The Canny Squirrel is a Paisley based textile company founded and run by designer/maker Katherine Pentney.
Born in Gateshead in the North-East of England, Katherine studied graphic design at Newcastle college, then moved to Glasgow in 2004 to work as a graphic designer at a newspaper. During this time her passion for material, patterns and sewing gradually developed over the years and whilst studying a part-time textile design evening course she discovered a free machine embroidery technique which suddenly bombarded her with inspiration for sewing projects.
Katherine's partner's sister was turning 40 so she decided to make her a highland cow cushion using the free machine embroidery technique learned whilst studying (she had joked about wanting a real Highland Cow but this was not in the budget!).
This gift sparked the beginning of The Canny Squirrel, and after lots of practice and sewing hours it was time to quit the day job in 2013 to concentrate on developing the textiles business full time.
Quality and craftsmanship are key when Katherine is designing and making her products.
Free motion embroidery technique is used to stitch all the animal designs as it is perfect for creating intricate hair and feather detail. No embroidery programmes are used, it is all stitched by eye so each design is a labour of love and truly unique.
Harris Tweed was chosen to make the products as it is the only fabric to be governed by its own Act of Parliament and is handwoven at the home of the weaver in the Outer Hebrides. The cloth is woven by weavers using traditional techniques which have been passed down through the generations.
The weavers are deeply connected to the Scottish landscape of the Outer Hebrides where they produce the fabric, and the colours in the cloth reflect this, providing the perfect backdrop for my animals.
One of the most popular services is pet portrait commissions - you can have your pet designed and stitched onto any of the products. They make wonderful personal gifts for pet owners and animal lovers.
Please email Katherine with any enquiries or questions.