Western Isles weaver scoops national award

TRADITIONAL weaver, Iain Finlay McLeod, has scooped an award at the inaugural The Balvenie Masters of Craft, a programme which recognises, honours and celebrates highly skilled craftspeople around the UK.

Iain has picked up The Balvenie Master of Craft Textiles award which recognises outstanding skill and craftsmanship in the field.

The fourth generation of weavers in his family and on the Island of Lewis, Iain and his team of five weavers create high quality cloth on traditional looms over seventy years old.

They sell their cloth to some of the best tailors and fashion houses in Tokyo, London and Beverly Hills.

Commenting on Iain’s accolade, TV presenter and The Balvenie Masters of Craft judge, Kevin McCloud, said: “Iain has spent a great deal of time learning and honing his skill which has been passed down through the generations. “Not that Iain is remotely anchored in the past – Iain’s quality wares see him travel far afield and his client list and order book would rival that of a Saville Row tailor’s.”

The Balvenie Masters of Craft was created by The Balvenie, the most hand-crafted Single Malt Scotch Whisky, to shine a spotlight on hand-crafted, heritage skills and fellow craftspeople wherever they live and breathe.

The only awards programme of its kind, The Balvenie Masters of Craft seek to recognise and honour high levels of craftsmanship across a number of craft sectors; and other award categories include products created from wood, metal, class and ceramics, and leather.