We are excited to announce our new exhibition running from 26th March 2024- 12th July 2024
Did you know that the Edinburgh Kashmir shawl industry predated the Paisley industry by forty years? In fact, Edinburgh weavers were the first in Britain to create replicas of the Kashmir shawls brought back from India, the first recorded being in 1767.
The turning point came in 1808 when Edinburgh weavers decided to outsource their production to Paisley. This move unleashed a wave of innovation, as the town introduced revolutionary jacquard looms that simplified the weaving of intricate designs. By the 1830s, Paisley had emerged as the epicentre of shawl production, outshining all other regions in Britain. In fact, the last Edinburgh shawl rolled off the loom in 1847, marking the end of an era. These beloved shawls soon became affectionately known as “Paisleys” across the globe.
Uncover with us the long-forgotten legacy of Edinburgh’s vibrant weaving industry. Immerse yourself in a display of these historic shawls from Heriot-Watt University’s Textile Collection. “A Passion for Paisley” is your exclusive ticket to explore the intricate threads of history, culture, and fashion that have woven Paisley’s enduring legacy. Don’t miss this chance to discover these captivating stories of a bygone era.
We will have an exciting range of talks and events as part of this special exhibition – full details to be announced soon.