Linen 300

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Saturday 10th September 2022  

4th Floor Hub,  Mile End Mill, 12 Seedhill Rd, Paisley PA1 1JS


Stephen Clancy

Linen thread – Renfrewshire & Scotland: The legacy of Mrs Millar

In this presentation, Stephen will explore the life of Mrs Millar, better known in Paisley as Christian Shaw of Bargaran in Erskine.  Stephen will explore her life beginiing with her first marriage to Rev John Millar of Kilmaurs church in Ayrshire through to her untimely death in Edinburgh, six month after her marriage to Mr Livingstone, a glove maker.  Christian’s influce in the development of fine linen thread making and all of the processes involved, followed by her ambitions to teach girls, scotland wide how to replicate her processes through spinnings schools will be a focus of the talk.

Stephen is a local historian and genealogist who focuses his research on Paisley and Renfrewshire.  Stephen has taught local history and archaeology at the University of the West of Scotland and the University of Dundee through adult continuing education and now works as a freelance researcher leading heritage walks, talks and history cafes in and around Renfrewshire.   As a past chair of Paisley Thread Mill Museum, Stephen has an interest in the development of linen, silk and cotton threads in Renfrewshire along with the development of religion in the county from the 6th century through to the mid 19th Century.

Lucy McConnell

The Hidden Histories of Paisley’s Textile Economy through the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

In this presentation, Lucy will explore the histories of Paisley’s textile economies. Centring analysis within an exploration of European fashion, globalisation, and industrialisation, Lucy will guide us through the textile products of Paisley, the people who made them, and the impacts which different fashions and manufacturing techniques had on the town. Focus will be placed on those involved in creating textile goods, highlighting the ability and central position of Paisley’s artisans within the global fashion economy of the period.

Lucy is a Dress and Textile Historian. With specialisms including textiles produced in Paisley, Scotland in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the British government’s Utility Clothing Scheme during the Second World War, Lucy is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Huddersfield, England. Within research, Lucy seeks to unearth the hidden histories of individuals and groups involved in the manufacture and sale of garments and textiles, through exploring the social, cultural, political, economic and technological histories within the written record and imbued in material cultures of extant objects. Lucy’s research interests, ranging from the eighteenth century to the present day, have enabled them to work on several projects from exhibitions and archiving, to written publications, conference presentations and guest lecturing, and advising on historical costume for television.


The conference was officially opened by Lorraine Cameron, Provost of Renfrewshire at 1pm.