Funding for Tapestry of Renfrewshire project in support of Paisley 2021

Renfrewshire Tapestry Group are delighted to announce a successful package of funding for the Tapestry of Renfrewshire project that will support Paisley's bid for UK City Of Culture in 2021. Seed funding for the first 10 panels has been secured from Paisley2021 and The Heritage Lottery Fund through their Stories, Stones and Bones programme which is part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.

It is anticipated that the Tapestry will be a major community and colourful contribution towards Paisley’s bid for City of Culture 2021. It is avidly hoped that, when completed, it will be housed in Paisley, as a further draw for tourists, for locals and as an important element of a clearly emerging Textile Trail within Scotland.

This ambitious and exciting project is being led by a collaborative steering group of local organisation representatives and experts. Andrew Crummy, Scottish artist and designer - who drew the panels for the Prestonpans Tapestry, the Great Tapestry of Scotland and the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry – is designing the panels. They will be based on the Old County of Renfrew boundary, depicted by Pont's map of 1560. It is anticipated that the history will stretch from the Iron Age onwards, encompassing the future of Renfrewshire as it is known today.

Whilst Paisley's weaving history is well known, we want to highlight the unique importance of thread to Paisley. Paisley was built on thread through the legacy of the Coats and Clarks families and at one time almost every bobbin of thread in the world was manufactured in Paisley. Our ambition, therefore, is that the tapestry be stitched entirely with local threads and wools. Donations have started coming in and are welcome from all over the world – towards the Call To Yarns!

Stitching: currently everyone is encouraged to download a tear drop pattern to stitch at leisure, or they can join in with stitching groups being held at the Paisley Thread Mill Museum and the RWH 1697 hub in Paisley.   These tear drops will be used within the Tapestry project.

Schools, stitching groups, charities and organisations have started to take an interest in the project. We encourage more to get in touch, as well as any individuals. Research must be accurate, outreach to every corner of the boundary and we welcome ideas for panels and for volunteers to take on a panel. We also welcome sponsorship for the panels and the project.

Andrew Crummy pointed out: ‘the colours of Paisley’s threads are phenomenal’ – indeed they are engaging and inspiring. The Tapestry of Renfrewshire is a community project and everyone’s input will make the colours of people’s stories, the heritage and history shine through. No matter what talent people have, everyone is welcome – be it for stitching, administration or information gathering.

Commenting, Lucy Casot, Head of HLF in Scotland, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund is a key partner in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and it’s our ambition that people of all ages will have the chance to discover something new about the heritage they care about. We’re delighted that, thanks to funding from the National Lottery, Renfrewshire Tapestry Group will be opening the door to fun, learning and everlasting memories for many people as we celebrate this special year.”

You do not need to be a stitcher to be involved.

Renfrewshire Council leader and Paisley 2021 partnership board chair Mark Macmillan said: "The council's Culture, Heritage and Events fund was created to support Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 by raising ambition, getting people involved in culture and unlocking the area’s creative potential, while building capacity in the local creative scene.

"We are pleased our funding could play a part in making the Renfrewshire Tapestry happen - the area's story is such a rich and fascinating one, and given the importance of the thread industry to that, this is a great way to bring that story to life.

"It's also great to see a large number of local individuals and groups coming together for this project - just like the bid itself, it is a real team effort."

Further Information, an application form and a pattern are all available on the website: