A stitch in time: high school students' button banner helps raise textiles profile
A REPLICA of Selkirk High School's historic coat of arms is now proudly on permanent display – in Hawick, writes Kenny Paterson.
Selkirk pupils were among 120 students from nine Borders secondary schools who attended Hawick Textile Towerhouse to see nine banners unveiled bearing their town’s name and school’s crest.
The schools worked for six months alongside freelance knitwear designer Lesley Turnbull, Borders Textile Towerhouse education officer Judith Murray, and local businesses to make the panels.
Pupils combined traditional sewing skills and their own design techniques to make each banner, which are made of buttons and other waste materials donated from knitwear and tweed industries.
One of those to help out was Barrie Knitwear. Sales director Clive Brown said: “We have been delighted to work alongside Borders Textile Towerhouse to support the button banner project – undoubtedly this will encourage young people in the Borders to take an interest in this vital industry.
“Our factory had waste buttons which had built up over the years and were really of no use to our business, so it is fantastic to see these being used in a positive way to promote our textile heritage.”
Tens of thousands of buttons were used to make up the banners in a bigger project than was originally intended.
Visitors to the towerhouse were invited to sew a button, with the first sown by comedian Rory Bremner when he opened the facility – which tells the story of the region’s textile industry – last year.
Councillor Graham Garvie, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for culture, sport and community learning, said: “The Textile Towerhouse instils not just a sense of community pride in the industrial heritage of the region but also acts as a gateway for young people to engage with the industry going forward.
“The button banner project is an excellent example of what can be achieved by the public and private sectors working together in innovative ways.”
Selkirk High’s coat of arms includes trees to represent the Royal Ancient Hunting Forest of Ettrick, The Virgin and Child taken from the Royal Burgh’s coat of arms and the open book to represent the school. The motto Trusty and Leal is from the Common Riding song.
Other schools to take part were Berwickshire, Earlston, Eyemouth, Galashiels, Hawick, Jedburgh, Kelso and Peebles.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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