Gawthorpe Hall project unthreads how textiles helped people through lockdown

Stories of textile making during lockdown are to be showcased as part of a new online project at Gawthorpe Hall.
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Gawthorpe Textiles Collection has commissioned textile artist Ruth Singer to create a digital archive, ebook and podcast about stories of textile making during lockdown, funded through Arts Council England’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund.

Over 300 textile makers both hobby and professional, have contributed to this incredible collection of stories of how textiles have helped us through this time.

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During August Ruth created surveys to delve into the stories of textile making practice over the months of lockdown. The contributors are just a sample of the millions of knitters, dressmakers, embroiderers, weavers, stitchers and more in the UK, both professional and amateur, who make up the vibrant textile community.

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Gawthorpe Hall

Ruth said: “It has been a joy to delve deeper into this topic, to see images and stories of collective making, of people finding ways to connect through textiles, despite everything."

The project explores and celebrates the power of textile making to soothe and replenish and to bring people together separately but in collective spirit. There are tales of creative block and inspiration, making PPE and collaborating remotely on joint quilts and shared projects, as well as reflections on mental health and wellbeing reflected in our textile making.

The podcast focuses on collective making projects which are a defining feature of textile practice in lockdown. The 100 page ebook shares thoughts and reflections from contributors about how their making has been impacted by the global pandemic.

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There are sections on wellbeing, on creative growth and struggle as well as the importance of being part of making PPE and other community projects.

The ebook and podcast can be found on Gawthorpe Textile Collection’s website.