THE stories woven into the fabric of the city’s textile collection are often as vivid and as colourful as the garments themselves.

Some take a little research to fully unpick – like the tale behind this beautiful golden-yellow wedding dress, for example.

It began as little more than a name and address on a sheet of paper for researcher Rebecca Quinton, but revealed a childhood tragedy, a love that lasted a lifetime, and a family of pioneering women.

The golden-yellow dress. (c) CSG CIC Glasgow Museums

The golden-yellow dress. (c) CSG CIC Glasgow Museums

Rebecca, European Costumes and Textiles curator at Glasgow Museums, explains: “I only had a Post Office Directory address and the name of Miss J Binnie when we included this dress in Kelvingrove’s Century of Style exhibition in 2015.

“Now, I know so much more.”

She adds: “This evening dress formed part of a bride’s trousseau - the clothing and other items a bride takes with her from home when she gets married.

“It was worn by Miss J Binnie, who married Mr Marshall in March 1892. According to her daughter, Dorothy, who donated the dress, her mother had ‘bright red hair’ - she must have looked glorious in this.”

While Glasgow Museums remain closed because of coronavirus restrictions, Rebecca has been researching some of the fascinating items stored in the city’s textile collections, uncovering the intriguing stories of their makers and wearers.

In an occasional series for Times Past, we will be sharing some of her Tales From the Wardrobe.

Detailing on Jane Binnies dress (c) CSG CIC Glasgow Museums

Detailing on Jane Binnie's dress (c) CSG CIC Glasgow Museums

Jane Binnie’s dress, consisting of bodice and matching skirt in yellow corded silk and cream silk satin woven with small roses and ribbons, was bought from Logie & Ramsay, a silk merchant on Sauchiehall Street.

Rebecca’s research discovered that she was born in November 1862, at 17 Binnie Place on the edge of Glasgow Green, the daughter of Thomas Binnie, a builder master, and his wife, Margaret Scott Colville.

Sadly, Jane’s mother died from a fever on 5 December 1863, just after her daughter’s first birthday. “Her father remarried, and the census for 1871 records Thomas living with his second wife Elizabeth, Jane, now nine and ‘a scholar’, and her younger half-siblings Thomas and Robert, in Cathcart,” says Rebecca.

Rebecca Quinton

Rebecca Quinton

In 1892, at Renfield Free Church in Glasgow, the 30-year-old Jane married Dr John Nairn Marshall, who became a GP in Rothesay on the isle of Bute.

READ MORE: Tales from the Wardrobe - Glasgow fashion house that was ahead of its time

“Around this point Jane started being known as Jean, and the couple raised three daughters, Margaret Colville, Jean Macalister and Dorothy Nairn,” adds Rebecca. “John died on March 15, 1945, aged 85 and Jean died just a few years later in October 1949, aged 86.”

An interesting footnote is that all three of Jane and John’s daughters forged pioneering careers in their chosen fields - Margaret was first Principal Matron of the Scottish Emergency Hospitals during WW2 and then Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland; Dorothy was an eminent archaeologist and antiquary (the Dorothy Marshall medal is awarded every three years to a volunteer who makes an outstanding contribution to Scottish archaeology); and Jean, later known as Sheina, became a leading Scottish marine biologist.

Sheina Marshall

Sheina Marshall

Based in Millport, Sheina and colleague Andrew Picken Orr identified a type of seaweed as the best home-grown source of agar, a substance vital for the development of vaccines.