A PIECE of thread-making history is set to transform production for a fairtrade organisation in Cambodia.

A historic dye vat, formerly used in the famous Coats mills in both Paisley and Newton Mearns, is being gifted to fairtrade thread-maker Villageworks.

The firm creates products using the Coats thread, as well as producing the world’s first fairtrade tartan.

The artefact has been an exhibit at Paisley’s Thread Mill Museum since the closure of the Coats mill in Newton Mearns.

On a visit to Renfrewshire to mark World Fairtrade Day last year, producer Noum Bunnak, also known as Anak, visited the museum to celebrate her links using the famous thread in her products.

And the dye vat caught her eye as having the potential to revolutionise production for her artisans in Cambodia.

The dye vat has now been decommissioned from the museum, prompting arrangements through Renfrewshire Council and Fair Trade Scotland to donate it to Villageworks.

Anak said: “We’re extremely happy to be receiving this gift from the Paisley Thread Mill Museum and it’s great that the area is a supporter of fairtrade.

“As a social business, fairtrade is very important to us as we strive to raise the fairness and living wage for Cambodian artisans.

“The dye vat will be used to make a range of products, including dyeing the world’s first fairtrade tartan, further enhancing and maintaining its links to Scotland.

“We hope the dye vat will improve our production by giving a better colour matching and uniformity and allow us to produce a better quality product.”

Mary McKeown, vice-chair of Paisley Thread Mill Museum, added: “We’re delighted this historic dye vat will be brought back to life when it reaches Cambodia.

“It was used for generations by Paisley’s famous thread-makers Coats at their mills here and it is fitting it will used by Villageworks to create fantastic products which use the Coats thread.

“It is yet another piece of rich history which is helping to retell the area’s unique story to the world.”

The World Fair Trade Organisation and Fair Trade Scotland have been working with Villageworks and textile designers House of Edgar to produce the world’s first fairtrade tartan, which has been recognised by the Keeper of Scottish Tartans Register.

The dye vat will facilitate quicker and more efficient production of the tartan in Cambodia.