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A day at Derbyshire Record Office

After our last trip to the Derbyshire record office, where we looked at a handful of the collection, I decided to head back there again. This time I booked to go for the day and used their online resource to book out a number of items and then was able to book out more on the day.


This time I wanted to focus on the pattern books that we missed out on last time and found a few more amazing patterns that still stood the test of time! It's really amazing how vibrant some of these fabric swatches are.


As a textile artist who has specialised in printed and dyed textiles I found the technical notes interesting - I was in particular, looking for the use of the dye-stuffs, logwood as there was a mill that went by the same name.


Edmund Potter and Dinting Vale - J. G. Hurst

In 1840, Potter acquired Dinting Mill. In the lower story he ground logwood there by water power. Logwood is a type of wood chip that is used for dyeing black, from then on the mill is then later known as Logwood Mill. The upper story, Edmund, turned into a day school for his workers as well as young children. His first school master, Thomas Bailey, taught: cleanliness, reading, writing, arithmetic and drawing. Each year Edmund presented book prizes for good work and good attendance.


An example of technical notes from the Dinting Vale Printworks - DRO

On the list for this visit was also the shirt, after reading about this in the DRO blog series I was eager to get a closer look at this. An 1883, calico printed shirt, featuring a number of tiny hand drawn illustrations was found in with J.G. Hurst's collection. I'd love to find out more about this mystery shirt.


I'm not sure one day was enough time to get through this collection, I spent the majority of the time photographing the items but now I know what items are in there and how to book out the pieces I can go again with the intent to study particular items.


In terms of creative inspiration though there is a tonne of it from the pattern books!

I'm eager to get going with some designs inspired by these prints and colours!

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