The Tales Behind the Milne Graden Tartan

Every year the Milne Graden team work to further enhance the unique offering of their eight holiday cottages. In 2021, they dreamt up a plan to encapsulate the magic of the estate by creating their very own Milne Graden tartan. Having discovered the incredible Lochcarron of Scotland team, they worked alongside their talented designers and creators to bring this vision to life.

Lochcarron of Scotland is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of tartan with a heritage dating back to 1892. The mill is based in Selkirk, right in the heart of the Scottish textiles industry and only an hour’s drive from Milne Graden estate. Lochcarron proudly produces ethical and sustainable products from British wool which are manufactured in the Scottish Borders and Northern England. They champion the traditional Scottish fabric and have created over 500 authentic tartans for homeware, accessories, and international fashion houses alike.

The wool used by Lochcarron to weave the Milne Graden tartan is 100% British, all-natural, and a biodegradable product. Sourced from Laxtons in Yorkshire, the yarn is made from a mixture of Bluefaced Leicester for softness and Masham for durability. The fleece used to create the Sheepsoft yarn is produced on farms within 50 miles of Laxtons.

Recently we sat down with the marketing manager at Lochcarron of Scotland, Leah Robertson, to learn more about the process behind creating the Milne Graden tartan blankets.

Leah explained, “The design process began with picking the colour palette for the tartan. The Milne Graden team created mood boards which highlighted the four cornerstones of the estate – the heritage, holiday cottages, spring salmon and autumnal colours. This helped us to select yarn tones that encapsulate the spirit of the place. The final colours were chosen from a limited range of luxurious natural heather-toned Sheepsoft yarn, ensuring that they all complimented each other, resulting in a harmonious palette.

Sheepsoft wool samples

Now that the colour palette was chosen, the team worked closely with our talented designer, Alice, to select the perfect tartan pattern. There are infinite options available, with variations including the thickness of lines, choice of dominant and highlight colours and the band symmetry. The Milne Graden team settled on an elegant large check asymmetric design.

Following the design agreement, the yarns were wound onto a beam in the correct order to create the pattern through a process called warping. Once the warp is ready it is then ready to be woven. The mesmerising weaving process took place over the space of four to five days where one continuous cloth was made.”

Leah continued, “Once the cloth was created, we sent it to Schofield Dryers and Finishers in Galashiels, located just 5 minutes away from our own mill, where it is washed to remove the wool’s natural oils and dried to size. It then returned to Lochcarron to be cut into blankets, with an extra special finishing touch of personalised Milne Graden labels stitched on.”

Milne Graden Labels on Tartan

It was a delight to have worked so closely with Lochcarron to develop this unique product. The use of Sheepsoft wool to create our blankets was a first for Loch Carron, making our blankets even more exclusive. Milne Graden guests can book a tour of the Lochcarron mill to get an insight into the process of making tartan.

Guests can enjoy cosying up by the crackling fire wrapped in one of our soft, snuggly blankets during the autumn and winter months. Hopefully, the experience will be even more special knowing exactly where the product has come from, and the incredible care taken to ensure they are sustainable.

Milne Graden Throw by the fire