Sunday, 21 September 2014

Festival Finds

In the past year or two during Saltaire Festival and Saltaire Arts Trail I have found myself demonstrating or exhibiting and therefore missing out on the festivities. This year I didn't get round to planning anything in the studio, so apologies to anyone who popped in t the butterfly rooms looking for me.

Instead I have had a little look around and found myself a few treasures yesterday with some lovely finds from the Rose & Brown Vintage Fair. Many of these lovely old sewing silk reels are in perfect condition, as good as the day they were made.

I have been searching for locally produced sewing thread reels for a little while, since I came across a reference to the magnitude of the local thread industry. Lister's mill in Bradford were 'world leaders' in sewing silks and exported them all around the world. But from what I can gather by the 1930's production of sewing threads at Lister's had ceased due to competition from their nearest rivals. Around this time many smaller mills were taken over by larger concerns or pushed out of the market, so that only a few companies remained.

I find it odd that this aspect of the textile industry is seldom mentioned locally, where the focus is usually on Worsted production. So it is really special to find these little treasures, that would usually be overlooked. I will be doing a little more 'digging' into this subject for  future project so any intersting pointers would be gratefully received.

If you are also a lover of old cotton reels you might find this thought provoking.


  1. I am envious! What a lucky find. Off to follow your thought provoking link.

  2. I love old cotton reels and have quite a few, mostly empty as they were my mum's, hope your digging is successful.



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