If you are a fan of the long gone but absolutely stunning "Turkey Red" designs that were historically made in the Vale of Leven there’s a great event coming up for you.

Textile researcher, Dr Mohammad Shahid from the University of Glasgow, will be giving a free talk on the subject next month at Dumbarton Library.

He will explore the remarkable journey of the Turkey red dyeing process which was used as a method of dyeing fabric from the 18th century to the early 20th century in the Vale of Leven.

Dr Shahid will explain how madder root extract was used to achieve the beautiful rich red colours, and that the plant used to commonly grow in Turkey, France and Holland during that time.

He will also discuss the use of other ingredients in the dye including urine, sheep dung, olive oil, soda ash and large qualities of bullocks’ blood.

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Dr Shahid, who carries out research on industrial dyeing and historical textile dyeing methods, said: “Turkey red dye came from the east, that’s how it got its name, and was brought to Scotland in 1785 by a Frenchman named Pierre Jacques Papillon.

“Many manufacturers set up factories and mills in the Vale of Leven to dye textiles due to the plentiful supply of clean water in the area.

“This historical process of dyeing is unique and you don’t find anything similar to it.

“The examples of these textiles in West Dunbartonshire Council and Glasgow University’s archive collections are rare.

“My work aims to get a better understanding of this method and create guidelines for the preservation of the textiles.

“By the 1930s this type of dyeing had vanished from the scene due to the decline of industry and cheaper processes of dyeing.”

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Participants at the workshop will have the chance to try their hand at dyeing and use the block printing process to create patterns on dyed Turkey red fabric.

At the end of the workshop, everyone will be able to see examples of historic Turkey red textiles from West Dunbartonshire Council and Glasgow University’s archive collections.

The event is on Saturday, March 2, from 10am to 12pm, at Dumbarton Library, Strathleven Place. Phone 01389 608992 for more information.