Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley is opening the doors of its iconic 1912 Mill for the Threads Textile Festival over the weekend of 12th -14th May.

The Threads Textile Festival will open on 12th May in the Textile Archive with a day of talks on dyeing by leading experts in the field. In the evening, new exhibition, Tailored, by the 62 Group, will have its preview in the Art Gallery, with music and refreshments.

During Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th there will be an extensive workshop programme. On Saturday there will be screen and sublimation printing with El Riordan, a day of natural dyeing with Debbie Tomkies, weaving with Agnis Smallwood and hand quilting with Jenny Haynes.

On Sunday there’s a workshop on embroidery with nature with Elnaz Yazdani, Punjabi embroidery with Saima Kaur, all day indigo fabric dyeing with Debbie Tomkies, weaving with Agnis Smallwood and resilient mindful embroidery with Claire Wellesley-Smith.

A series of textile talks will be held during the weekend starting on Saturday with Hannah Lamb’s ‘Inspiration from Historical Textiles’ and in the evening keynote speaker will be the fashion historian Amber Butchart with a talk on ‘Clothing the Counterculture: Medieval Revivalism from the Pre-Raphaelites to Biba’. On Sunday morning there’s a talk on ‘Phulkaris from Punjab’ from Saima Kaur and in the afternoon a panel of textile, fashion and academic speakers are discussing sustainability.

Students from Leeds Arts University will be holding a free fashion show on Saturday afternoon.

In the historic 1912 Mill there will a wide range of stallholders selling everything from yarn to sewing materials to hand made clothing to soft furnishings and textile art. There will be the opportunity to make something unique from recycled fabric, a weaving taster session with Agnis Smallwood and tours of the Archive on Saturday and Sunday together with history tours of the site.

Dr Sarah Gaunt, Threads Textile Festival Director, explained: “As we celebrate 10 Years of Arts and Culture at Sunny Bank Mills, it is the perfect opportunity to launch Threads. Over the years we have had various textile related workshops and exhibitions but never a full weekend celebrating all things textile.

“It seemed an obvious and natural fit to have such an event at an historic textile mill and nationally important textile Archive. The intention is for the visitor to have a fully immersive experience either visiting the Archive, taking a tour of the site, visiting the market, listening to a talk or learning a new skill in one of the workshops, all within these historic buildings.

‘We want to establish Threads as an annual event that celebrates textiles in its many incarnations within the unique and very special setting of Sunny Bank Mills. Make sure you leave lots of time to explore our historic Mill and immerse yourself in a weekend of creativity and fun.”
Sunny Bank Mills, where Yorkshire Television’s Emmerdale and Heartbeat were once filmed, is now one of the most exciting and respected cultural and community hubs in the Yorkshire region.

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