Mary Macgregor moved to Shetland 10 years ago with a view to founding a small Fair Isle business. After buying and restoring Bakka, a remote coastal croft situated in a truly spectacular location, she started looking for a purpose for her business so that there would be a great story behind the products.
Having undertaken extensive research of the garments in the archives of the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, the Shetland Museum and Archives and the Shetland Textile Museum, Mary realised that the old patterns and methods were in danger of dying out through lack of use, so she decided to use them exclusively as the source of inspiration for the main part of her work.
BAKKA was launched in December 2016. It is a small Fair Isle knitwear business producing contemporary sustainable Fair Isle textiles: traditional Shetland knitwear heritage meets modern functionality. The textiles are produced in a luxurious 100% superfine merino yarn. A reversible Fair Isle technique is used to eliminate the loops on the back of the fabric, and the selvedges are perfect.
BAKKA has brought out a range of cowls for 2020 which, as a total coincidence, are going to be popular this winter to make a luxury fashion statement over the COVID-19 medical face mask.
1) Mary's biggest achievement to date was being given a commission by the British Museum to design scarves inspired by the Royal Game of Ur for the 'I am Ashurbanipal' exhibition in October 2018. BAKKA was not even 2 years old! She had 2 weeks to design, produce and deliver the finished prototypes.
The scarves are exclusive to the BM, so can only be bought at the Museum or through their online shop.
2) Mary was accepted as a member of the prestigious Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery in London when the business was a mere 6 weeks old.