The trail leaflet features a colourful map of West Yorkshire that shows the location of more than 30 museums, mills, historic houses and other places of interest with a textile theme. Even more information is available on the website, which has links to all the venues and downloadable walks across the district. These walks include one around the significant textile manufacturing centre of Ossett and one along Wakefield Waterfront, which was a thriving industrial area in its hey-day with around 35 mills established on this site, as well as the boatyard which is still in operation today.
Trail leaflets can be picked up at Wakefield Museum or downloaded from the project website. The project website can be viewed here.
The online collections are hosted by the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS), which makes available over 1000 records from the textile collections of Wakefield, Kirklees, Bradford, Calderdale and Leeds museums.
The online collections contain nearly 300 objects from the Wakefield district, which tell unique stories of the textile industry in the region. Examples of textiles produced in the local area include 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 ephemera, including correspondence, advertisements, catalogues, packaging and knitting patterns.
The project was supported by the Museums Association (MA) with a grant from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. Sally Colvin from the MA said ‘We were delighted to support the West Yorkshire Heritage Textile project as the partnership approach from four museum services really stood out. Textile heritage is spread right across the region so it’s only right that the services should work together; the website and trail are great results from this approach.’