Although the origins of the famous two-coloured geometric pattern of the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Burgh remain obscure, the craft of knitting and the Sanquhar Pattern have enjoyed a long and successful association over the centuries.
Set in the midst of the broad Nith Valley, this traditional home industry enjoyed a regular supply of wool and soft water and the only tools required for the job were a humble pair of knitting needles. This meant that members of Upper Nithsdale’s rural communities and townsfolk could earn a modest wage from hand knitting items for sale in the distinctive Sanquhar Pattern.
It is known that knitters have been producing Sanquhar Knitting in significant quantities since the beginning of the 17th century and, despite a few declines in the industry over the centuries, the pattern remains an important tradition of the town and is embedded within its heritage and culture.
A detailed account of the history of the Sanquhar Pattern can be found here.