The fabric of Borders history comes to Selkirk

Dr John Ennis, with textiles designed by Felicity Bristow.
Dr John Ennis, with textiles designed by Felicity Bristow.

An exhibition dedicated to the past, present and future of linen – Scotland’s oldest fabric – featuring work by Borders artists, is coming to Selkirk.

Our Linen Stories, accompanied by an artist talk and other activities, takes place at the Haining from July 26 to 29.

Exhibition organiser John Ennis is calling on people to bring along linen from their own homes or to share their own linen tales.

He said: “Linen is Scotland’s oldest textile and its production helped power the Industrial Revolution.

“Flax was grown across the Borders and turned into local textile.

“Part of the exhibition is devoted to dining table damask, and we would be delighted if Borders folk could lend some examples of damask linen they may have at home.

“Even though linen was so much a part of people’s lives, the mills, retting waters and bleach fields are now slipping from memory, so we are also asking people for local information on this industrial heritage and indeed any of their linen stories – whether they are about family involvement in the industry, or about pieces they owned and loved – which we can record and share.”

The Selkirk exhibition, free of charge to enter, is open from 10am to 4pm daily.

Also, on Thursday, July 26, from 6pm to 8pm, all are welcome to a reception, with a welcome being provided by South Scotland Conservative list MSP and ex-Selkirkshire councillor Michelle Ballantyne and an introduction by Dr Ennis, who will share some linen tales from the Borders.