Great Tapestry of Scotland

Fragment from the Great Tapestry of Scotland. Fragment from the Great Tapestry of Scotland.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland is a commemorative embroidery illustrating 12,000 years of Scottish history, from prehistoric times to the present. The Tapestry was commissioned by the fiction writer, Alexander McCall Smith, after seeing the Prestonpans tapestry. The design of the Great Tapestry of Scotland is by Alistair Moffat and the artist, Andrew Crummy.

About 1,000 stitchers from across Scotland were involved. Their work was coordinated by Dorie Wilkie.

The embroidery is worked on linen using woollen thread in various colours. The stitches include buttonhole stitch, chain stitch, detached chain stitch, Cretan stitch, fly stitch, French knots, honeycomb stitch, herringbone stitch, Roumanian stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, stem stitch, surface darning, turkey stitch (tufting), as well as couching.

There are 160 panels, each of which is one metre square. Each panel took about 500 hours to work and involved hundreds of people in sewing groups across Scotland. The work took place between the spring of 2012 and September 2013. The panels include a wide range of themes, such as the Ice Age, Viking invasions, the Battle of Bannockburn, the founding of St. Andrews University, the King James Bible, the Act of Union, North Sea oil, Dolly the Sheep, the Scottish Parliament and Andy Murray’s victory at the Wimbledon tennis match of 2013.

The tapestry was unveiled at the Scottish Parliament on 3rd September 2013. With a length of 143 metres it is the longest commemorative embroidery in the world (2014). One of the panels (depicting Rosslyn Chapel) was stolen in September 2015. Plans are being developed to permanenently display the tapestry in Tweedbank, in the Scottish Borders.


Digital source of illustration (retrieved 5th June 2016).


Last modified on Sunday, 03 September 2017 10:11