Academy pupils to attend textile workshop

Dumfries House in Ayrshire.

Dumfries House in Ayrshire.

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Twenty-four pupils from Rothesay Academy will be heading to Dumfries House estate next week to participate in a textile project thanks to funding support from Bute Family Trust.

Future Textiles, a two-day workshop, brings together industry and education in a unique setting, in order to train the next generation with skills for the textile industry, by providing a range of no cost workshops suitable for secondary school teachers, pupils and those seeking employability skills.

To date, over 800 participants have taken part in sewing, pattern drafting and woven textiles workshops, from secondary teachers to pupils from S1 – S6, as well as an embroidery master class and specialised sector programmes.

The project was initiated by HRH The Duke of Rothesay who listened closely to the needs of the textile industry who wished to address a skills gap, and is run in collaboration with Glasgow Clyde College (Cardonald Campus) and Ayrshire College.

Accompanied by Academy art teacher, Allan Arneil, and two other staff members, younger pupils will be working in rich colour combinations of Bute wool to create fun and stylish cushions and will learn to use an overlocker, decorative stitches and cushion construction. The older pupils will create a wool rucksack which will be fully lined with a decorative embellishment and zip insertion. The products will all be of a saleable standard and hopefully pupils will take them forward to an enterprise activity after the course finishes.

The excursion is the first schools residential to take place between Rothesay Academy and Bute Fabrics, and is a result of ongoing discussion with Bute Fabrics who are focused on developing the next generation of workforce talent.

In addition the pupils will benefit from lots of outdoor activity in the form of drawing and photography workshops delivered by their own teachers and an outdoor team building activity delivered by the trained instructions at Dumfries House.

The event promises to be full, creative and also give pupils the much needed sewing skills to help them grow their local island economy.

Jacqueline Farrell, Project Manager, is delighted by the partnership between Bute Fabrics and the secondary school, saying: “It is the ideal model for the future textiles project as it will genuinely help Bute Fabrics identify potential employees.

“The young people from the island will get to work with a world class luxury fabric during their time on the course which will inspire interest in working for one of the island’s main employers.”