James Watt’s improved steam engine was initially used to pump water out of mines. However, by the 1780s the technology was applied to power machines, enabling the rapid development of efficient, semi-automated factories.

Watt’s influence on the textiles industry is being celebrated in a new exhibition called “Power and Processes” hosted by Heriot-Watt University.

The display is currently on show at the Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels and runs until June 28, 2019. Admission is free during normal opening hours. There’s no need to book, just turn up.

A spokesperson for the University said: “The display in reception and the library at Heriot-Watt University’s Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels celebrates the influence of new inventions and innovations on the production of textiles. Records relating to dyes and lace, woven and printed fabric samples are on display from Bernat Klein and Dundee furnishing fabric firm Donald Brothers.”

(The Mirella design from 1938, by Bernard Adeney for Donald Brothers, is pictured above.)

The full address for the Scottish Borders Campus is: Heriot-Watt University, Main Building, Nether Road, Galashiels, TD1 3HF

The site is a short walk from Galashiels town centre, which is well served by the Borders Railway and local bus services. Get full directions here.

For more information, email: heritage@hw.ac.uk or call 0131 451 3638.