Farsley’s Sunny Bank Mills To Host Fabulous Textile Festival

in Farsley

Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley is set to host the highly anticipated Threads Textile Festival from Friday, June 7th to Sunday, June 9th, 2024.

This event, held in the historic 1912 Mill, promises to be a vibrant celebration of textiles, featuring a diverse array of activities, exhibitions, and workshops that cater to textile enthusiasts of all levels.

Market Extravaganza

The heart of the Threads Textile Festival is the bustling market, which will showcase over 40 independent businesses and textile makers each day.

Visitors can explore a wide range of products, including yarn, sewing materials, handmade clothing, soft furnishings, and textile art. This market is a paradise for anyone interested in textiles, providing a unique opportunity to purchase high-quality, handcrafted items directly from the makers.

Free Exhibition Area

A new addition to this year’s festival is the free exhibition area located at the top of the 1912 Mill. This space will feature impressive displays from notable organizations and artists, including the Quilters’ Guild, The Northern Society of Costume and Textiles, and Dutch textile artist Monika Loster. These exhibitions offer visitors a chance to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship of textile creations from around the world.

Community Project: Spinning Tales

One of the most exciting aspects of this year’s festival is the launch of the community project, ‘Spinning Tales.’ This initiative invites participants to bring along a cherished piece of clothing to be photographed and have its story documented.

This project aims to celebrate the personal and emotional connections people have with their clothing, turning everyday garments into powerful narratives.

Talks and Workshops

The Threads Textile Festival also boasts an extensive programme of talks and workshops, designed to engage and educate attendees on various aspects of textile arts. The talk schedule is diverse, featuring topics such as Japanese Sashiko with Susan Briscoe, Southeast Asian Textiles with Jim Gaffney and Nima Poovaya-Smith, and African Costume and Clothing with Magie Relph.

Political themes are also explored through the work of artists like Vanessa Marr, who uses embroidery as a form of resistance, and Sarah-Joy Ford, who examines historical lesbian domesticities through quilt-making. Saima Kaur will delve into the art of storytelling through embroidery, highlighting how textiles can convey rich, intricate narratives.

Special Guest: Lucy Adlington

On Saturday evening, the festival will feature a special appearance by best-selling author, presenter, and clothes historian Lucy Adlington. Adlington will guide the audience through a fascinating journey, uncovering the stories and memories embedded in garments from her extensive collection, which spans three centuries.

Her presentation promises to be a highlight of the festival, offering unique insights into the history and significance of clothing.

Workshop Programme

The workshop programme at the Threads Textile Festival is designed to cater to all skill levels, from beginners to advanced practitioners. Highlights include weaving with Agnis Smallwood, nature-inspired embroidery with Elnaz Yazdani, and rag rugging with Kim Searle. These workshops provide hands-on experiences that allow participants to develop their skills and explore new techniques under the guidance of experienced instructors.

Art Gallery and Museum

In addition to the festival activities, the Sunny Bank Mills Art Gallery, shop, and tearoom will be open throughout the weekend. The gallery will feature the exhibition ‘Tangled Up,’ which explores how artists use textiles to address personal and political narratives. Meanwhile, the Museum & Archive will host the temporary exhibition ‘Weaving Voices,’ showcasing work and objects from artists, creatives, and researchers inspired by the museum’s extensive textile archive.

Director’s Vision

Dr. Sarah Gaunt, the Director of the Threads Textile Festival, expressed her excitement about the expanded scope of this year’s event. “After the success of last year’s inaugural Threads Textile Festival, we have extended the event to a full three days this year,” she explained.

“There will be many opportunities to experience textiles in all forms, whether in the market in our iconic 1912 Mill, with over 40 stalls each day or in one of our extensive range of workshops designed to appeal to all levels of experience.”

Gaunt highlighted the diversity of the talk programme, which covers themes ranging from memory and travel to sexuality. She also emphasized the significance of having Lucy Adlington as a special guest.

“We are very excited to have author, presenter, and dress historian Lucy Adlington appear at the festival on Saturday evening,”

she said.

A Rich Textile Heritage

Sunny Bank Mills has a rich textile heritage, and the Threads Textile Festival is a testament to this legacy. Once the filming location for Yorkshire Television’s Emmerdale and Heartbeat, the mill is now a vibrant cultural and community hub, home to more than 100 businesses and artists.

The festival not only celebrates the art of textiles but also pays homage to the mill’s historical significance and its ongoing role as a center for creativity and innovation in the Yorkshire region.

Experience the Threads Textile Festival

With its extensive programme of events, the Threads Textile Festival at Sunny Bank Mills offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the world of textiles.

Whether you’re a seasoned textile artist or simply curious about the craft, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. From the bustling market and free exhibitions to the insightful talks and hands-on workshops, this festival promises to be a weekend filled with creativity, inspiration, and community spirit.

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