Project celebrating rich textile tradition of Leeds launched

Caption: (L-R-) Amy Jenkinson, Assistant Curator of Industrial History, Leeds City Council, Tom Bridges, Chief Economic Development Officer, Leeds City Council, Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, Susan Gaunt, Textile Designer and Suzy Shepherd, Yorkshire Textiles.

A new micro manufacturing project which will celebrate the rich textile heritage of Leeds and Yorkshire has been launched at a city museum.

Bringing together a unique mixture of expert skill and material from the region, the aim of the project is to create high quality cloth using the machinery of a 1921 Hattersley ‘Standard Loom’ currently residing at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills.

Developed through a collaboration between Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills and Yorkshire Textiles by designer Susan Gaunt, the ‘Armley Mills Cloth’ is produced with 100% British wool yarn spun by Laxtons Yarns, a specialist yarn manufacturer in Guiseley and Sunny Bank Mill Textile Archive, a business in Farsley.

Set to be made available in a number of colourways, the production of the cloth will also enable textile students to have hands on experience of the weaving and design process and learn the skills and creative processes needed to produce woollen and worsted woven textiles.

Boasting a rich history in textiles, the industry still employs 14,000 people within the Leeds City Region and is also home to over 60% of the UK’s textile fibre preparation and spinning and finishing.

For further information, please contact Amy Jenkinson, Assistant Curator of Industrial History (Leeds Textiles and Tailoring) via the following email: amy.jenkinson@leeds.go.uk or by phone: 0113 2244372. Additional information can also be found at: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for leisure and skills said:

"Our city has a very rich history in the textiles industry, and it is exciting therefore that a 1921 Hattersley Loom residing at Leeds Industrial Museum will be used to produce its very own ‘Armley Mills Cloth’.

"As part of the project, textile design students will also be given the opportunity to have hands on experience, and I am really looking forward to seeing the first items of cloth featuring materials from local companies in Leeds, that are produced from one of our looms."

Suzy Shepherd, Yorkshire Textiles said:

"This has been a fascinating project at every stage of the design and production. It's particularly exciting to have the foundation set for potential growth and development of a project that uses so many traditional skills that are still part of the modern process."

Notes to editors:

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills:

Housed in what was once the world's largest woollen mill, Leeds Industrial Museum houses a wealth of gems located in a beautiful riverside setting. Step back in time to learn about the industrial history of Leeds from manufacturing textiles and clothing to printing, engineering and locomotives, which the city was world famous for.

There is no additional charge for visiting this exhibition. Normal admission charges apply.

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills is open at the following times:

Monday: Closed except for bank holidays. Bank holiday Mondays 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00

Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00

Sunday: 13:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00

For further information visit our website www.leeds.gov.uk/armleymills

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk