it seamlessly run. He described the satisfaction akin to what his father experienced, smoking his pipe and watching a car he had worked on come back to life. As a child, Kevin didn’t quite grasp why his father stood back with such pride. Now, he understands that feeling of accomplishment when he breathes life back into a machine within the weaving workshop.


A Symphony of Colours and Craftsmanship

Kevin talked of his admiration for the colours that Araminta Campbell often works with for her custom tartan and tweed designs. He is particularly drawn to the autumnal hues—inspired by the changing leaves, the rustic countryside, and the earthy tones of the season. These colours, he believes, are perfectly suited for high-end textiles, reflecting a natural and timeless elegance. Join us in embracing tradition while pushing the boundaries of innovation. Our textiles are more than just garments—they’re expressions of heritage, creativity, and the spirit of Scotland.

The Challenge of Finding Skilled Staff in the Textile Industry

In an era where industries are evolving rapidly, finding skilled staff to work in the textile industry has presented its own set of challenges. The allure of a factory environment is not always immediate; it’s noisy, bustling, and far from what many might consider glamorous. However, for those who appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into every fabric, it’s a world of opportunity waiting to be discovered.

Supporting Mills, Sustaining Craftsmanship

At Araminta Campbell, our textiles go beyond mere beauty; they are a homage to the timeless craft of weaving and a beacon of support for rural mills like Macnaughton’s. In a world where the artistry of textile production is not always honoured as it once was, we stand as a preserver of the industry, dedicated to upholding its legacy and ensuring its flourishing future.

Together, we invite you to explore the beauty of our millwoven textiles and discover the rich story behind each piece.

Discover our Heritage Millwoven Collection. 


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