ReCREATE is a multidisciplinary research network to rediscover and reconnect the tools, materials, laboratory and workshop environments, manufacturing skills and experimental practice that Scotland used to make colourful decorative textiles in the Industrial Revolution.

Building on successes from the interdisciplinary knowledge exchange network ReINVENT, ReCREATE develops and strengthens links between academic and heritage sector researchers in the sciences, arts, and humanities through four innovative networking meetings where the collaborators examine and discuss historical materials, tools & equipment, textiles, and documents now in museums, archives and trusts.

Knowledge exchange between the collaborators and invited specialists from the UK and Europe will inform and inspire reconstructive research for making decorative textiles, and contextualise the international significance of Scotland’s experimental culture before and during the Industrial Revolution. The network partners will ultimately share their expanded understanding through a public conference, and also scope collaborative research partnerships between the academic and heritage sectors to rediscover Scotland’s forgotten story of textile manufacturing innovation.

Find out more on the project website.

The details for the ReCREATE public event in June 2015 available here.

Info about the different activities will follow soon.

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.
 A report from the third workshop is now available.

Public Seminar

A public seminar was held in December 2013 at the University of Glasgow. This knowledge exchange event brought 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.


Three workshops were planned for 2013. Workshop participation was by invitation and for 25 participants maximum.
These workshops explored 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 were invited to attend. The workshops had interconnecting themes of materials and supplies, power and equipment and tools and each will followed 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 were that using Scottish textiles of the Industrial Revolution as the test case theme, ReINVENT would 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.