Axminster carpet manufacture in Edinburgh in the mid-18th century
Edinburgh; Scotland; UK; Turkey
early modern, modern, mid-18th century
Hand-knotted carpets in the Turkey and Persia styles became fashionable in the 1750s when weavers from the Royal Savonnerie Carpet Manufactory at Chaillot near Paris settled in London. An English manufactory developed in Exeter under Claude Passavant, in Axminster under Thomas Whitty and in London under Thomas Moore. These carpets subsequently became known generically as ‘Axminster’ carpets after the fame of Whitty’s manufactory spread. Recent research has revealed that a French carpet weaver came to Scotland in the mid-18th century and established an Axminster manufactory in Edinburgh and Fife. Local merchants and upholsterers also took up the business. None of their carpets have so far come to light, but we are able to trace the origins and progress of this early stage in the carpet manufacture from the historical records.