Julia Cunningham

Handbags, accessories and gifts designed and made in Scotland

Where did it start?

Julia CunninghamComment

The Julia Cunningham label was launched back in 2006 while I was at home looking after my two small children in a small rural village in the heart of the Scottish Borders. I think my love of fabrics and sewing came from my mum and my grandmother. I remember my mum sewing me dresses and telling me stories about her mum dressmaking and mending my grandfathers shirts during the war. I wonder how many of us have complained and wriggled about as we stood on a table as our mothers pinned up a hem and told us to stand still.

I loved collecting things as a child and this continues today as I collect fabrics,beads and buttons to use in my collections. I don’t know about you but I miss the treasures you could find in the haberdasheries that used to be on every high street. I still have my first learn to sew books and my first hedgehog pin Cushion made from felt. A time when all households contained darning needles and a healthy sewing box!

As a young adult I made a lot of my own clothing and enjoyed making things that were different in the fabrics I loved. So nothing has really changed I still collect fabric I love, so that I have a rich supply of beautiful cloths that I can dip into when i make a bag for you. I use the traditional skills that have been passed down to me to create these handcrafted products and the design skills i have studied for and picked up along the way.

In and around the Borders we have a rich tradition of weaving beautiful cloth, tweeds and tartans. They are are full of such colour and texture and are used by designers throughout the world. So forging links with these businesses i am able to source small quantities of traditional and contemporary fabrics for my bags and other collections.

So when you buy a bag, accessory or gift from me you hopefully get something that’s a little bit different, that was designed and made by hand in my garden studio. A handbag or scarf that suits you and your style something just a little bit different. That reminds you of the past but fits in with the present.