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Folk and Fabric Project

Folk and Fabric is a new digital project currently underway at HFM, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.

Launching in early 2022, the Museum will be increasing its online offering with a new webpage to explore some of the Highland buildings that are located in the open-air site, and the collections we have here in Am Fasgadh, our purpose-built collections store. This will include a number of textile items which are kept in the store due to their fragility, and that in the past have been difficult to provide access to, such as an original drugget skirt and mutch, a roll of tweed produced on St Kilda, and a 1950s wedding dress.

19th century mutch, from the original Isabel F. Grant collection (TBD 46). Mutches were worn by married women, to keep their hair tidy as they went about their outside tasks. They varied from simple styles such as this everyday mutch, to finer bonnets with lace and whitework details, worn for Sunday best.

Photography, film, audio and text will all be used to provide a rich online experience that will enhance a visit to the site. For visitors who might be living on the other side of the world and are unable to visit in person, the new website will give a chance to see inside some of our buildings and provide a taster of what we have here on-site and in-store.

Inside Lochanhully House, interpreted to the 1950s

The project will span collections from the 1800s up to the 1950s, and cover many aspects of social history in the Highlands such as home and family life, working the land, traditional crafts, sport, education and recreation. The sites and object collections featuring in the project are: the Blackhouse, Traveller Summer Camp, Knockbain School, Boleskine Shinty Pavilion and Lochanhully House.


In this project, we are working with different community groups to explore these buildings and objects, and add new layers of insight and perception to the collection. We’ll be continuing working with Badenoch Shinty Memories Group to explore the sporting objects, and are strengthening links with other local groups such as the Aviemore Scouts and a local befriending service, to provide some enjoyable activities based around the buildings and collections.


There’s lots of work going on in the background. We can’t wait to open the digital door early next year and invite you in!


For more information or if you have any questions about Folk and Fabric, please contact Project Officer Helen Pickles at [email protected]

Knockbain School presents a typical 1930s classroom with original desks and teaching materials

The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund is run by the Museums Association, funding projects that develop collections to achieve social impact. Since its launch in 2011, it has awarded 101 projects with grants totaling nearly £8.4 in 16 funding rounds. Between 2017 and 2019 it is offering a total of £3.5m in grants to Museums Association members, as well as providing events and resources for the whole sector. www.museumsassociation.org/collections