Students from the BA(Hons) Textiles course will immerse themselves in the history of Edinburgh, the New Town, and the Georgian era when the hotel was built, to inspire their decorations, which will be unveiled on the hotel’s Christmas tree and around its luxurious Lobby in early December.

The partnership will forge ties with the next generation of the UK’s talent and emphasise the hotel’s commitment to sustainability. Johnstons of Elgin, one of Scotland’s oldest family businesses which celebrates its 225th anniversary this year producing the finest cashmere, wool knitwear and accessories, has provided luxury off-cuts that will be used to craft festive baubles for hotel guests to enjoy this winter.


Johnstons of Elgin is committed to the regeneration of resources, and all its designs are made using natural, renewable fibres in its Scottish mills. 97% of its manufacturing waste is recycled into other products.

Students visited the hotel last month to unearth the stories from “The George” including tales of its former famous residents and guests: Susan Ferrier, Scotland’s answer to Jane Austin, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns. They also took in the striking features that still exist around the property, which first opened as a collection of Georgian townhouses in the 18th Century.


The students will spend five weeks designing the collection as part of their coursework, guided by Programme Director, Collette Paterson, and award-winning textile designer and guest lecturer, Chloe Patience.




Chloe launched the acclaimed hosiery and bodywear label ‘bebaroque’ in 2007 with co-designer, Mhairi McNicol. Together, they took the brand into the world’s largest luxury department stores including Harrods, Liberty’s and Selfridges, and their designs were worn by Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Chloe, based in Edinburgh, now runs her own freelance embroidery business, offering unique textile commissions.


Stephanie Lee, Director of Sales at InterContinental Edinburgh The George, said: “The hotel has been part of Edinburgh’s fabric since 1775 and we are extremely proud of our heritage, but we are also focused on creating a modern space and experience for guests. These talented students will no doubt go on to make their mark on the world, just like the Georgian period did in Edinburgh, so it feels fitting to bring the two stories together for our guests to enjoy this Christmas.


“We are thankful to Edinburgh College of Art and Johnstons of Elgin for helping to bring together this project with a sustainable focus. As a historic property, we recognise our role in doing all we can to make small changes and these decorations will go on to be used for years to come.” 


Collette Paterson, Programme Director BA(Hons) Textiles, said: “We are absolutely delighted to work with such beautiful Scottish materials and such an iconic Edinburgh hotel to allow our textiles students to bring their ideas, creativity and ingenuity to the forefront in such a celebratory way. Our students are incredibly excited to contribute to this initiative and to see the fruits of their labour displayed and celebrated in the hotel over the festive period.”


Students will return to InterContinental Edinburgh The George in late November, to decorate the tree, located in the hotel’s Lobby, with the collection before a festive evening hosted for family and friends to tell stories of their inspiration and final design concepts.


InterContinental Edinburgh The George has become a beacon for Christmas in the city, adorned with elegant festive decorations to create an impressive façade for locals and tourists, and a warm and welcoming interior that exudes Georgian charm.


For further information on InterContinental Edinburgh The George, visit:

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