Kingston University


This short documentary film will focus upon the technology of the ‘Spool loom’. First patented in the 1870s and introduced to the UK by Glasgow-based carpet manufacturer Templeton’s in 1892, the spool loom was housed in a large neo-gothic building specifically built for it. ‘THE GARDEN’ features a highly detailed digital reconstruction of the loom within the Templeton’s building.

The film also features materials from the design archive of Templeton’s held by Glasgow University. In a number of the designs, images of land or terrain are found and blooming variations of flora and fauna are featured endlessly. The literal and material aspects of the carpet surface are included to enhance these images, implying the sensual qualities of grass, moss or petals, whilst the tessellation of repeat patterns evokes the rhizomatic sward of undergrowth.

It has been said that Templeton’s ‘carpeted the whole world’ – a phrase that unconsciously concedes the colonising nature of the enterprise. It is impossible to consider the story of these carpets without addressing the key role that Templeton’s played within the history of British Colonialism: drawing upon the material resources of colonised lands, mirroring that process in the cultural appropriation of the designs, then re-exporting the results globally.

Templeton’s carpets were used to furnish government and prestigious buildings across the empire and the ships that connected these geographically dispersed locations. The decline of Templeton’s in the latter part of the 20th century was symptomatic of subsequent processes of de-industrialisation and globalisation.

This short documentary film is related to a wider exhibition ‘UNDERFOOT’ by artist Elizabeth Price. This exhibition included two artworks commissioned by the Hunterian Gallery and Glasgow Panel, funded by Creative Scotland along with support from Kingston University in 2022 and based upon a period of research in the University of Glasgow Archives, also supported by a Glasgow University Library Fellowship.

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Maria Chatzichristodoulou

Mandy Ure


Elizabeth Price

CGI Animation:

Anne Haanning

Other Digital Animation:

Elizabeth Price

Oliver Michael Bacon


Elizabeth Price


Andrew Dickens

Leah Kardos

Elizabeth Price

Research Consultant:

Jonathan Cleaver


The Hunterian Gallery, Glasgow Panel, Glasgow

The Glasgow School of Art

Dovecot Studios

Creative Scotland

University of Glasgow

Special thanks to The Museum of Carpet Kidderminster, for assistance in detailing the spool loom animation.