Textile trail in Wakefield

Date: 24/11/2016
Ref: PR 8413

A new 'textile trail' leaflet and website have been launched – which highlight part of Wakefield's industrial heritage.

Hundreds of thousands of people in West Yorkshire worked in cotton mills to manufacture clothes, toys and bedding.

The West Yorkshire Textile Heritage Project, a partnership between Wakefield, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees museums, is now bringing together information about their collections to help people learn more about the historic industry.

Cllr Les Shaw, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: "There is a growing interest in the history of Wakefield's textile industry and the new website and textile walks are a great way to learn more and to share information."

The textile trail leaflet features a colourful map of West Yorkshire which shows the location of more than 30 museums, mills, historic houses and other places of interest with a textile theme.

Featured walks include around Ossett's textile manufacturing centre and Wakefield Waterfront, which was a thriving industrial area with around 35 mills, as well as the boatyard which is still in operation.

The project's website has links to all the venues and downloadable walks across the district www.westyorkshiretextileheritage.org.uk Leaflets are also available from Wakefield Museum.

Website visitors can look at over 1000 records from the textile collections of the museums.

The online collections contain nearly 300 objects from the Wakefield district, which tell unique stories of the textile industry in the region. Workers in the area produced knitting yarn samples and finished products such as clothing, bedding and soft toys. A large proportion of the collection is made up of photographs and correspondence, advertisements, catalogues, packaging and knitting patterns.

The project was supported by the Museums Association (MA) with a grant from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

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