The best shops in Edinburgh for cashmere, tweed, knits and tartan
- Edinburgh Guide
- 16 February 2011
Some of the world’s finest textiles come from Scotland
Scotland produces some of the world’s finest textiles. Buy wisely and your clothes will last a lifetime
See-You-Jimmy hats and kilt towels are all good fun, but if you want the real deal sartorial souvenir from Scotland, it’s got to be cashmere, tweed, knits and tartan. So give the trashy tourist haunts on the High Street a swerve and head instead for the shops selling quality goods that will last.
Elgin Cashmere, on the Royal Mile, sells clothing by Johnstons of Elgin, which is the genuine article when it comes to jumpers and cardigans that are guaranteed to last. House of Edinburgh and Designs on Cashmere both sell luxury knitwear from Scottish and other manufacturers, while the Woollen Mill also sells Johnstons of Elgin, alongside Barbour and Chrysalis. Further down the mile, Ragamuffin offers gorgeous tactile knitwear for wool enthusiasts.
For a more modern take on knitwear and accessories, try the quirky Ness Clothing Co , also on the Royal Mile. Anyone who has ever hankered after a pair of cashmere pants with a big silk bow will find what they’re looking for at Belinda Robertson in the New Town. Also in the New Town is Brora, whose gorgeous jumpers and cardigans are made from cashmere that has been produced in a 200-year-old Borders mill.
For tartans, tweeds and checks woven in Scotland and inspired by the colours of the landscape, you can’t beat Anta in the Grassmarket, run by designers Annie and Lachlan Stewart from their factory shop near Tain in Ross-shire. Everything they sell is made in Scotland, including their handmade worsted wool kilts (£550). They also sell homewares, such as throws, cushions and stoneware, while their scarves are just the thing to keep the North Sea breeze at bay.
If you don’t like too much kitsch with your kilt, try one of Howie R Nicholsby’s. Launched at London Fashion Week in 1999, 21st Century Kilts' denim, leather, pinstripe and combat versions have been a hit ever since with celebrity fans including Vin Diesel, Robbie Williams and Alan Cumming. Hipster and traditional options start from £325.
And for simply beautiful tailored suits, jackets and coats that embody the spirit of the Highlands, head to tweed specialist Walker Slater. These clothes seem to capture the essence of fresh air, long walks and log fires – clothes that will take you from town to country and all the way home again. And not a See-You-Jimmy hat in sight.
21st Century Kilts
49 Thistle Street, 0131 220 9450, www.21stcenturykilts.com
73 The Grassmarket, 0131 225 9096, www.anta.co.uk
13A Dundas Street, 0131 557 8118, www.belindarobertson.com
48 Frederick Street, 0131 220 6404, www.brora.co.uk
Designs on Cashmere
28 High Street, 0131 556 6394, www.designsoncashmere.com
54 High Street, 0131 556 7165, www.elgincashmere.com
2 St Giles Street, 0131 226 1577, www.cashmerestore.com
367 High Street, 0131 226 5227, www.nessclothing.com
278 Canongate, 0131 557 6007, www.ragamuffinonline.co.uk
20 Victoria Street, 0131 220 2636, www.walkerslater.com
The Woollen Mill
179 High Street, 0131 447 3680, www.woollenmill.co.uk