Future Fashion Factory exhibition celebrates Yorkshire’s rich textile history for Wool Month 2022
An exhibition in Saltaire will showcase Yorkshire's textile and fashion manufacturing heritage with historical garments and luxury fashion.
Treasures from the Yorkshire Fashion Archive will be on display at Salts Mill, Saltaire, alongside luxury pieces from designers including Lee Hurst, Commes des Garcons and Thierry Mugler.
Garments from A W Hainsworth, including a royal guard’s jacket made from the Yorkshire mill’s iconic scarlet cloth, will also feature at the three-week exhibition, which opens on Wednesday, 5 October 2022.
AW Hainsworth has been manufacturing premium quality woollen cloth at its Yorkshire mill for 235 years and was granted the Royal Warrant to supply Queen Elizabeth II.
The event will offer an insight into Yorkshire as both a centre of textile heritage and a champion of innovation, with personal historical told through the archived garments on display, reflecting the lives of their donors.
This exhibition is a great opportunity to celebrate the treasures of the Yorkshire Fashion Archive, to shine a light on the utterly superb wool textile production that goes on in Yorkshire today and to inspire the designers of the future.
Future Fashion Factory , a five-year project led by the University of Leeds’ School of Design in partnership with the University of Huddersfield and the Royal College of Art, is also holding a competition for fashion students across the region.
Students will submit images to reinterpret and capture the exhibition in visual form, building on a heritage of excellence across textile and manufacturing in Yorkshire. There will be prize-giving ceremony at Salts Mill at the end of the exhibition.
Zoe Silver, Director of Salts Mill, said: “We’re delighted to host the Future Fashion Factory x Wool Month exhibition here at Salts Mill in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire - a beautiful place that was built to create beautiful textiles.
“This exhibition is a great opportunity to celebrate the treasures of the Yorkshire Fashion Archive, to shine a light on the utterly superb wool textile production that goes on in Yorkshire today and to inspire the designers of the future with the exciting student competition.”
This exhibition celebrates the rich history of innovative design and manufacturing in Yorkshire’s wool textile industry, which continues to thrive today.
To demonstrate the earliest form of coding used within the textile industry, there will be a selection of jacquard punch-cards on display. Jacquard weave is still in use today across home décor textiles and as a fabric that gives fashion bespoke and heritage value.
Professor Stephen Russell, Co-Director of Future Fashion Factory, said: “Future Fashion Factory supports creativity and innovation at every stage of the supply chain, bringing academics and companies together in collaboration, to ensure sustainable development and growth of the UK’s fashion and textile industry.
“This exhibition celebrates the rich history of innovative design and manufacturing in Yorkshire’s wool textile industry, which continues to thrive today with products that are internationally renowned for their aesthetics, quality and performance”.
The exhibition will mark Wool Month 2022, hosted by the Campaign for Wool, which aims to promote the benefits of wool and support the wool industry.
This year, the campaign, which has King Charles III as its patron, is extending its annual Wool Week to a month-long celebration, with a focus on how wool lends itself to sustainability, luxury, and innovation.
About the Future Fashion Factory
Future Fashion Factory is a £5.4m industry-led project in which designers lead a highly creative process of applying, co-developing and implementing new textile and industrial digital technologies (IDTs) in collaboration with supply chain manufacturers and other technology experts in the high value luxury textile and fashion sector. The research and development cluster is delivering exciting new creative innovation opportunities, new products, shorter product development and design lead times, reduced costs, and increased global industrial competitiveness, productivity and sustainability.
The five-year project, a central pillar in the Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC), is part of the Creative Industries Clusters Programme, an £80m initiative led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
About the Yorkshire Fashion Archive
Based in the School of Design and underpinned by research excellence at the University of Leeds, the Yorkshire Fashion Archive is a publicly accessible collection of haute couture, fashion garments and everyday clothing of major historical significance, reflecting the social and economic changes in the region throughout the 20th century.
It provides a unique historical and cultural record of Yorkshire life and documents clothing produced, purchased and worn by Yorkshire folk over a 100-year period. The collection reflects changing social attitudes and multi-cultural influences, economic prosperity, global trends and the regional technical excellence in textiles and clothing.
For Salts Mill opening times, directions and visitor information, visit the Salts Mill website.
Top image of a 1950 wool Barathea jacket on a mannekin, left, via Yorkshire Fashion Archive, and right, Salts Mill, Saltaire, free to use via Flickr/paulmccoubrie.