Isle of Skye Textile Experience 2024

Textile tour with workshops, talks, visits and stories all about textile and fibre art & crafts on the Isle of Skye
Dates: 20-27 April 2024  fully booked – waitlist only*
Tutors: Various
Activities: Weaving, spinning, felting, plant fibre art & more
Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland
Price: From GBP 2980
Suitable for all creative skill levels

* The last place on this textile tour has just been snapped up, but we’re about to start a waitlist as cancellations do sometimes happen.

A wonderful treat for lovers of textile and fibre art! Immerse yourself in the pleasures of textile art and crafts whilst exploring one of the most iconic locations in Scotland, in the company of like-minded spirits.

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What to expect

This 8-day creative experience combines a series of workshops with local makers, talks and tours of textile studios, with exploring the island and learning about its history and heritage. 

With its wealth of long established as well as new enterprises the Isle of Skye, the largest of the Inner Hebrides, has grown into a destination buzzing with creativity.

This unique textile adventure includes: 

Full-day weaving workshop using hand-dyed wool/silk yarn at Skye Silks
> Half day at Island at the Edge croft including croft tour (meet the sheep!) and introductory session to spinning
> Full day workshop at The Handspinner Having Fun – felting and peg loom weaving
> Half-day Plant fibre art workshop with Caroline Dear
> Dorset Button making workshop with TJ Frog
> Gaelic history session with local expert Coinneach Maclean
> Visits to Skye Skyns, Skye Weavers, Shilasdair Yarns
> Touring different parts of the island

and for your comfort:

7 overnight stays at tasteful, high quality accommodation in Portree
> Delicious meals freshly prepared by our in-house chef, using local produce where possible: 7 breakfasts / 5 lunches / 7 2-course evening meals
> All workshop materials
> Transportation during day tours
> Admissions to sites during tours
> Handmade book
> Wild at Art canvas bag
> Personalised service and detailed pre-travel information by email
> Complimentary transport between accommodations for evening meals
> Support of hosts

Check out the pics and feedback page to see photos and guest reviews from our first Skye Textile Experience in October 2022 – find out more.

Day-by-day itinerary*

Day One – Arrival

You make your own way to Portree. We will advise on the best travel connections for getting there.

We for welcome drinks, followed by the welcome dinner. Afterwards, we gather in the cosy lounge for an introduction to the week and each other.

Day Two – Touring Trotternish

We stop at Shilasdair, the Isle of Skye Natural Dye Company in Culnacnoc. The owners are passionate about working naturally and responsibly and are keen to share their passion with visitors.  We then head off to explore the Trotternish peninsula some more. Highlights include views of the Fairy Glen and a stop at Kilmuir Cemetery, burial place of Flora MacDonald, whose story is immortalised in the Skye Boat Song. Other places where where we might like to stop include the Old Man of Storr, the Kilt Rock and the ruined Duntulm Castle, viewpoints of the Outer Isles, and opportunities for short walks to the shore.

Andrea at Skye Weavers

Day Three – Island at the Edge (croft tour and spinning workshop), tannery talk & Skye Weavers

We spend the morning on the croft at Island at the Edge in Edinbane, where we get to meet the sheep, highland cows and donkeys. We learn about crofting history, wool processing and much more. The owner Yasmin tells us about the Fisherman’s Ganseys she knits and introduces us to the traditional craft of spinning in a taster workshop session.

We head to Skye Skyns for lunch, followed by a tour of the tannery, which is the sole remaining commercial woolskin tannery in Scotland and has a strong emphasis on sustainable practices. Our last stop of the day is at Skye Weavers we get a tour and talk about how they produce their famous fabrics using a bicycle pedal-powered loom.

Skye sheep and hen

Days Four & Five – Day of weaving or half day of plant fibre art & free time

On Days Four and Five we split our group in half during the day. While one group gets to take a full-day taster weaving course with Jaine Mahon at Skye Silks in Dunvegan, the other group gets a half-day plant fibre art workshop at artist Caroline Dear’s studio, followed by a free afternoon to rest and relax or explore Portree in their own time.

Using table looms, each student at Skye Silks will have enough hand dyed wool/silk yarn weft to weave a sample in their chosen weave pattern.

From Caroline Dear we’ll be hearing about natural fibres used in traditional string and rope making, trying out some techniques ourselves, and visiting her studio to see how she uses these techniques in her contemporary artwork.

On one of the evenings we will enjoy a Gaelic culture session with local expert Coinneach Maclean.

Day Six – Touring the South, distillery visit & Dorset Buttons workshop

Today’s tour takes us to the very south of the island, where we get a tour of Torabhaig Distillery and visit Armadale Castle Gardens and the Museum of the Isles.

Back in Portree, Tania from TJ Frog teaches us how to make her famous Dorset Buttons in a leisurely late afternoon/ early evening workshop session.

Day Seven – Felting or Peg loom weaving

Another full-day workshop takes us to the Handspinner Having Fun in Broadford – and fun we will have! Felting in the morning and peg loom weaving in the afternoon – let Bev and her colleagues inspire you.

Handspinner Having Fun sign

Back in Portree, we have our farewell dinner since it’s our last night together already (oh no!).

Day Eight – Departure

The experience finishes after breakfast when we have to say goodbye.

*Please note: This is a prospective itinerary. It may be subject to modest modifications. Nearer the time, once local events programmes are available, we may build in items to further enrich the itinerary, such as an additional workshop or a folk music night.  

Your hosts

Textile maker Lucy MacLeod will be your host throughout the experience and Wild at Art director Ute Amann-Seidel will also be there to meet and welcome our creative guests. Looking after your culinary wellbeing, our amazing in-house chef Kate Gray will spoil you with delicious meals.

We deeply care about your safety and wellbeing – and also very much about your enjoyment! Together with all the local partners involved in the trip we work to ensure everything goes smoothly and that you get as much as possible out of the experience.

Portree Isle of Skye

Our accommodation

Two charming historic buildings in the island capital Portree will be our homes during the trip.

Historic Seafield House, nestled on the shores of Portree Bay is a substantial Georgian House dating from the 1830’s. It is located within its own grounds and walled garden, from where it offers beautiful views across the sea. You may even see an otter in the bay or an eagle flying over Ben Tianavaig!

The other house is the nearby Old Mill. Built over 200 years ago, the house is the main part of Portree’s former grain mill, retaining attractive original features. Above a burn, flanked by beech trees and close to the shore, it commands fine views across to the Isle of Raasay. Over three floors linked by a spiral staircase, the house has high quality, flexible accommodation. The middle floor is an attractive open plan living area with a multi-fuel stove and the original mill stone.

Some of the rooms are available for single occupancy and we recommend you book early if you’d like a room to yourself. These are characterful old properties where no two rooms are the same. Most of the rooms share a bathroom with one or two other rooms. Rooms with exclusive bathroom access will be allocated on first come first served basis.

Price & other details

Cost:  GBP 2980 (approx. 3700 USD) per person, based on two guests sharing (plus GBP 300 to have a double room to yourself). Prices are payable in Pounds Sterling (GBP).

Not included: International flights; transportation to and from Portree; meals other than those listed above (i.e. lunch on day 3 not included); alcoholic drinks other than welcome drinks, wine with welcome dinner and wine with farewell dinner; gratuities.

Guests are required to take out personal travel insurance.

Group Size: Minimum 6 guests and maximum 10 guests.

We will be happy to advise on travel options within Scotland and recommend the best travel connections from Glasgow and Edinburgh, or elsewhere in Scotland, for getting to Portree.

How to book

To reserve your place, please provide some details using the online form (see link below).  We will then send you a welcome email and issue an invoice for the deposit payment. A non-refundable deposit of GBP 500 secures your place and the balance payment will be due 8 weeks before the trip starts. Feel free to contact us anytime if you have questions.

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Isle of Skye landscape