ReINVENT: Reconnecting and Recreating 19th Century Scottish Textile Manufacture.

Dr Klaus Staubermann, Principal Curator of Technology at National Museums Scotland, has been helping to lead the ReINVENT project, which aims to explore well-known and forgotten nineteenth century Scottish manufacturing practices by reconnecting material culture evidence from historical artifacts with science and engineering evidence from historical technology. This project is funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and delivered in collaboration with the Scottish Transport & Industry Collections and Knowledge network (STICK)

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.

The first of these workshops looked at materials and supplies for textile production; the second, which took place at National Museums Scotland, focused on equipment and tools for textile production; and the third looked at power for textile production.

 Scienceengagement Loom 490Px

Above: Demonstration of a loom in the Scotland Transformed gallery at National Museum of Scotland.

These workshops have proved to be very successful and have generated various ideas for further research.

The project also includes a public seminar which will take place at the University of Glasgow in December bringing 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 publicly-shared inventory of Scottish industrial heritage as testament to the lasting legacy of Scotland’s worldwide reputation for manufacturing innovation.

The project ties in well with the work that our Conservation and Analytic Research staff have been undertaking on the museum’s Turkey red textile collection. See more information about this project here.

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