ReINVENT: Reconnecting and  recreating 19th Century Scottish Textile Manufacture
The ReINVENT project explored well-known and forgotten nineteenth century Scottish manufacturing practices by reconnecting material culture evidence from historical artefacts with science and engineering evidence from historical technology.
Using Scottish textiles of the Industrial Revolution as the test case theme for three cross-disciplinary workshops, novel knowledge exchange between conservators, historians, scientists and engineers will reconnect material and technical knowledge gained from interpreting and preserving historical textile and technology collections, and from recreations of historical industrial practices.
**UPDATE** A report from the third workshop is now available.

Public Seminar

A public seminar will be held in December 2013 at the University of Glasgow. This knowledge exchange event will bring together the ReINVENT workshop collaborators with interested academic, private and public researchers and enthusiasts from museums, archives, and historical trusts and societies to stimulate meaningful research directions for future collaborations and shape a publically-shared inventory of Scottish industrial heritage as testament to the lasting legacy of Scotland’s worldwide reputation for manufacturing innovation.
If you would be interested in attending, please contact Anita Quye or Klaus Staubermann


Three workshops are planned for 2013. Workshop participation is by invitation and for 25 participants maximum.
These workshops will explore connections between science and technology of well-known and forgotten nineteenth century Scottish manufacturing practices and historical collections of products of Scottish material culture, with textiles as a test case theme. Postgraduate students will be invited to attend. The workshops will have interconnecting themes of materials and supplies, power and equipment and tools and each will follow a format of:
  • introductory talks from two collaborators and talks by one invited speaker to stimulate discussion and ideas,
  • breakout sessions to explore ideas and knowledge relating to the practicalities of manufacturing and (potential) reconstructions
  • group discussion
  • conclusions including topics for connected discussion in the next workshop or the seminar
The workshop objectives are that using Scottish textiles of the Industrial Revolution as the test case theme, ReINVENT will bring together a unique cross-disciplinary group of academics and practitioners in arts, humanities, science and engineering to explore:
  • connections between historical nineteenth century Scottish textiles, and the scientific and technical developments of the Scottish manufacturing industries in the Industrial Revolution;
  • past methods and materials of textile production to inform the preservation and interpretation of historical collections today;
  • effective and targeted ways to contribute wanted knowledge and understanding about Scotland’s industrial heritage.
Workshop 1, April 2013

Materials and supplies for textile production – University of Glasgow (Sir Alwyn Williams Building).

The textile industry relied on supplies of yarns and fabrics, techniques for weaving and processing fabrics, and chemicals for preparing, bleaching, dyeing, printing and finishing. What was available? What was needed? What production stages were necessary to make or prepare the supplies?

Workshop 2, 21st June 2013
Equipment and tools for textile production – National Museum Scotland, Edinburgh.
Weaving looms, printing equipment and dyeing vessels are just some of the essential equipment for textile production.
What were other equipment, large and small, was necessary for specific purposes relating to the making and use of materials discussed in Workshop 1?

Where would these come from? Could they have been made in Scotland? What materials would they have been made from?

Workshop 3, September 2013
Power for textile production – Summerlee Industrial Museum, Coatbridge.
Power sources were essential for driving machinery, heating chemicals, applying designs and finishing textiles. What level of power was necessary for the equipment and material production identified in Workshops 1 and 2? Would power be created by the manufacturer for themselves or from centralised sources? How would the power sources affect the working environment and could this be important to manufacturing processes, e.g. high moisture from steam or dry conditions from high temperatures?
Public Workshop, 7 December 2013

On Saturday 7th December a Public Workshop will be held for the ReINVENT project at Maryhill Burgh Halls from 10am. This special free one day public event in Glasgow celebrates the culmination of the project by sharing what we already know and, as importantly, what we don’t. By bringing together a wide range of local historians, museum curators, conservators, academic scholars, students and interested individuals, we anticipate a stimulating and stimulated interchange of ideas and understanding.

Come join us at the wonderful Maryhill Burgh Halls to hear about the impact and legacy of Turkey red, Paisley shawls and the Greenock rope works, and enjoy the opportunity to see historical artefacts and archives up close.

ReINVENT is generously funded by a Knowledge Exchange Network grant by Royal Society of Edinburgh and Scottish Government. Please visit the University of Glasgow and STICK’s websites for more information.