Kilbarchan Primary School Participate in our Schools Outreach

During November and early December 2017 we have been working with two primary 7 classes at Kilbarchan Primary Schools.  Both classes have been looking at the rise of the thread industry in Paisley during the term, and we went along with our handling box followed by 4 stitching workshops,  where pupils were asked to create a design to embroider on to a bobbin shape, and were then shown how to use basic embroidery stitches to create their design.

we look forward to returning to the school in early January to see the finished works.

#HHA2017 @Paisley2021 @hlfscotland @KilbarchanPS @Paisleymill


Board of Trustees for Fisheries, Manufacturing & Improvements in Scotland

When investigating the rise of linen manufacturing in Scotland you cannot avoid looking at the minutes of the Board of Trustees for Fisheries, Manufacturing & Improvements in Scotland which was established in 1727.   The minutes contain lots of information pertaining for Christian Millar (Shaw) and her connection to Spinning Schools in Scotland, along with details about linen manufacturing in general.  We have visited the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh on numerous occasions during 2017 and have been transcribing entries connected to Paisley, Renfewshire and spinning schools .  We are gradually publishing our transcripts here.

#HHA2017 @Paisleymill @Paisey2021


The Rev John Millar

One of the earliest mentions of Christian Shaw starting the thread industry in Renfrewshire appears in the Church of Scotland Fasti.   Chrsitian married John Millar on the 11th September 1719 at Bargarran.  His entry in the Fasti has been transcribed and can now be read in one of our research blogs here.


Further Funding Success

We have been awarded a grant of up to £5000 which allows us to do everything we want to do as part of our Family of Threads project. The Funding form Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Heritage & Events Fund is being used to buy equipment for our school, care home and hospice outreach, along with further developments within Paisley Thread Mill Museum.

The money will be used to buy two 12.9″ iPads for use in our outreach programme, Computer equipment for the Museum Catalogue and 3 new wall mounted cabinets for the museum.


Bushes Primary School – February 2017

Family of Threads – News
Bushes Primary School – February 2017

As part of our exciting new community outreach programme, supported by Heritage Lottery Funding (‘Stories, Stones and Bones’), two of our volunteers recently paid a visit to Bushes Primary School in Paisley, to participate in their Design Day.
We took along a selection of embroidered ‘Paisley teardrop’ motifs, that have been collected as part of the Renfrewshire Tapestry project. The Renfrewshire Embroiderers’ Guild also brought along their amazing ‘Paisley’ inspired panels, consisting of hundreds of individually embroidered ‘Persian Pickles’.

The children have been working with an artist/ceramicist to design and produce some outdoor tiles, and the aim of the ‘Design Day’ was to allow the children to take inspiration from the displays of embroidered Paisley motifs, in order to contribute to communal, large scale, drawings that will be used in the final design of the ceramic panels for the school walls.



The children also had the opportunity to explore our colourful display of Thread Mill Museum artefacts, photographs and information. Through engagement with our resources, they were encouraged to:
• Learn a new skill – the children had a chance to try some stitching
• Find inspiration for their design activities – from the examples of completed ‘Paisley’ embroidered motifs
• Try some colour matching, and explore textures– using shade cards, bobbins, and skeins of thread and wool
• Develop problem solving skills – including needle threading, unpicking stitches, and using a wooden embroidery hoop
• Learn some more about the influence of the textile industry on their local heritage and history – through discussing information and photographs about the mill buildings and workers, and finding out about the Half-Timers School

Many children indicated that they would enjoy spending more time learning about, or improving their skills in, sewing and embroidery – and we hope that this event is the first of many collaborative projects between Paisley Thread Mill Museum and local Renfrewshire schools, groups and organisations, as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded A Family of Threads project.