‘Ian’s Waulking Jacket’
Created for pop-up gallery ‘The New Craftsmen’ in Mayfair, Christmas 2012
Gentleman’s tweed jacket and waistcoat. The tweed was woven on a hand loom before 1939 and acquired by the gentleman’s father whose profession involved setting up radio stations along the Galician coast; he would visit various Hebridean islands and it was on one of these visits that he acquired the tweed.
Eventually the tweed was made into the garment by a tailor in Dundee. It is of traditional style for a kilt jacket complete with antler horn buttons.
Now the jacket has been hand stitched with anecdotes personal to the wearer. He said ” the kilt jacket brings back to me the memory of tramping over the hills like in the poem”. This poem has been hand stitched in Gaelic on one sleeve and English on the other.
He also told me of a ‘port-a-beul’ or mouth music that had been used in ‘waulking’ the cloth (a folk song traditionally sung by women while ‘waulking’ or beating the tweed to soften it).
This also has been stitched on, with its translation.
I particularly loved the ‘whole story’ from the process of creation of the tweed to the clear evidence of it having been loved and worn. ‘Waulking’ is the Gaelic word for walking and this jacket has done some miles! Its therefore been adorned with flora and fauna from Scotland hand cut from old maps.