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The Craven Collection

This is alarge collection of handwoven tartan samples in the West Highland Museum in Fort William woven by Gordon Robert Craven (1910 - 1968), thought to have been a cabinetmaker. In 1999 his cousin (Mr A.J.E.Knight) West Highland Folk Museumwrote the following:


"Gordon Robert Craven must have been attracted by all things Scottish because of our Clan Ross connection. He was about 10 years my senior and before the second World War he played the bagpipes and chanter and was a member of The London Scottish Clans Association in the 1920s and 1930s, wearing Highland costume on those and other occasions. After the war he researched at great length the necessary information to commence working on the tartan samples, designing and constructing his own loom for the purpose.
He used vegetable dyes as employed in the weaving of tartan materials hundreds of years ago. Every tartan had to be strictly correct and he went to considerable lengths in his research. I used to watch him and marvel at his patience and skills. He was quite an authority on Scottish & Highland history and built up quite a library of books on the subject, as he loved the Highlands and Islands.
He died at the age of 58 in 1968, leaving the collection to the Scottish nation and the West Highland Museum. I was determined to make the visit (to Fort William) to see his tartans again and regret not having done so before. My visit in May 1999 to look once more over Gordon's volumes was enjoyed immensely and I felt very proud of Gordon's magnificent achievements.
Mr A.J.E. Knight."

 

(Mr Knight died in July 2005).


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