Catherine Campbell

As part of a cultural studies investigation in my 3rd year of architecture at Strathclyde University, I explored my heritage and the impact The Weavers had on Paisley. As an aspiring designer, I enjoy sewing narratives into my expressive works.

‘Weavers Damask’
Paisley: the town that thread built. The thread-mills were at the heart of Paisley for more than 100 years, employing over 10,000 workers. The workforce of ‘Mill Girls’ put this booming town on the map, producing 90% of the world’s thread at the turn of the 20th century. The textile ‘Weavers Damask’ is a pattern of a ‘Mill Girl’ detailed with iconic Paisley symbols such as the Anchor Mills Crest, the Paisley Pattern and the architecture of the town.

‘Paisley’s Genetic Code’
In order to weave a textile, a traditional Jacquard Loom required a ‘Punch Card’ – a large piece of card with holes punched through in a specific sequence, this instructed the machine which threads to pull and weave. This was the code at the root of a textiles creation. The graphic visual of the loom card resembles genomic data – sequenced DNA of an organism. The textile fuses these two concepts together to create ‘Paisley’s Genetic Code.’ The levels of brightness of each encoded dot have been selected from the satellite view of Paisley. This symbolises that craft, creativity and subculture of ‘The Weavers’ are within Paisley’s genetic DNA. Paisley’s proud weaving past will always be in the DNA of the town and its people.