Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Woven festival will look forward as well as back


EXCITING plans have been revealed for a week-long festival in June that will celebrate Kirklees’ textile heritage and look ahead to the industry’s digital future.

WOVEN, an inaugural celebratio­n of the district’s textile industry, was launched at Huddersfie­ld’s Textile Centre of Excellence.

WOVEN aims to bring together the local community to take pride in its textiles heritage and celebrate its future opportunit­ies for careers, creativity and innovation.

Taking place on June 8-16, the festival’s events programme will involve cultural partners, artists, education settings, businesses, industry and heritage sites across the district.

Events will include The Big Knit on June 8, where the community will be encouraged to ‘yarn bomb’ local landmarks.

Mills will open their doors to the public, alongside heritage guided walks, and pop-up exhibition­s will showcase local creative talent.

Businesses, families and local schools are also being encouraged to get involved in the Spectacula­r Innovation Showcase at the University of Huddersfie­ld, which will include fashion shows, science workshops and arts and craft activities. Advice on careers in the textile industry will be available throughout the day through the university and the textile centre.

Clr Graham Turner, Kirklees Council’s Portfolio Holder for Corporate Strategy and Culture, spoke at the launch and said: “Our textile heritage has played an instrument­al part in the evolution of the industry for nearly 200 years and it continues to do so.

“Institutio­ns such as the textile centre and the University of Huddersfie­ld are leading the way in innovative research and the creative industries are helping shift the agenda.

“The next generation is imperative to the longevity of our textile industry, whether it’s in manufactur­ing or creative arts, and through WOVEN we want to engage with them.

“Working with local schools, colleges and the university, we want to help inspire young people into a career in textiles, from fashion and manufactur­ing textiles to using them creatively and innovative­ly.”

Bill Macbeth, managing director of the textile centre, spoke about the importance of partnershi­ps and added: “The textile industry is undergoing a significan­t transforma­tion as we evolve in the digital age, and with 90% of the region’s manufactur­ers exporting their products, they need to innovate continuous­ly to maintain their competitiv­e advantage.

“Many manufactur­ers across the region are producing groundbrea­king products for major global brands and we want to shout out about that, not just locally and regionally, but also nationally and internatio­nally.”

Focusing on science and innovation in textiles at the event, Prof Parik Goswami, Professor in Technical Textiles, from the University of Huddersfie­ld, said: “What people don’t realise is that textiles play a big part in many sectors from arts, healthcare, science and engineerin­g.

“At the university, we are working on groundbrea­king projects across all our schools, using textiles that will transform lives across the globe.

“WOVEN will help shout out about the industry to the next generation and highlight that textiles isn’t boring and can actually change lives.”

WOVEN will become a biennial event and volunteers are being sought to help make the event a success.

Volunteers are needed to support the set-up of events and activities, to be present at public facing events, help direct people between activities and around the district, write blogs, make vlogs, and much more.

To find out how you can get involved, go to https:// w ov e n i n k i r k l e e s. c o. u k / g e tinvolved/volunteeri­ng/

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 ??  ?? Organisers and supporters of the Woven textile festival at the launch held at The textile Centre of Excellence on Red Doles Lane, Huddersfie­ld
Organisers and supporters of the Woven textile festival at the launch held at The textile Centre of Excellence on Red Doles Lane, Huddersfie­ld

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