The Canny Squirrel is a design business based in Paisley Scotland and specialising in handmade Harris Tweed cushions and accessories. Inspired by nature each product features a felt design embellished with free motion embroidery. Quality and craftsmanship are key to its ethos, which is why Harris Tweed is used for all products – 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 colours used in the cloth beautifully mirror shades found in nature and provide the perfect backdrop for the animals featured in the designs.
Katherine Pentney began her career as a graphic designer in newspapers and developed a growing passion for textiles in her spare time. After discovering a free motion embroidery technique at a textile design evening course she began experimenting with the technique by drawing animal designs. After developing new innovative designs and techniques, she quit her job and now works in her home studio in Paisley.
Initially making cushions using vintage and British tweed , Katherine then met a fantastic weaver on Harris – Donald John MacKay – who now supplies her fabric. His colour palette for each Harris Tweed beautifully mirrors colours found in nature and provide the perfect backdrop for Katherine’s designs .
Each design is individually drawn by hand and cut out of felt, and then free motion embroidery is used to add detail and depth – a bit like drawing with a sewing machine. Much of Katherine’s time is now taken up with individual commissions, capturing the personality of much loved pets as treasured gifts and heirloom pieces for their owners.