Mary Macgregor trades as BAKKA, preserving and promotes Shetland’s rich textile heritage by using the oldest Fair Isle patterns and colours in a sustainable contemporary manner.
In 2018 Maary created her unique reversible Fair Isle textile. Instead of having the traditional loops on the back of the fabric, this fabric has the pattern on both sides, but with the colours inverted. It was rather complicated to achieve, but she believes it is the way forward in knitwear design and to date noone has copied her.
Traditional Fair Isle has 2 colours in a row. The modern Shima Seiki knitting machines can accommodate 3 colours in a row. In 2020, Mary started colouring the Fair Isle motifs in a completely different way for knitting with this technique. She says, “The results are quite startling and totally modern; the third colour adds structure and fluidity to the piece. This is very much work in progress.”
Mary’s products are sustainable. The yarns she uses are produced in Italy in a sustainable way. Her business, BAKKA, is sustainable since all revenues are invested back into the business, ensuring maximum growth. She has also adopted a zero-waste policy. All the machine setup routines, and practice or failed pieces are kept and sold by weight.
Mary was selected for our 20th anniversary project, 20 Makers, 20 Objects. Read her interview here.