Reviving the William LIddell Collection: Shuttles and Shafts

Patricia Belford, Barbara Dass

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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In 2007 1600 photographic glass plates documenting Damask design work from the William Liddell Company, Donacloney, were donated to the Ulster University. It has been an ambition within the Belfast School of Art to uncover, conserve and publicise their legacy to the wider community, revealing the beautiful and highly skilled creative craftsmanship of the Liddell workforce.
The plates were in a fragile condition, unable to be viewed easily
in their existing condition. Electronically scanning the plates at
a high resolution uncovered amazing images of artwork, design experimentation and highly detailed technical charts for Damask design. These images have been made available to the public via a website,
an exhibition and this book. As well as preserving the past a parallel ambition by the authors was to generate new work inspired by the beauty of the plates.
Having previously worked together on the Borris Lace archives, with a mutual understanding and respect of each other’s disciplines (weave and print) we felt this opportunity to further collaborate in more depth would add a contemporary focus to the beautiful uncovered archive. Looking back to look forward new work was woven and printed, a familiar pattern speaking a different language but with its roots firmly linked to the Northern Irish linen industry and the wonderful design and manufacturing heritage that was once the powerhouse of the world, in terms of global outreach.
The exhibition supported by the beautifully documented books has been designed to travel, therefore spreading the knowledge of the past supported by the new textiles created by Trish Belford (printer) and Barbara Dass (weaver).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBlackburn
PublisherVision Support Services
Number of pages159
ISBN (Print)978-1-5272-3033-0
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2019


  • Archives
  • Textiles
  • Damask Weaving
  • Glass Plates
  • Photographic plates
  • Donachloney
  • Heritage Lottery
  • Textile Design
  • Irish LInen
  • Linen Industry

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