Turkey red dyeing and printing was a major industry in the west of Scotland in the nineteenth century. Compared with tartan, however, it is little known and studied. This project redresses the balance through new research, on the themes given below, and new opportunities for viewing some striking Turkey red textile designs.

Turkey red in Scotland

‘Turkey red’ is a complex dyeing process which produced a bright, fast red. Find out more about this centuries old process.
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Dyeing and printing techniques

This section describes the Turkey red process in greater detail, the different printing methods used in the industry, and the rise of synthetic dyes.
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Turkey red pattern

Design, copyright and exhibition

This section explores the development of textile design in Scotland, the use of copyright and the role of the Great Exhibitions in promoting the Turkey red industry.
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Styles and patterns

There are approximately 40,000 textile samples in the collection, many copied or reproduced in a variety of colour-ways. The designs can be divided into four main categories.
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International markets

The Scottish Turkey red manufacturers exported their goods across the globe. This section explores the main international markets targeted by the Scottish firms.
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Turkey red pattern

Home markets

From handkerchiefs to swimming costumes, petticoats to table cloths, Turkey red dyed and printed cottons had many different uses for British consumers.
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