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Textiles

Banner detail, Willow Tearooms © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2018

As Textiles had been a long-established local industry in Glasgow, it was natural that many of its artists designed cloth, wall coverings, upholstery and carpets. Designs are now largely all that remain since few physical examples exist today. The Glasgow Style was particularly imprinted in embroidery. Today few Glasgow Style textiles come up at auction and other than those with distinct provenance to key designers, there is little demand - a result, no doubt, of changing tastes and the frailty of the material.  

Craft produced by hand and individual design are common themes which is clearly aligned to Arts and Crafts principles. The embroideries of Jessie Newbery and Ann Macbeth are often utilitarian, for everyday use. Pieces by the Macdonald sisters often form part of interior schemes and are more elaborate. Elongated forms and the stylisation of natural motifs, particularly roses and leaves are repeated. The rose motif was used by Arts and Crafts designers but there does seem to be a common look to the Glasgow version. The designs of Macbeth and Newbery are simple and naturalistic compared to the more stylised efforts of the Macdonald sisters. Subtle colour tones of pinks, pale greens and purples, lettering, mottos are adopted. Appliqué, a technique in ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric are sewn or stuck on to a larger piece to form a picture or pattern is also common to the Glasgow Style.  The more utilitarian items lean more towards the medieval which would suggest an Arts and Crafts influence, particularly the maidens and religious imagery from Macbeth's other work. While the work of the Macdonald sisters suggests more of a Celtic influence.