Talking Textiles - sharing stories through clothing and textiles

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is teaming up with the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection (GTC) to deliver two workshops for women in the North West.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 3:45 pm

As part of the national Being Human Festival 2021, the UK’s first and only festival of the Humanities, the Patterns of Migration project Talking Textiles will open the Gawthorpe Textile Collection to explore how clothing and textiles can tell stories of identity, migration, home and belonging.

UCLan lecturers Dr Carole Hunt and Dr Maria Ikoniadou, together with the GTC’s community officer Bev Lamey, will work with artist-led organisation Manasamitra to deliver two workshops on the theme: Talking Textiles, Sharing stories through clothing and textiles.

Through a combination of craft making, music, storytelling and sound, the workshops will travel from the North West of England across the globe.

Albertine (Etty) May (neé Horowitz) and her mother, Clementine Horowitz (neé Müller), wearing their Hungarian national dress in 1910s in Hungary. Credit: Jenni Barrett and Linda Atherfold.

Dr Carole Hunt said: “Alongside the participants’ own contributions, we will also be examining a selection of garments and accessories from the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection that have been kept for significant or sentimental reasons.

“These historic pieces range in date from the 19th to mid-20th century and originate from Europe, the Middle East and South Asia. Each piece of clothing or textile has a story to tell and we are particularly interested in any personal or collective special meanings they might have.”

The Talking Textiles workshops will focus on how the participants themselves respond to different textiles. Dr Maria Ikoniadou said: “We hope that our interactive workshops will prompt our attendees to share their own stories and memories.”

Rachel Midgley, costume historian, historic textile enthusiast and curator at Gawthorpe Textile Collection, will help facilitate the workshops.

She said: “I’m looking forward to sharing some of our collection items with the participants and telling the story of each object. I’m excited to hear people respond with their own memories or experiences inspired by the items and discuss what types of textiles they keep and the reason for holding onto them.”

The two workshops will take place at the Valley Street Community Centre in Burnley on Saturday 13 November and Saturday 20 November, 10.00am -1.00pm. They are free to attend but booking is recommended in advance via Eventbrite.

For more information, email [email protected]

Patterns of Migration: Talking Textiles, is one of several Being Human Festival events taking place across the UK this November. The festival aims to demonstrate the relevance of the Humanities, to everyday life.