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fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Greysmith, David
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Printed textiles produced for the mass-market in the 19th century have had little historical or critical attention. This has been because these products, especially from the period 1830-1870, have lacked interest for the art historian and suffered retrospectively from the reaction against mass-production which was part of the rationale of the Arts and Crafts Movement later in the century. In this thesis the structure and distribution of the industry in these years is analysed, with relevant background material. This analysis is based on a wide reading of published material, official publications, and manuscript sources, some of which has been transcribed for the first time during this research. Attention is paid to the growth of the industry, its geographical location, and the relationship between production in the north and south of England. Use is made of figures from the Census Reports, (which are tabulated), to indicate the spread of textile printing across the country. Main trends are given in investment, expansion or failure of firms, legislation regarding taxation and copyright, and attitudes of manufacturers and commentators. Salient changes in technology are described. Surviving collections of prints have been examined, notably the vast collection of designs registered from 1842, held at the Public Record Office. Details of this archive are given with an analysis of numbers of firms involved and designs registered up to 1870, the first time this has been done. Use is made of this material to challenge a number of entrenched ideas about the effects of mechanisation of the industry, on skills and craftsmanship, on standards of design and public taste, and to re-assess the quality of mass-produced printed textiles both at home and in relation to the French industry. A survey of other research relating to this subject is contained in the Preface to the Bibliography.
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    • 1 P. Floud, English Chintz - Two Centuries of Changing Taste (1955); and English Chintz - English Printed Furnishing Fabrics from Their Origins Until the Present Day (1960). The 1960 exhibition was substantially bigger.
    • 2 F. M. Montgomery,Printed Textiles. English and American Cottons and Linens 1700-1850 (1970); S. D. Chapman and S. Chassagne, European Textile Printers in the Eighteenth Century (1981).
    • 3 P. Floud (1960), op. cit. Note 1, p. 2.
    • 4 A useful definition is that given by S. Levitt in 'Registered Designs: New Source Material for the Study of the Mid-Nineteenth Century Fashion Industry', Costume, Autumn (1981), 49. 'While a patent protects a completely new idea for an object, a registered design protects a new appearance of an existing one. The function of both is to allow a person to enjoy the fruits of his or her invention and industry, free from commercial competition, and thus to stimulate trade. However, while a patent gives greater protection, it is harder to obtain and more expensive than a registered design.'
    • 5 27 Geo. III c. 38.
    • 6 A. K. Longfield, 'William Kilburn and the Earliest Copyright Acts for Cotton Printing Designs', BurlingtonMagazine, xcv (1953), 230.
    • 7 7 Geo. I c. 7; 9 Geo. 11 c. 4; 14 Geo. III c. 72. Despite these restrictions about 50000 pieces per annum were being produced, mostly in London. See E. Potter, Calico Printing as an Art Manufacture. A Lecture Read Before the Society of Arts (1852), p. 8: 'The common import of the term Calico-Printer now, is a printer of all sorts of fabrics - calicoes, muslins, linens, silks or woollens, or the many mixed varieties, composed of different materials.' For an example of technological piracy see A. and N. Clow, The Chemical Revolution. A Contribution to Social Technology (1952), p. 224: where a Scottish printer is described whose skill was 'annually acquired by stealth from the working printers of London ... '.
    • 8 Longfield, op. cit. Note 6, p. 230.
    • 9 Report of Select Committee on the Copyright of Designs, Pari. Papers, 1840, VI, QQ 2064-2073, subsequently cited as SC 1840.
    • 10 Longfield, op. cit. Note 6, p. 230.
    • 11 Ibid.
    • 12 27 Geo. III c. 19.
    • 13 Longfield, op. cit. Note6, p. 233. S. D. Chapman and S. Chassagne, op. cit. Note 2, pp. 196, 229: suggest Kilburn's campaign was 'against the Peels' while 'Peel ... [is] more easily recognisable as imitator and pirate than as scientist or originator of ideas'.
    • 77 PRO, BT 43.
    • 78 PRO, BT 42; PRO, BT 44.
    • 79 See J. N. Bartlett, Carpeting the Millions. The Growth of Britain's Carpet Industry (undated), p. 19; F. Bradbury, Carpet Manufacture (Belfast, 19(4), p. 160 et seq.
    • 80 Bartlett, op. cit. Note 80, pp. 62-Q3.
    • 81 N. Whittock, The Complete Book of Trades (1837), p. 246.
    • 82 BT 43 I05-II3.
    • 83 BT 43 1871BT 44, 14.
    • 84 BT 43 187, No. 1741 I. See p. 181.
    • 85 BT 43 170-180lBT 44, 12-13.
    • 86 F. Irwin 'The Printed Shawl in Scotland c. 1785-1870', Costume, Autumn (1981), 24.
    • 87 Ibid.
    • 88 BT 43 188, No. 3763.
    • 89 P. Floud,EnglishPrintedTextiles 1720-1836, V & A (London, 1960),P. 5; CIBAReview,1 (1961 ), 16.
    • 90 For a useful discussion of garment designs at the PRO see Levitt, op. cit. Note 4. • 91 The title 'Thomson & Co' included designs from the Primrose Printworks at Clitheroe run by James Thomson, High Lodge, near Manchester run by his son Edward Peel Thomson, and Little Moor, near Clitheroe, run by his sons Henry and Charles Thomson.
    • 92 SC 1840, op. cit. Note 9, QQ 165-167.
    • 93 See inscription quoted in text, Note 85.
    • 93 Reprinted in Turnbull, op. cit. Note 40.
    • 95 Thomas Bull, A Voice from the Bench (1853).
    • 96 See p. 174.
    • 97 A few designs were registered by a 'David Ainsworth' but a connection with the firm has not been established.
    • 98 Floud, op. cit. Note 89, p. 8.
    • 99 Potter, (1852) op. cit. Note 7, p. 27; see also Chapman and Chassagne, op. cit. Note2, p. 204: 'Most writers on textile printing have failed to recognise the importance of the popular market because nearly all of them have been essentially historians of design, entranced by the "classic" copper prints . . . '.
    • 100 Levitt, op. cit. Note 4, p. 50.
    • 101 ChapmanandChassagne, op. cit. Note 2, contains interesting passing comment on this,p. 204 et infra.
    • 102 C. M. Vialls, 'The Casting of Surfaces for Textile Handblock Printing', Transactions of the N ewcomen Society, XLI (1968-Q9).
    • 103 See D. Greysrnith, 'The Impact of Technology on Printed Textiles in the Early Nineteenth Century', Design in Industry (1980), 65.
    • 104 Potter (1852), op. cit. Note 8, p. 23.
    • 105 Turkey Red Discharge Patent for 1813, Number 3654; for 1815 Number 3881.
    • 106 Kennedy, op. cit. Note 29, p. B45; C. M. Melior and D. S. LCardwell, 'Dyes and Dyeing 1775-1860', BritishJournalfor the History ofScience, I (3) (1963), pp. 265-275: 'By skilful use of mordants and by careful mixing of dyes, the dyer of pre-synthetic days seems to have been able to produce a wide range of fairly fast colours and shades.' John Mercer suggested the use of antimony in 1817 to produce a printable yellow and orange and sold the process to Hargreaves and Dugdale of Broadoak, near Accrington. See CIBA Review, op. cit. Note 89, pp. 8-14.
    • 107 Lyon Playfair (1819-1898), Professor ofChernistry at Edinburgh 1858-1868, Liberal MP from 1868, elevated to the peerage in 1892. Edmund Potter developed a dyestuff called Tyrian Purple, see Melior and Cardwell, op. cit. Note 106, p. 275.
    • 108 Designs from this firm were registered under the name of Seedley Printworks after 1846.
    • 109 Melior and Cardwell, op. cit. Note 106, p. 274.
    • 110 E. Baines, History ofthe Cotton Manufacture in Great Britain (1835), p. 278.
    • 111 Floud (1960), op. cit. Note I, p. 58.
    • 112 Wa1lis, op. cit. Note 52, p. 13; Floud (1960), op. cit. Note I, p. 49.
    • 113 Irwin, op . cit. Note 86, P.24. Muslins were also called Bareges or Balzerines: see Wa1lis, op. cit. Note 52, p. 17; and Chapman and Chassagne, op. cit. Note 2, p. 78.
    • 114 BT 43 214, No. 34359; BT 43 235, No. 58622.
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