Colouring the Nation: The Turkey Red Printed Cotton Industry in Scotland C.1840-1940

Colouring the Nation: The Turkey Red Printed Cotton Industry in Scotland C.1840-1940


By (author) Stana Nenadic, By (author) Sally Tuckett

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  • Publisher: NMSE - Publishing Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 186mm x 242mm x 14mm | 600g
  • Publication date: 23 March 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
  • ISBN 10: 1905267800
  • ISBN 13: 9781905267804
  • Illustrations note: 92 colour + 23 black/white
  • Sales rank: 174,903

Product description

Colouring the Nation is a collaborative project between National Museums Scotland and the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh. By looking at decorative textiles manufacture, its aim was to show that Scotland's industrial past was not just in heavy industry but that it played a key role in the production of colourful and fashionable fabrics for the overseas market. 'Turkey red' was a dyeing process that produced a fast and washable shade of red that was overprinted with exotic patterns and sold internationally, from North American and the West Indies, to India and China. The fabrics were made for clothing - such as saris, shawls and bandanas - and for furnishing. When synthetic dyes replaced the natural madder-based Turkey red the industry in Scotland collapsed. An archive of 200 pattern books and approximately 40,000 textile samples was acquired in 1960 by National Museums Scotland. See the online exhibition: This book tells the history of the industry and shows examples of these gorgeous fabrics.

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Author information

Professor Stana Nenadic is the director of the Colouring the Nation project. Dr Sally Tuckett is the postdoctoral researcher on the project. Both are in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh.

Review quote

' ... it's a fascinating and accessible read, and provides a wonderful legacy of Scotland's Turkey red textile industry.' The Quilter 'At last, we, the nation of Scotland, have a publication that does just service to the nearly forgotten heritage of our important global contribution to the phenomenon of Turkey red fabric.' Turkey Red Journal 'The book makes an important contribution to our understanding of the [Turkey red] industry and is well worth reading in its own right. Undiscovered Scotland