World Textile Days 2016                                 

Rites of Passage: Birth, marriage & death through textiles

Every year at our World Textile Days around the country we explore a common theme through our FREE exhibition and morning and afternoon presentations. In 2016 our world textile experts focused on the role of textiles in birth, marriage and death around the world.

We also added a new venue to our season: King's Sutton near Banbury in Oxfordshire. Plus, we had some fascinating guest speakers. All in all it was a great year for World Textile Day.

World Textile Day Wales - Llanidloes

19 Mar 2016 As Wales is our first World Textile venue of the season, visitors to the Minerva Centre always gets an early peek at what's new on our world textile agenda. Lucky Wales!

This year we launched a brand new concept: an afternoon Show & Tell session, where visitors can show and discuss a significant textiles from their lives and experiences. Everybody loved it and so did we!

We also welcomed two new world textile experts to our team.

Nataliya Cummings if from the Ukraine and now lives in the UK. She treated us to some fantastic traditional textiles from her homeland and also operates tours there.

Simon Willis was born in Nepal and spent most of his youth there. Today, he returns there as often as he can and recently started dealing in lovely handwoven, hand-dyed Nepalese pashminas.

Thanks to Doreen Gough and the Quilt Association for their support, hospitality and cakes.

Show & Tell at World Textile Day:
Discuss your cherished textile with our experts

Traditional textiles and tours of the Ukraine:
Nataliya Cummings joins our team of world textile experts

Traditional Nepalese pashminas:
We welcome Simon Willis at his first World Textile Day

World Textile Day South - Wickham, Hampshire

7 May 2016 This was our second outing at this fantastic venue in Wickham - hosted by the equally fantastic Meon Valley Quilters, who baked up a storm.

Bob Irwin kicked off the day with his morning talk - Bury Me Well: African funeral textiles and rituals. He showed and discussed some fascinating textiles and even gave a glimpse of the Ga coffin he aspires to... that's the one shaped like a Star beer bottle!

In the afternoon John Gillow entertained - as usual - with some textiles from his collection and Diane Gaffney gave some insights into to role batik plays in Javanese society.

Our new textile show & tell session proved a hit as well, with several people bringing along treasured textiles to show off and discuss with the audience.

Bury Me Well:
Bob Irwin shopping for his coffin in Ghana

Meri Hunneball and her newborn daughter Ava:
Just managing to keep pace with the tenacious shoppers!

Textile Show & Tell:
Bring along your own textile to discuss with our experts

World Textile Day North - Frodsham, Cheshire

14 May 2016 The Wickham Centre is turning out to be one of our most successful and well-attended venues for World Textile Day. It's a great space for displaying our free exhibition of world textiles and our hosts Frodsham Patchwork Group bake up a storm.

This year thanks to the enormous efforts of Susan Briscoe we had a very special day for our visitors. Susan arranged for 18 touring sashiko artists from Japan to demonstrate throughout the day. Visitors could even have a go under their expert tuition.

Susan also gave a fascinating and entertaining talk and fashion show explaining all about Japanese formal kimono.

Our afternoon textile show & tell session went down a storm as well. Brilliant!

Our world textiles experts
with a vintage Adinkra cloth from Magie Relph's collection

Keen stitchers having a go at sashiko
with our special guest teachers from Japan

Wedding outfit from Siwa Oasis, Egypt:
Exhibited by Joan Fisher of Khayamiya Egyptian Appliqués

World Textile Day Central - Kings Sutton, Oxfordshire

4 June 2016 Given the local buzz of interest, our first world textile adventure in Kings Sutton near Banbury in Oxfordshire was bound to be a winner - and it was!

The Kings Sutton Millenium Memorial Hall turned out to be a great venue with plenty of room for our exhibition, fair trade experts and café.

In our morning lecture, well-known world textiles expert John Gillow informed and entertained in equal measure with his talk all about dowry textiles from Pakistan and north-west India.

Our afternoon session featured Christopher Aslan Alexander, who spoke about his seven years living in Uzbekistan and helping to establish a vibrant carpet industry in Khiva. Chris chronicled his experiences is his acclaimed book Carpet Ride to Khiva. It's a great tale - read it!

More about Chris: Carpet Ride to Khiva

A big thanks to Beryl and Adele for their great food and enthusiastic support.

Our world textiles experts:
But where's John? (Hint: something about a curry)

Keen world textile shoppers on the prowl:
Magie Relph and the African Fabric Shop

Our popular Textile Show & Tell:
A unique hand-embroidered 1930s map of the USA

World Textile Day Scotland - Bridge of Allan

18 June 2016 We are constantly striving to make every World Textile Day special. We always aim to do something new and different at each event.

This year in Scotland we really hit the nail on the head with our special guest speaker. Andrew Haughton of the Nomads Tent in Edinburgh brought a great pile of wonderful carpets and kilims to show and discuss. Many thanks, Andrew, for making the day so special for our visitors.

Link: The Nomads Tent

Many thanks to Jane Rae of Today's Quilter magazine for her meet and greet services and to the textile enthusiasts of Scotland for making it a great day for all.

Special guest speaker Andrew Haughton
of the Nomads Tent, Edinburgh

John Fisher explains the intricacies of a traditional wallhanging by the 'Tentmakers of Cairo'

The buzz was palpable at World Textile Day Scotland:
Thanks to all who supported the day!

World Textile Day East - Mundford, Norfolk

3 Sep 2016 Norfolk wasn't home to our first World Textile Day: that honour goes to Llanidloes in Wales. But Norfolk was where Magie and Bob from The African Fabric Shop first took their 'fabric safaris', which eventually evolved into World Textile Day. All of which makes our trips to Norfolk very special. We always get a great welcome there and the buzz about the hall is fantastic.

Our main speaker in the morning was Bob Irwin with his new talk Bury Me Well: African funeral textiles and rituals.

In the afternoon we had two short talks by Diane Gaffney and Martin Conlan, followed by our textile Show & Tell where you get to show us your own textiles and quiz the experts about them. This was very informative and great fun as well.

A great big 'thank you' to our hosts Alviva Quilters, who baked up a storm and kept the grumbling tummies satisfied all day long!

Diane Gaffney discussing the importance of batik and ikat in Javanese society

Textile Show & Tell:
Traditional Christening dress, Germany, c. 1914

World Textile Day West - Saltford, Bristol

1 Oct 2016 As soon as we found out that the good people of Saltford have designated their home town as a fair trade village, we reckoned it would be the perfect venue for World Textile Day: and so it is!

Not only do local people turn out in droves, but textile fanatics from all over the West Country, South Wales and even Cornwall (!) flocked through the doors.

Our morning talk by Diane Gaffney kept the crowd enthralled as Diane discussed the role of batik in Javanese society - fascinating!

Our hosts from the Saltford Community Association baked up a storm and we owe a great vote of thanks to Chris and his team for their wonderful catering - keep those bacon sandwiches coming!

Waiting for the invasion of world textile fanatics

Liz Beasley of Aņaņuca Chilean Textiles

Keep those cakes a-comin':
Saltford Community Associaton in action