Manufacturing textiles in Carlisle
The Gleneden Post-War Design Archive is a collection of hand painted design sheets that were produced to inform the production of jacquard woven cloth. The patterns were produced for companies such as Sundour Fabrics, Courtaulds Textiles, Collins and Aikman Automotive Fabric Ltd and Gleneden Textiles between the mid 1950’s and the 1990’s. Around 1000 designs from this period are now kept at the University of Huddersfield in Heritage Quay Archives.
The designs vary in size and medium, but most are on A1 paper, painted in gouache paint. They feature imagery of flowers and fauna, geometric and ornamental patterns and are sometimes accompanied by a sample of the production fabric.
Design Sheets and corresponding fabric swatches
Darvel, circa 1900
carpet weaving, circa 1900
Engraving of Carlisle
Jacquard loom weaving
Tapestry with pre-dyed yarns
Gleneden exterior circa 2000
The archive is known to have a connection to textile companies formed by the Morton family (Alexander Morton & Co., Morton Sundour Fabrics, Edinburgh Weavers). Originally from Darvel in Ayrshire, Scotland, the Morton’s acquired the site of the Gleneden mill in Carlisle in 1900 where it produced carpets, tapestries, and chenille’s.
Gleneden Textiles was formed in 1955 to manufacture and supply companies beyond their own. Its name is a portmanteau that blends Glen from the small Scottish village Glengarnock and Eden from the river that runs through Carlisle. Gleneden Textiles produced woven textiles at the mill until in 1990 when the then owners Courtaulds moved furnishing production to a factory at Silsden, West Yorkshire.
Following the acquisition of Courtaulds by the Sarah Lee group, a substantial design library was donated to the V&A by Sarah Lee Courtaulds in 2001 within which are further examples of Gleneden Textiles designs. The examples looked after by Heritage Quay were donated in to the University of Huddersfield in 2005 and placed in the Archive in 2017.
A record of the Morton Family and Gleneden Textiles has been produced by Mike Hardcastle and can be read here.