Creative founder and designer Fatima Mahmood was born and brought up in Pakistan and moved to Scotlandwhen she was 19, where she studied fashion and textile in Edinburgh College.

She has a strong affiliation with both cultures and loves the vibrancy and the richness the craftsmanship, each country and culture has to offer. Her inspiration stems from Islamic architecture and the Scottish Highlands, creating unique and unusual designs by applying a contemporary approach and aesthetics to luxurious fabrics.

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Fatima’s interpretation of differing design mediums, motifs and manipulation techniques encapsulates the quality and individuality synonymous with modern designs for today diverse culture. The artisan nature of each Ala Mairi piece means that every woven, print, embellishment and design varies, making your garments as exclusive and individual as you.

The seeds of Ala Mairi were sown in 2011 after an exploration into traditional handloom weaving in Scotland. In the same year Fatima visited Pakistan, where she met a community of talented hand embroiders.

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Fatima was in awe of the ‘work of art’ and handmade craftsmanship in both countries.

This deep personal journey set her into a new path where the doors for Ala Mairi started opening, in both these places she was committed to involve these artisans who drew on generations of experience to produce beautiful pieces of art. Overwhelmed and inspired by the beauty and intricacy of their craftsmanship, she felt a desire to preserve these timeless and labour intensive skills.

Threads for the stunning embellishments used in the embroidery are 100% silks and luxurious fabrics which are ethical and hand dyed.

Fatima’s passion is to keep the brands ethics in harmony with the true handmade quality found within the work. Ala Mairi was set up as a Social Enterprise with a vision to revive and support traditional craftsmanship and generate a sustainable income for their workforce of Scottish and Pakistani artisans by show-casing their skills.

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Ala Mairi’s partnership collaboration with Women Development Sectors in Pakistan means it can co-operate and identify the absolute need to foster the women working in these centres.These discoveries led to a commitment and ethos to help bring these fabulous traditional craftsmanship to light through modern, innovative fashion. In 2012, Ala Mairi was born with the philosophy to preserve the intricacy of Scottish cottage industry of hand loom weaving and fine needle work by women in welfare centres in Pakistan.

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Her mission is to ensure Ala Mairi’s artisans can live with dignity and bestow on their exquisite talents for generations to come. Fatima draws on her new Scottish roots and her own Pakistani ancestry to conceptualise her collections of delicate pieces made up of distinctive aesthetics and luxurious ethically sourced silks. The yarns for the hand woven fabric which are produced in Scotland use natural Shetland spun wool, fine silks, and organic cottons.

Ala – Ala is an Arabic name means which means excellence, Fatima’s is the driving force and passion behind the creation and sourcing the finest craftsmanship and Luxurious yarns and fabrics.

Mairi – Mairi is a beautiful Scottish name – this also hold a deep and ethical meaning the anagrams mean – Management to Accomplish Ingenuity and Reinforce Integrity.

Fatima’s passion for fine craftsmanship and merging cultures through design is how Ala Mairi name came to life!


Fatima’s innovation and creativity took another step forward in 2015 with her idea to transfer the weave textures and motifs into print designs. This idea came to her as she wanted to produce a range of fabrics as collaboration with Scottish hand loom weavers push the boundaries of the original motifs of woven cloth.

The digital prints fuse together the creative ideas and take the new designs onto a whole new level, creating new dimensions for printing on to Modal silk and bamboo silk, the Luxurious yet most ethical fabrics around.

All Ala Mairi artisans are independent designers and craft workers. By merging these cultures together Ala Mairi creates something altogether unique – a way of bringing these traditions to the cutting edge of fashion. The target clientele are buyers who are fashion conscious and looking for innovative designs. These clients are the new vogue- they care about the planet we live in and supporting fair trade and indigenous craftsmanship.