J & P Coats established the Needlework Development Scheme (NDS) in 1934 in conjunction with the Scottish art colleges. Colin Martin, Coats’s marketing director based in Vienna, conceived the idea and sought the support of the Scottish art colleges in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. Martin was inspired by the enthusiasm for embroidery and needlework in Hungary and recognised the potential for the arousal of similar interest in the wealthy, relatively untapped market in rural Scotland.1 The stated NDS aim was to encourage greater interest in embroidery and improve the standard of design through the setting up of an historical and contemporary embroidery reference collection. The collection was made available for study to colleges, schools and amateur groups, supported by publications and exhibitions to extend market opportunities in the UK. Coats invested heavily in the Scheme and undoubtedly saw it as a way of increasing thread sales.
International Review of Scottish Studies, 2012, 37 pp. 97 - 120