Darning Scotland’s Textile Heritage

This week Archive Services learned that our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures programme back in May had been successful. The collecting cultures programme was established to allow organisations to add to their core collections through strategic purchases.

We have become the first archive in Scotland to receive funds under this programme. Dr Irene O’Brien, Chair of The Scottish Council on Archives, said:

“This is great news for the Scottish archives sector and we congratulate the University of Glasgow Archive Services on being the first archive in Scotland to receive funding through the HLF’s Collecting Cultures programme. Their project offers a unique opportunity to develop textile collections Darning Scotland’s Textile Heritage at the University through acquisition and expand and share knowledge about Scotland’s textile heritage through a range of public engagement activities.”

Our project Darning Scotland’s textile collections: recording, identifying and expanding knowledge about Scotland’s textile heritage will enhance the University of Glasgow’s extensive collection of records relating to the Scottish textile industry. We have been awarded £91,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop our textile collections. The money will be used as part of the Darning Scotland’s Textile Heritage project to add items such as fabric sample books catalogues, industry tools, and clothes made from 19th and 20th century textiles and theatre costumes.

Our textile collections already help inform the research and teaching in the College of Arts and the activities of the Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History. As part of the project a broad-reaching plan will enable many more people to learn about and research the Scottish textile industry through training, exhibitions and digital resources. Dr Anita Quye, Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History at the University of Glasgow and Klaus Staubermann, National Museums of Scotland, said:

“This is excellent news for research projects like ReCREATE, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh to bring new historical perspectives on the art and science of Scottish textile-making. These fantastic archives at the University of Glasgow are crucial for deepening and enriching our appreciation of Scotland’s magnificent textile heritage.”

Darning Scotland’s Textile Heritage will run from 2015 to 2019 and focuses on the archival and material heritage of Scotland’s textile industry. The Scottish Business Archive contains over 130 textile collections and these provide evidence of Scotland’s rich and diverse textile heritage, from weaving and sewing in the home, to full scale mechanized factory textile production. These resources held shed light on the entire lifecycle of textiles; from their design, production and manufacture, through their sale as a raw material, to their use in fashion, furnishings, theatre costume and as industrial textiles.

Our project will identify strategic gaps and opportunities for extending these collections through acquisition. Deliver a programme of activities including exhibitions, seminars and interpretative resources to promote engagement with collections, record and share knowledge of the collections and industry, and learn about the Scottish textile industry.

Find out more about our records of the Scottish textile industry and see some images from collections like United Turkey Red, New Lanark Mills and Stoddard-Templeton on our flickr pages.

Categories: Archive Services

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6 replies


  1. Vintage Miscellany – October 12, 2014 | The Vintage Traveler
  2. Last Week on the Web | Threadpanda
  3. Textile collections and the ‘Dyes in History and Archaeology 33′ conference | University of Glasgow Library
  4. Paisley potato printing | No Idle Han
  5. Dress and Textiles in the Archives | University of Glasgow Library
  6. Archives and Special Collections Away Day 2016: School of Textiles & Design, Heriot Watt University, Scottish Borders Campus – University of Glasgow Library

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