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By Eve-Anne Scholler, Postgraduate student, MLitt Dress and Textile Histories.

On Saturday 7th December, the Maryhill Burgh Halls hosted an exciting public event organised by ReINVENT. ReINVENT is an exchange network on textile and technological knowledge which brings together academics, museum professionals and passionate individuals. The day was spent in listening to enlightening talks and lectures.

After a brief introduction, the event kicked off with a review of the accomplishments of ReINVENT so far. Three workshops were organised earlier this year. Each focused on a different aspect of the textile industry: materials, equipment and machinery, and power. Their outcomes were summarised respectively by Dr Sally Tuckett, Linda Ross, and Lisa Mason. Further events will be forthcoming.

After a short lunch, the event continued with lectures on various aspects of the European textile industry. Professor John Hume made us discover the scale and quantity of textile manufactures in Scotland. Dr Panu Nykänen, from Finland, brought to light unexpected links between the Finnish and Scottish textile industries. Melvyn Thompson reminded us that textiles were not limited to dress, but also covered a vibrant carpet industry, Kidderminster being one of its main centres.

Gordon Barr, Heritage Manager for Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust
Gordon Barr, Heritage Manager for Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust

A “show and tell” session then offered the opportunity to see various elements of the textile industry up close: tools, footage of looms in motion, textiles dyed through the Turkey red process, and ropes from the shipbuilding industry.

Participants at the 'show and tell' session
Participants at the ‘show and tell’ session


In the last part of the event, James Robinson told us about the exciting new plans that the National Museums of Scotland has for its Art and Design department. David Harvie gave us an insight into the intrigues and secrets of the textile industry through the stories of Pierre-Jacques Papillon and Edward Bancroft.

As a student of Dress and Textile Histories, I have found it particularly fascinating and exciting to discover how big and complex the textile industry used to be in Scotland. This was a very enjoyable and instructive day. A big thank you to Dr Anita Quye and Dr Klaus Staubermann for making it happen and commissioning the most fabulous cake!

The cake!
The cake!

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