Weaving through history of textiles

Bedfordshire Archives is seeking to encourage the public to get involved in its planned celebration of the history of textiles in the county.


This March the service will be launching Weaving Narratives – a project to encourage the public to use Bedfordshire Archives as an inspiration to create textile works.

The project will be open to anyone interested in taking part.

Participants will be offered an introduction to the archive service, and the chance to take part in three workshops at the archives. Assisted by archive professionals, they will be given special access to original archive materials representing hundreds of years of Bedfordshire’s history.

Lace makers

They will be encouraged to use these to follow threads of research linking themes of community, identity and growth. The form and nature of each textile work will be entirely up to the participants, and works can be created by groups of people if desired.

The workshops will be held at the Archives, Riverside Building, Borough Hall, Bedford on Saturdays – March5, April 2 and June 11 from 10am to 12noon.

Anyone wishing to take part should book a place either by emailing [email protected] or telephoning 01234 228833. Places are limited and will be first come, first served. No charge will be made for the workshops, but participants will need to provide their own craft materials.

The project will culminate in the autumn with a series of exhibitions of the textile works produced, to be held at Bedford, Luton and a venue in the Central Bedfordshire area.

Lace makers

The themes of community, identity and growth will also be reflected in three small exhibitions at the Archives during 2016: Luton Borough, 140 Years from April 14; Royal Towns of Central Bedfordshire from July 7; and Bedford Borough, 850 Years from October 5. Each of these will be accompanied by a free talk from a Beds Archives staff member.