Visitors will make a shawl fit for a queen at this year’s Leeds Wool Festival: dsc-5515.jpg

17 May 2016

Visitors will make a shawl fit for a queen at this year’s Leeds Wool Festival

Museums and galleries

It’s a British tradition dating back hundreds of years and was even one of Queen Victoria’s favourite fashion accessories.

And now visitors to this year’s Wool Festival at Leeds Industrial Museum will be learning the art of Shetland lace from a leading knitting expert.

Shetland lace was made famous by British royalty and was said to be particularly  popular during the reign of Queen Victoria, who often commissioned it for herself and to give as gifts.

At the event at Leeds Industrial Museum on June 4, knitwear designer Karie Westermann, who also teaches classes across the UK, will deliver a workshop where visitors will be able to try their hand at making their own traditional hap shawl.

Those taking part will get the chance to explore different techniques including picking up stitches, reading and understanding a lace chart, and how to knit an applied edge.

Karie will also deliver a second workshop, where guests can have a go at knitting colourwork.

Both workshops are now fully booked, but this year’s Wool Festival, which will see the event return to the museum for the third year in a row, will also include a market place with a selection of locally-produced yarn, craft tools and textiles for sale.

One of the highlights of the museum’s events calendar, the festival will also feature live music and dance performances inspired by Yorkshire’s textile industry and films in the 1920s cinema including the award winning ‘Addicted to Sheep.’

The very popular pop-up café hosted by The Darling Roses branch of the Women’s Institute will also return, selling delicious homemade cakes and teas. Some adorable sheep and alpacas will also be paying a visit for the day.

Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said:

“The Wool Festival is always a fantastic occasion for the museum and the city that showcases some of the very best of Leeds’s craft community.

“Leeds Industrial Museum has been a focal point for the local textile industry for hundreds of years now and it’s wonderful to see that heritage celebrated each year with such a vibrant event.”

The Wool Festival takes place Saturday, June 4 from 10am to 5pm and usual admission applies. Parking on site is limited, so visitors are encouraged to use public transport.

Leeds Industrial Museum was once the world's largest woollen mill and gives visitors a chance to learn about the industrial history of Leeds, including manufacturing textiles and clothing to printing, engineering and locomotives.

For more information about Leeds Industrial Museum please visit:


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Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3937


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