Designers in the nineteenth-century Scottish fancy textile industry: Education, employment and exhibition

Stana Nenadic*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mid-nineteenth century design reform and design education has generated recent scholarly interest, but much of this is London-focussed, and the designers themselves, mostly located in northern industrial towns, or the manufacturers that employed them, are rarely considered. This essay, which has emerged out of a study of the nineteenth-century Scottish printed cotton and woven damask industries, seeks to examine the character of provincial design employment, education and exhibition in two localities-Glasgow and Dunfermline-and in doing so provide an insight to a complex engagement with the processes of textile design. It includes discussion of family participation in textile design and related activities and the advertising for and employment of both freelance and salaried designers is explored. The functioning of design schools in Scotland forms another focus for analysis along with the associated local exhibiting of designs for prizes. Contrast is drawn between the printed cotton industry, which mainly employed in-house designers and the more prosperous linen damask industry, which generated a small group of financially successful and widely celebrated independent studio designers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-131
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Design History
Issue number2
Early online date19 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • advertising
  • design education
  • design profession
  • exhibitions
  • family businesses
  • textiles

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