Kate Davies Designs (KDD) was established by Kate Davies in 2010, when a stroke at the age of 36 ended her career as a literary academic. While recovering from her stroke, Kate supported herself by designing digital patterns for hand-knitting, established an independent publishing company, and began to produce books that combined her skills as author and designer.
As of 2020, Kate has produced sixteen books under the KDD and Makadu imprints. These books combine Kate’s research with individual design collections (Yokes (2014); West Highland Way (2018)); bring together the work of talented contemporary designers (Book of Haps (2016); Milarrochy Heids (2018); Warm Hands, (2020)); explore the story of textiles within the broader context of Scotland’s regional cultures (Shetland Oo (2016) Inspired by Islay (2017)) discuss a wide range of topics concerning design and disability (Handywoman, 2018) or explore positive and inclusive approaches to creativity (Wheesht: Creative Making in Uncertain Times (2019).
As well as her writing, design and editorial work, Kate now donates 20% of her time to volunteering, mentoring and consultancy, sharing her expertise with a wide range of organisations and individuals. She’s a champion of the MAKE manifesto and one of the twelve members of the Scottish Government’s Business Leadership Group, encouraging other businesses to commit to the ideals of fairness and equality behind the Scottish Business Pledge. From its beginnings in difficult circumstances, Kate is proud to have built a sustainable and successful creative business completely from scratch.
KDD has grown into a company which now encompasses many different aspects of publishing, design, and creative practice here in the west of Scotland. In 2015 we developed our own brands of yarn for hand knitting and in 2017 launched our own knitwear line, KDD Originals, designed and made in Scotland.
Scottish design, Scottish making
We are a small yarn producer, working with skilled manufacturers around Scotland, and a small publisher, producing books in Glasgow under our own imprints. We are proud to support and promote Scotland’s creative, design and making practices in many different contexts.