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Fabric & Product Care

We use only the finest quality natural raw materials to create all Prickly Thistle products.  All products are designed and made with passion, where our methods of manufacture are symbolic of creating legacy pieces you will want to tell everyone about.  Our products are not cheap, but when you see them, feel them, and others try to 'borrow' them you will know you have invested in a product that is special.  It will care for you if you care for it, and ultimately it will care about our natural environment in all centuries to come.


All of our fabric has been woven using traditional methods on dobbcross legacy looms dating back to 1929.  Just like the famous Harry Potter Dobby, they are their own masters and free to get creative.  So this is why at our mill we always blend ancient skills with modern design desires.  That means we love to break the rules for tartan.  Many of our fabrics are what you might expect tartan to look and feel like.  However, we love to experiment with different weaves styles and natural fibre combinations, call it tartan magic.  We will always tell you in the product description what fabric recipe we have used, but wanted to explain these a bit more here:
  • TWILL WEAVE - one of the most traditional weaving styles, a classic, the iconic stepped diagonal across the cloth.
  • WARP DOMINANT WEAVE - incorporating contrasting yarn densities on the horizontal and vertical of the cloth, our open and lightweight weave style is true to tartan design but at the same time creates a vertical stripe dominance in the cloth.
  • THISTLE WEAVE - we have an iconic Scottish logo, the thistle, and in this cloth weave you will spot subtle hints of our thistle repeated throughout the cloth horizontally, on each face of the cloth this will be presented with a difference.
  • REBEL WEAVE - something we are proud to call ourselves, the tartan rebels of the 21st Century, and in this cloth the word REBEL is woven through the full vertical length of cloth, repeated much like a secret rebel code....
  • SLATE WEAVE - one of our most open, delicate and least traditional weave styles, inspired by the slate roof arrangement of a Black House roof.
  • TEMPLE TRACK - this feature is uniquely created by our legacy looms, where the temples which guide our cloth through the looms as the weaving process is in full flow leave a unique marking.  We love this distinct feature knowing every single inch is unique.  For specific products we retain this as part of its charm, it presents itself as natural openness that runs alongside the selvedge, a selvedge only available on ancient dobbcross shuttle looms.
  • ELEMENTS OF ENDURANCE - this weave has been designed to incorporate the actual symbols of the four Elements.  Throughout the cloth you will see a repeat of the 4 triangles on one face of the cloth with the alternative side showcasing a design we call the fifth element, the human spirit in the weave.
  • EARTH DAY 2020 - this cloth is dense and slightly thicker. It is inspired by the traditional tartan weave style…but with a fun twist! The weft and warp match one another, with the numbers 2-0-2-0 in place of the usual twill. It was designed using Mother Earth as the inspiration and reflects our responsibility as custodians of this planet.

  • COORIE - this is a double basket weave made from merino wool, meaning that it is both dense, lightweight and slightly textured. It was designed to reflect the traditional Scottish word that is its name, which means to snuggle… so it is overall very soft, lofty and huggable! The yarns curl over one another in this weave which reflects the closeness of hugging, and creates the detailed visual effect of Cs in a continuous chain.

  • DENNIS THE MENACE 70th ANNIVERSARY - this weave is an inverted block herringbone, where one herringbone is weft-faced, and the other is warp-faced. The overall cloth is very dense and feels incredibly soft – perfect for wee ones, and anyone who wants to embrace the menacing energy of Scotland’s beloved icon Dennis!

  • POP - this merino cloth is a tartan for the vibrant souls out there! It packs a punch with its bright colours creating a loud presence. However, there are some intricate details when you look closely… the base is a traditional weave, yet the traditional twill is replaced with the word POP! It is less dense than other weaves, making it slightly chunkier whilst remaining soft and lightweight.

If you have any queries about your purchase or are concerned about anything you can see or feel, please do just give us a shout and we will be happy to help you.


We maintain trusted relationships with our suppliers to make sure we avoid damage to the planet. This commitment extends to people too, so for customers with any health sensitivities please find below information regarding the chemicals used on Prickly Thistle fabrics by our finishers:

  • PERFACOLOR WPA - a protein-based dyeing auxiliary designed to maintain the quality of wool textiles during aqueous processing.
  • PERFASCOUR MSA - a blend of selected non-ionic and anionic detergents developed for processing wool and cashmere in both knitted and woven form.


Wool is amazing!, is naturally water resistant and repellent to all things that want to become best friends with your fabric should not require much washing, even if you accidentally drop a Prickly Thistle scarf in a muddy puddle while out for a walk, a quick shake should get rid of anything on it (but if you can resist, we advise you don't go about throwing your clothes in puddles....).   

When you do feel your item is in need of a little refreshing, then you have a couple of options:

  • In an attempt to prevent a customer boil washing their beautiful Prickly Thistle product, up until now we have always erred on the side of caution and have advised our customers on care labels, information cards and via e-mail to Dry Clean Only.  However, the Dry Cleaning process does involve some nasties being released into our environment, and for that reason alone it is not something we advise you do regularly. 
  • Another option is handwashing and then drying flat.  Wool is very stretchy which makes it great to wear or snuggle up too.  But when it is wet please don't dry it on a hanger or with clothes pegs, as the weight of the water will stretch the fabric with its friend gravity....  Always try and find somewhere flat and warm to let it dry naturally.  We suggest you place the damp garment flat on a clean towel, roll the towel up and squeeze out excess water.
  • We recommend when handwashing you use an environmentally friendly detergent and conditioner, suitable for wool and natural fibres.  Use as little as necessary by spot cleaning the area that has a little grime.


  • Never machine wash at anything other than a handwash cycle you know and trust.
  • No No No tumble drying - natural drying is worth the wait.
  • Extreme heat damage is irreversible, if you wish to press your product with an iron then make sure you use the right setting.
  • Our seriously oversized scarves are not to be used to Rapunzel yourself down a building....


Moths love woollens and often leave big holes in clothes.  Moths do not like light so we say wear and use your Prickly Tartan products as much as possible, what a great excuse right?  You can also put cedar wood balls in your wardrobe which can help keep them away, or store your woollens in cotton bags, just like the one we send you with every order.  Please note that our cotton bags are not provided with any items in our Dennis 70th Anniversary Collection.


One day we will have our very own Prickly Pay It Forward service in place, to swap, return and repair items.  Until then, if for any reason your Prickly Thistle tartan has to move on then first try swapping it with a friend or donate to a local charity.  Otherwise, fabrics made from pure natural fibres can be composted - we do that with all of our little scarps of yarn windings at the mill everyday.  Preparing for the next season's planting session!



Maybe one rule we like to follow, be creative, love more and buy less.  Be creative in how you wear or display your product, but also if there ever comes a day when you fancy something new and giving it a new lease of life - a blanket could become multiple scarves, an oversized scarf becomes some cushions, or you could even upcycle the fabric into a wonderful new creation of your choosing.  We do recommend you take a moment to think about that first before you start chopping it up.  What we are trying to say is that your Prickly Thistle purchase should last you a lifetime, and if looked after well, hopefully the lifetimes of others after you.

Enjoy your product, it will be looking after you for centuries, and if you have any questions in any decade then please do contact us.