Here at Textile Consult , we try to be a very up-to-date company, one in which we embrace complex, cutting edge technologies and communication tools.
Just to give you a flavour: we apply technology to run our company finances; we use the cloud to store data and access documents; we meet via internet and video phone systems and we share news and interesting info via many social media connections – and we sometimes grab a sneaky peek at the latest cute cat compilation on YouTube too :o)
We are in the process of bringing even more technology into our company with the development of the Textile Consult website. As I write this blog entry, we are optimising key words and setting up Google Analytics, to help us understand how we interact online with our lovely clients and potential new customers – which is a very modern approach to working in one of the most traditional industries – textiles.
Technology is something to jump onto and move forwards – but our past can also help us understand where we need to be in the present – so we like to combine the old and new at Textile Consult by using Twitter to do a #throwbackthursday, talking about and showing the more traditional side of textiles.
The traditions of the textile industry, with its world changing engineering, incredible factories and buildings, and the throngs of workers who brought so much expertise to this industry for hundreds of years, is endlessly interesting.
A while back, we were able to obtain some copies of the Journal of the Society of Dyers and Colourists going back to 1893 – and they make fascinating reading.
I can tell you that the “New Colouring Matters” that were exciting the textile industry in 1893 were coming out of Germany with a new “Diamond Black” dyestuff from Bayer. It’s a mordant dye, and the wool is mordanted with potash and tartar, or dichromate of potash and oxalic acid. The article tells us that the dyestuff is perfectly fast to milling, with even the cotton threads in the selvedge remaining white in the milling process. It is exceedingly fast to light and air and stands well against road dirt.
Do we even test against Road Dirt and Air any more?
You can only imagine the excitement in the industry that would have been generated by the developments of these new dyestuffs…would the industry have been as enthusiastic about this new product as we are about 3D printing?
The textile industry has long been at the forefront of development and embracing change and, while some of these changes have been for the better (and some have not), what IS good is that whether it’s 3D printing in 2014, or “Diamond Black” dyes in 1893, the textile industry keeps developing and keeps moving forward. I wish I could be here in a hundred years to see what our amazing, innovative industry has achieved.
Let’s hope that paper journals from the 1800/1900’s sit alongside screens displaying an online history of the textile industry from the 2000’s and beyond – and that future generations are able to enjoy reading about how textiles and the industry has developed, in the modern age of technology, with a nod to the historical traditions of the textile industry.